Where is To Catch A Thief? And how is Charade?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt Lucas, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Matt Lucas

    Matt Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all---

    In a mood for something light and fun, I pulled out the old VHS copy of Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief last night, watched it and nearly teared up at the thought that this wonderful film hasn't benefitted from restoration and a DVD release.

    Does anyone know if it's even on any kind of schedule for release? Which studio owns it now? I'm interested in writing to request it, but I have no idea to whom I should write.

    I've already got several Hitch DVDs---North By Northwest, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, etc.---and I feel that To Catch A Thief represents another side of Hitch's canon that deserves a DVD release. And who can deny the timeless appeal of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant?

    Speaking of Grant, I also noticed the Criterion version of Charade at my local Best Buy. Can anyone offer comments on this release? [I haven't seen the film, so I'm interested in views of the film AND the quality of the DVD!]

    Regards,
    mattl
     
  2. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    TCAT is also my favorite Hitchcock film, and I have no idea why it's not on DVD. Whilst having some nice extras would be great, I'd be more than happy with a good clean transfer in OAR.

    When I first saw TCAT (back in the mid 80s at the urging of a family member), I had never seen a Cary Grant or Grace Kelly movie. I was immediately in awe of Grant's smooth cool, and Kelly's va-va-voom looks and poise. The exchange as they eat the picnic lunch in the car is priceless.

    I've never seen Charade, so I can't comment.

    Maybe this thread should be moved/copied to the Studio Feedback forum?
     
  3. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    The Criterion version of Charade is excellent, which is exactly what you should expect from Criterion. Be sure to go get that copy that you saw at Best Buy. Criterion just made the title out of print.
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Charade is a great movie and a sort of tongue-in-cheek film a la Hitchcock. I've noticed a few different budget releases of the film, but I would avoid them. Be sure to get the Criterion version.
     
  5. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    To Catch A Thief is coming this year. Rumors are that a new documentary by Laurent Bouzereau will be on the disc.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    To Catch A Thief is or was in terrible condition...like most VistaVision films which haven't benifited from a restoration. www.widescreenmuseum.com has a wonderful picture of the crappy condition it may be in.
    Lowry Digital Images has been contracted by Paramount to do some restoration for them, so this would be a title that could use one of their cleanups. Being that NxNW was their first digital restoration, it would be neat to see how far they've come, even after Snow White, Citizen Kane, Now Voyager, and Doctor Zhivago. (Of course, with King Kong, Top Hat, Dial M For Murder, and many others in the pipeline)
     
  7. Matt Lucas

    Matt Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, it's barely been 5 minutes, and already---two replies! Anyone else?

    Michael, I agree. While I'd love to have some extras---a documentary, commentary from anyone connected with the film, perhaps interviews or press footage from the time, on set photos, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING---I'd also be happy to actually see the OAR version of the film in brilliant, beautiful DVD. But let me stress that this film deserves at least a few extras...!

    Don, thanks for the tip about the Criterion Charade being OOP. But what is your take on the film itself? As Michael mentioned, Grant is just plain cool, and I'm a Hepburn fan as well. Beyond that, I've heard little about Charade, aside from it being compared to lite-Hitch.

    mattl
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Charade is a great movie, and the criterion is a great dvd. If you like Hitchcock and Cary Grant, get this.
     
  9. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    I think Charade is a great movie. Excellent performances by Grant and Hepburn and also Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and George Kennedy. The Criterion disc is very good. It has a nice commentary by Stanley Donen and Peter Stone as its only substantive extra. The video is very clean, but non-anamorphic. Certainly the best representation of the film on DVD.
     
  10. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

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    I hate the term "Lite Hitch"... it implies that CHARADE is less than it should be, or perhaps trying to be something that it's not. Here's what it is: it's funny and suspenseful, with clever dialogue and excellent performances. Granted, it doesn't have the usual murky undertones of a Hitchcock film, but why should it? It's NOT a Hitchcock film!

    The Criterion transfer is top-notch (though non-anamorphic), and the commentary track is great too. Coincidentally enough, I finally ordered this disc just this morning, after checking it out from my local library several times.
     
  11. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    I'll chime in just to agree that Charade is a great film, one of the underrated gems of that genre and era. Criterion did it justice. Go buy it. Now.
     
  12. Matt Lucas

    Matt Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, Craig. Didn't mean to offend, and you're right---it should be considered on its own merits.

    But it's non-anamorphic? I don't own many Criterion DVDS [This Is Spinal Tap is the only one I can think of], but with Criterion's eye for detail, it seems shocking that Charade isn't anamorphic. I hate to sound petty, but having just invested in a widescreen TV, I'm hesitant to buy anything that's not anamorphic. Still, if it's THAT good of a picture...!

    But back to "Thief"---Rutger, you're being so mysterious with your information! Do you know someone working on the restoration? Assuming your information is correct and it WILL be released this year, the implication is that the restoration has already been completed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that rumored documentary!

    Thanks again for all the quick responses. NOW I'm excited.

    mattl
     
  13. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Alas, non-anamorphic, but a very nice transfer nonetheless. Also, an excellent and engaging commentary track that more closely resembles a casual conversation between two old, well-spoken friends than Criterion's usual info-packed, theory-laden aural tomes. Not quite "My Dinner with Andre", but you'll be glad to be privy to their thoughts.
    And gauging by the Hitch films you especially like and your affinity for Grant and Hepburn, I'd say it's a lock that you'll love this movie! [​IMG]
     
  14. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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  15. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I can't wait to add this title to my Hitch collection. Hopefully it will appear sooner rather than later from Paramount.[​IMG]
     
  16. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I actually prefer Charade to To Catch a Thief. Yes, I'm a Hitchcock fan. [​IMG]
    In any case, given the movies you've listed, you will almost surely like it. The transfer is remarkable, especially compared to what I had been used to before getting the DVD. A little ringing here and there, but not too noticeable (at least, on my small screen).
    As for it not being anamorphic, I believe few of Criterion's discs were when it came out. If they released a new, anamorphic disc, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
     
  17. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    Jump all over the Criterion Charade disc. IMHO, everything about the movie is first rate; Hepburn is at the peak of her career, and Grant ain't no slouch, either.

    And, as it's out of print, you really should pick it up.
     
  18. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    http://members.aol.com/vistavsion/editorial.html
    a Hitchcock website that has all the latest info.
    the latest update is about Billy Wilder's European version of Kiss me, Stupid. great reading. There is also a poll regarding Hitchcock's best film
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    I thought the first anamorphic Criterion dvd was Insomnia, #50

    As for Charade, I agree it looks exceptional, when the camera remains still. During horizontal pans the picture "breaks up" a little, to the point of being slightly annoying. I've often wondered if this is evidence of 3:2 pulldown, but if so, shouldn't it be equally evident on all my discs on my player and multistandard PAL TV? Whatever "artifact" I'm seeing, and I've seen it on other discs, Charade is the worst offender. (But don't let it scare you from getting the disc, it does not ruin the ecperience)
     
  20. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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