To Catch a Thief

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
To Catch a Thief Movie Poster Image
A riveting, rollicking Hitchcock suspense classic.
  • NR
  • 1955
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Characters lie to each other and masquerade as someone other than themselves. John is accused of crimes he didn't commit. Plenty of '50s-era sexism on display.


One man dies and it's implied that he's hit with a wrench and strangled. There are several gunshots. A kitchen worker breaks a plate and comes at John menacingly. John's life is threatened several times, in person and through notes. John talks about having killed 72 people in World War II. There's also lots of car chases and one car crash, though no one is injured. One character nearly falls off a roof.


Lots of sexual innuendo and implied sexual activity, but little seen on the screen. Danielle flashes her legs to a police plane. John stares down a woman's cleavage. John and Francie kiss three times, and it's implied that they had sex.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several characters drink wine, beer, and brandy at parties, dinner, and in their hotel rooms. John and Francie drink beer during a picnic in their car and drive afterwards. Jessie smokes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Hitchcock suspense thriller offers mild suspense and several situations in which the lives of John, Francie, and other characters are at stake. Characters are shot at, chased in their cars, drive recklessly, and issued death threats. There's considerable 1950s-era sexism and women are treated as sex objects or paternally. John says at one point that he should "spank" a woman who disobeyed his orders.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byTsion August 11, 2009

The Ride of Your Life...

This is a joyous movie to behold. Filled with humor, wit, passion, action, danger, thrills, intrigue, and romance, it is truly a movie like no other. Cary Gra... Continue reading
Adult Written byatleast April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old July 1, 2017

Great movie

To Catch a Thief is an amazing classic. The funny part is, all of the advertisements of it stress on it being a romance. Their were THREE brief kisses. Thats ba... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 31, 2010

good cary grant/hitchcock film great movie

a classic hitchcock film with the well known actor cary grant one of my favorite actors good but also very suspenseful and full of thrills

What's the story?

The romantic classic TO CATCH A THIEF is a roller-coaster ride right off the bat. In the first five minutes there's a car chase and enough intrigue, double crosses, and sexual innuendo to keep you riveted for the whole film. Dashing, retired jewel thief John Robie (Cary Grant) hasn't stolen jewels for more than 15 years, and went to prison for the crimes he did commit, but when jewels start showing up missing again along the romantic French Riviera, all eyes are on Robie. To prove his innocence, Robie decides not to hide but to go to the heart of the matter and find the real cat burglar. Along the way, he meets the divine Francie (Grace Kelly), who's on to him. Of course while the handsome duo work out the clues they fall for each other.

Is it any good?

What could be better than a Hitchcock film set in the picturesque French Riviera? As always, you have to admire Hitchcock's pacing. It's quick without being rushed. To Catch a Thief is an especially good introduction to Hitchcock for teens. While it does involve intrigue and death threats, it's not as dark as Rear Window, The Birds, or Psycho.

And the glamour of the 1950s fashions are not to be missed. When Grace Kelly floats through a party in a huge gold lame strapless ballgown it's divine. And Kelly in a chiffon gown just for a dinner date -- decadent.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how you gain back trust after you've done something wrong. John is forever considered a jewel thief, even though he hasn't stolen in years. When you disappoint or betray the trust of someone in your family, do you feel like you'll never be trusted again? How do you gain back that trust? Families can also talk about the gender roles in the film. Are the men role models for how men should behave? Are the women role models for how women should behave? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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