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Trivia / To Catch a Thief

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  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions: #46
  • Actor-Shared Background: John Robie mentions that as a youth he was in a trapeze group that travelled around Europe. In Real Life, Cary Grant was in an acrobatic troupe that toured around Europe (and eventually brought him to America) when he was young.
  • Career Resurrection: Cary Grant had announced his retirement from acting in February 1953, stating that since the rise of Method Acting, most people were no longer interested in seeing him. He was also angry at the way Charlie Chaplin had been treated by the HUAAC. He was lured out of his retirement to make this movie, and thereafter, continued acting for a further eleven years.
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  • Channel Hop: Among the six movies that Alfred Hitchcock directed for Paramount, only this one averted it when rights to four of the other five went to Hitchcock's estate, and Psycho to Universal.
  • The Danza: Jessie Royce Landis as Jessie Stevens.
  • Dawson Casting: Danielle is a teenager and she says that Francie looks old. She was played by Brigitte Auber, who was 27 at the time, and more than a year older than Grace Kelly.
  • Directing Against Type: The movie is markedly different from Hitchcock's usual style.
  • Executive Meddling: Hitchock and screenwriter John Michael Hayes clashed a lot during production, as Hitchcock wanted the film to go a different way than how Hayes did.
  • No Stunt Double: Grace Kelly was obligated to do her own driving during the high-speed chase scene, even though she was not a confident driver.
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  • Throw It In!: The lines in the picnic scene, when Francie asks John, "Do you want a leg or a breast?" and he responds, "You make the choice.", were improvised.
  • Uncredited Role: Alec Coppel (best-known for co-writing Vertigo) made uncredited contributions to the screenplay.
  • Vacation, Dear Boy: Alfred Hitchock made the film because he fancied a holiday in the south of France.
  • What Could Have Been: The original script's ending resolves a lot more than the actual film's ending does, including the arrest of the Big Bad (though the scene blatantly hints that he and Danielle have a getaway plan in the works.) But apparently much to the scipt writer's dismay, Hitchcock changed it so that the film ends rather abruptly and with a joke. Hitchcock had wanted to do something similar with Strangers on a Train, end the film at Guy's acquittal, but the studio wouldn't let him.
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  • Working Title: Catch a Thief.


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