To Catch A Thief: Take 10

Le Stuff’s Definitive Location Guide to Alfred Hitchcock’s Classic Film

Series Post #12

John Robie and Francie Stevens depart beneath the old stone gate of the Sanford Villa.  They are followed, quite conspicuously, by the police.

The uber-stylish powder blue Sunbeam Alpine convertible cruises across a scenic bridge.

In the distance the Mediterranean and promontory of St Jean cap Ferrat are in full view.

Pan left and viewers are treated to an expansive view of the ancient, cliffside village of Eze.

Grace Kelly is stunning.

The ensuing driving scenes (in which Grant and Kelly discuss the location of the picnic site) were obviously shot in Hollywood using rear screen projection and feature (most likely) the upper corniche in the background.  This is not the same road, as has been widely reported, on which Grace was killed in a tragic car accident in 1982.

Princess Grace’s vehicle ran off the D37 just below the village of La Turbie.

Hitchcock was a master at creating suspense by mixing-in close-up shots of wringing hands, furrowed brows, and tense facial expressions, and he accomplishes this to great effect with Cary Grant.  Grant’s character, John Robie, appears visibly shaken by the speed at which Kelly’s character tackles the winding, mountain road.  If you’ve ever driven the upper corniche you can probably imagine the feeling.

At 47:40 our intrepid couple race past a stone building (below) with green shutters.  The building was, and still is, located in Eze on the main road below the old village.

The scene in which the old woman crossing the road drops her laundry takes place  on the Avenue de la Victoire in La Turbie.

Moments later the police car has an accident involving one very lucky chicken (poulet) and Grant and Kelly are left alone to drive to the spectacular picnic scene location above Monaco…. up next.

Travel Tips:
Located on the main drag in La Turbie, have dinner and drinks at La cave Turbiasque.  This informal restaurant has excellent food, friendly service, and a great wine list.

2 responses

  1. Amazing! You must be incredibly observant and, also, be on shockingly intimate terms with the South of France. Thank you for giving us the inside scoop on “To Catch A Thief” – Monsieur Le Stuff would make a great guest for Turner Classic Movies and Robert Osborn the next time they show Hitchcock’s “To Catch – – – “. It is one of Hitch’s very BEST and my personal favorite!

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