COMEDY GOLD #18: The picnic from To Catch a Thief (1955)


To Catch a Thief (1955, dir. Alfred Hitchcock) boasts not only two of the most beautiful people who have ever lived as its leads, but also some of the most breath-taking landscape ever put on film. Let’s face it, To Catch a Thief is pure eye candy! But more importantly than that, it remains one of Hitchcock’s most well-rounded and quintessential films, ticking nearly all the boxes when it comes to genres. It’s a thriller, it’s a romance, it’s a comedy, you name it. And while one could focus on Jessie Royce Landis’ entire performance for this month’s COMEDY GOLD, the picnic scene ultimately takes the cake. At this point, the police are after retired cat burglar John Robie (Cary Grant) following a string of robberies and Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly) is at the wheel, driving him away from them. After a while, they stop at a pre-chosen spot and have a little picnic. Francie’s onto John and she lets him know that not only does she know what’s going on but that she wants in on it. The whole scene is filled with charming little quips here and there, culminating in an equally charming kiss, but the stand-out moment has to be the infamous ‘Do you want a leg or a breast?’ scene, a line which was improvised by Kelly, prompting an improvised response from Grant, all without missing a beat. Well, nearly. He almost started laughing, but managed to keep it together. I’m not sure many people in his position would have.

7 thoughts on “COMEDY GOLD #18: The picnic from To Catch a Thief (1955)

  1. Mike noonan

    You re right Carol . They are 2 beautiful people and the scenery is gorgeous. Haven’t seen this film in awhile, Will have to revisit just to see this scene . Nice having a Hitchcock film as comedy gold. Shows his versatility.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. caracoleta07

    This movie is just so… Vivid!
    So many things stand out when you think of it, even if it’s been years since you’ve watched it.
    I didn’t know that line had been improvised 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Re-recommending summer movies! – The Old Hollywood Garden

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