“To Catch a Thief” steals into the new year

Movie Night at the Museum begins the year with a showing of the 1955 romantic thriller “To Catch a Thief” starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The film screens 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Northwest Montana History Museum. 

John “The Cat” Robie (Cary Grant) no longer steals for a living. The former jewel thief is happily living on the French Riviera, tending his vineyards and enjoying the good life when a string of burglaries cause the police to suspect that Robie is up to his old tricks again. Facing arrest for crimes he did not commit, Robie realizes that the only way he can prove his innocence is to find and catch the actual thief. 

Thinking like a burglar once again, Robie identifies the individuals and families living and visiting the area whose wealth and possessions make them the most lucrative targets. That list includes a rich American tourist Jessie Stevens (Jessie Royce Landis) and her daughter Frances (Grace Kelly). Robie strikes up an acquaintance with both ladies and from there, the story moves through plot twists and turns that only writer-producer Alfred Hitchcock could create.

When he was offered the role of Robie, Grant, like his character in the movie, had retired. But after accepting the role, he continued to remain active in the movie business for 11 more years. 

This film is the third film in which Hitchcock featured Kelly as the leading lady, citing her “elegant sexiness” as a reason he selected her for the role.  

Admission and popcorn are free, but donations are accepted to defray costs. Soda pop, water, beer and wine are available for purchase. Seating is provided, but viewers can bring their own cushions or seating if they like.

Located in the former Central School in Kalispell, the Northwest Montana History Museum brings the past alive through exhibits, artifacts, educational programs and events. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 124 Second Ave. E., Kalispell. Call 406-756-8381 or visit nwmthistory.org for more.