High Noon. Great movie. Here are some very good reasons to watch it: 1. It takes place in real time – 85 lean, tense minutes. The deadline is firm. No dilly-dallying. 2. There’s plenty left unsaid/implied. I love when the backstory and mechanics aren’t fully clear and you end up guessing (often along with the characters themselves) and interpreting relationships based on a few clues here and there – a gesture, a look, a rhythm of conversation that suggests years. (And in this movie, given that the plot hinges on an event approaching at noon, there’s not much time for backstory, either.) 3. Gary Cooper is really good. I need to see more with him. 4. Grace Kelly. 5. It’s the first film appearance of Lee Van Cleef.
To Catch a Thief. It’s a romance packaged in a crime movie, and it’s quite good. Not fantastic, maybe not even great, but thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely feels shorter than it is. I expected the camerawork and direction to be more Hitchcockian (the faux diamond scene is an exception). I still don’t think I get Cary Grant, but I definitely want to see more Grace Kelly films. And I have to mention that first kiss. In context, it is absolutely incredible. Just jaw-dropping.