Last week was a tough one but this week I just chose the first 3 movies that popped into my head but this will be a popular week, as opposed to last week, which was a toughie. Wandering through the Shelves is the brainchild of this weekly theme post where you choose 3 movies that fit that weeks’ theme. This week, it’s all about the caper and I could have taken this in so many ways like Bulldog Drummond or The Thin Man series but I went traditional, if I can call it that. Here are my 3...
1. THE ASPHALT JUNGLE-1950
I love this classic caper about a man, Riemenschneider, played wonderfully, by Sam Jaffe, as a conman who is let out of jail after 7 years. Before he can say holy prison yard Batman, he’s back at it wanting to commit a jewelry heist but needs money and man power. He visits with an distinguished, but corrupt, lawyer, played by Louis Calhern, who decides to give him the money plus tell him which men he can use. This lawyer is married but has a gal on the side played by a young Marilyn Monroe in one of her better early roles. Sam meets up with the safecracker, the guy who will drive the getaway car and the thug played really well by Sterling Hayden. You are in on how they will do the crime, acting out the crime and the aftermath. You learn about each character and their hopes and dreams. It is excellently directed by John Huston, written and shot in the classic black & white( ignore the colourized version) which just creates a great film worth seeing.
2. TO CATCH A THIEF- 1955
You know this was a given because it fits so well with this week’s theme. Cary Grant plays a retired jewel thief who must come out of retirement, sort of speak, because there is a copycat trying to place the blame on good ole Cary. He goes to the French Riviera to speak to his old French resistance “friends “ who blame him for being found out as resistance fighters. He soon meets very wealthy American mother and daughter tourists, played by Jesse Royce Landis and the beautiful Grace Kelly. Grace knows who he is and tempts him with her diamonds and her alluring kisses( with a great look into the camera by Cary). When they kiss on the couch, you see the fireworks..how Freudian, Mr. Hitchcock. The gowns (I always wanted the blue o e and the white one), the scenery, Cary and Grace are all beautiful to look at making you forget you are watching a Hitchcock film. It’s one of his most sophisticated films he made which culminates in a fancy masquerade ball.
3. THE PINK PANTHER-1964
I spoke about this film before but I just love it and it so fits the theme. It starts off with Capucine running away so she will not be captured by the police. When she gets into the elevator, she quickly changes her coat, hat and shoes and comes out looking very different. We soon learn she is the wife of inspector Clouseau, played perfectly by Peter Sellers. He is a bumbling oaf who is trying to capture this jewel thief. The rare diamond, called the Pink Panther, owned by the Indian princess, played by Claudia Cardinale, will make an appearance at a Swiss chalet. Clouseau and his wife high tail it to the Alps to protect the princess and the diamond. There we meet David Niven and his horned up nephew, played by Robert Wagner. You find out Niven is the thief and Capucine is his lover. Hijinks ensues which culminates at a masquerade ball and a hilarious chase around the streets of some French town involving men in gorilla suits, a knight, and a zebra. Very, very funny picture with some great songs, great locations and very funny bits. It's so worth seeing
Which 3 would you choose?