To Catch a Thief (1955) - full transcript

American expatriate John Robie living in high style on the Riviera is a retired cat burglar. He must find out who a copy cat is to keep a new wave of jewel thefts from being pinned on him. High on the list of prime victims is Jessie Stevens, in Europe to help daughter Frances find a suitable husband. The Lloyds of London insurance agent is using a thief to catch a thief. Take an especially close look at scene where Robie gets Jessie's attention, dropping an expensive casino chip down the d├ęcolletage of a French roulette player. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
My jewels! My jewels!

l've been robbed!
Someone stole my jewels!

Help! Help! Police!

My diamonds! My diamonds!
They're gone! Help!


Monsieur Robie,
we represent the S?ret?.

We are making some inquiries

in reference
to a number ofjewel robberies.

We have reason to believe that
you could provide us with information

that would help us in our investigations.

Would you be good enough
to accompany us to our office in Nice?

All right, but would you mind
if l put on something more formal?


You left in a hurry, huh?

-They came for me an hour ago.
-The police?

-Five of them.
-Naturally, you are innocent.

l haven't stolen a piece ofjewelry
in 15 years.

-Well, it has a good feeling.

What do you think of my kitchen?
Works like a machine, yes?

-Just like our little band

in the Underground during the war.
Cutting, slicing, just like the old days.

They think l'm responsible
for these robberies, don't they?

Well, once they were all in prison
with you.

l know. And now if there's
any crime on the Riviera,

we're the first to be suspected
by the police.

But since the war, l have obliged
all these men to be honest.

l have beat honesty into their skulls.

l did not want them to break
their paroles and return to prison.

Listen, if my parole is broken,
they'll throw away the key.

l came here for one reason,
to tell these men and you

that l had nothing to do
with the robberies.

Perhaps l believe you,
but your comrades

are very angry with you, Robie.
They think you let them down.

So long, Bertani.
l wouldn't put it past any of them

to be doing the robberies themselves.

Simple men without education?
No, Robie.

Excuse me. Business calls.

Don't go.

But, you know,
coincidence can be terrible.

These robberies all bear your mark,
but you claim to be innocent.

l do more than claim. l insist.

What l can't understand is how
this thief could imitate me so perfectly.

lt has to be someone
who knew every detail of my technique.

Maybe somebody in the police.

He picks perfect victims
with only the right stones.

Goes up walls, over the roofs,
down through the skylights,

leaves no clue
and then disappears in the night.

Just like John Robie, the Cat.

You don't believe me
any more than the rest.

Oh, he's as nervous as a cat.

lf somebody caught this imitator,
we'd all be off the hook, wouldn't we?

-Well, no one believes me,

but the police
are chasing the wrong man.

Someone's got to start
chasing the right one.

One day he'll make a mistake.

Bertani, there's only one answer,
and l should have seen it sooner.

-l've got to catch this imitator myself.
-You couldn't do more than the police.

Oh, but l could,
and l'm the only one who could,

because l can anticipate him,
try to figure out his next move,

and then get there ahead of him

and catch him
with his hand right in the jewel case.

lf they catch you,
nobody will believe what you say.

Who believes me now?
The biggest problem is time.

l've got to hit this copycat
before he hears l'm after him.

To catch him in the act,
l need better information than he has,

the kind that takes months to dig out.

Like who has jewels
that deserve to be stolen?

Yeah. Where they live,
which room they keep the stones in,

what time they usually go to sleep,
how much they drink,

whether they have dogs,
guns, servants, insurance.

Well, for old times' sakes,
perhaps l can help you.

-Come on, Bertani. What have you got?
-You made me remember something.

Two days ago,
a man came into this restaurant.

-l did not like him.
-Why not?

He called me to his table.

He asked me about crime
and criminals,

me, a respectable, honest restaurateur.

You think he may know something
about the robberies?

He asks me strange questions.
l refuse to answer.

Then he asked me
about the jewels my clients wear,

and l said to myself, "You have
something to do with this new Cat.

"Maybe you are the new Cat."

Foussard's daughter will take you
out of here by boat.

-The beach club in Cannes.

Wait for a phone call there.

Okay, Mr. Cat, let's go.

Danielle, do me a favor.
Don't call me a cat.

l only do one favor a day.

Will you do as your father here asks?

Did l brush your fur the wrong way?

Hey, you're getting us wet.

lt must be true, what they say.
Cats don't like water.

l'll thank you
not to mention that word again.

Oh, a man should never regret his past.

-l only regret one thing.
-That you never asked me to marry you?

No, that l ever took the time
to teach you English.

You only taught me the nouns.
l learned the adjectives myself.

-The word "cat" is a noun.
-Not the way you use it.

For you it means excitement,
danger, affluence.

What do you think
of that word, "affluence"?

lt means wealth.

What's on your mind?

Nothing. l was just thinking about you.

lmagining you in your expensive villa,
enjoying life,

while we work like idiots
for a loaf of bread.

l work for a living, too,
raising grapes and flowers.

And rubies and diamonds and pearls.

School's open again. Professor Robie
will now conduct a class

in bad manners,
or how to get spanked in a hurry.

You can't touch me. l've graduated.

-You going to South America?
-No, just the beach club at Cannes.

l've always dreamed
of going to South America.

People say it's a virgin country.

l can cook, sew, keep my mouth shut

and peddle stolen jewels
on the black market.

Now, Danielle,
you don't think l'm responsible

for all those recent robberies?

-l think so, yes.

Together with your father
and the rest of my old Resistance pals.

But there's one great difference.

They are furious with you. l am not.

Danielle, listen carefully.
l stole once a long time ago.

-l went to jail.
-l know.

The Germans bombed the prison
and you all escaped,

joined the Underground
and became heroes.

l joined because l wanted to make up
for some of the things l'd done.

-l've never stolen since.
-l don't know what you wanted.

l know what you got.
Pardons that are not worth anything.

They weren't pardons,
they were paroles,

and we fought for six years
to earn them,

those of us who were still around
for the graduation.

Those paroles don't have
much value today, huh?

Well, at least they haven't been
withdrawn from circulation.

No South America?

No, just the beach club
at Cannes, please.

Well, in that case, we should hurry.

That airplane up there,
it probably belongs to the police.

-Hey, stupide, the contact.

What's he doing now?

He's coming back over us.

Good. When he comes by again,
wave to him.

-Suppose he's not my type?
-Oh, wave to him anyway.

Act as if you're a pretty girl
just out for a ride.


Hey, hey, not that pretty.
We want to get rid of him.

-How much further to the beach club?
-Oh, about 15 minutes.

Well, when you get there,
pull close in shore

and mingle around with the other boats.

And then?

And then l'm getting out.
l'll leave my clothes with you.

And l thought
you hoped to be inconspicuous.

Well, nobody will ever recognize me
in these.

-The man l speak with you about,

the man who asked me
the questions about the jewels,

he will wait for you at the entrance
of the flower market in Nice.

He will find you. l told him
you would be tossing a coin in the air.


H.H. Hughson, Lloyd's of London.

Am l to understand
you're the man who knows everyone

who owns the best jewelry
in this vicinity?

We insure most of the important pieces.

lnsurance. That's gambling, isn't it?

Well, shall we say betting?

Yes, let's just say betting,
because l have a long shot for you.

A little help
in return for some of your losses.

-So Mr. Bertani told me.
-Are you interested?

Well, the proposition sounds
intriguing, albeit a little unorthodox.

What does that mean? Yes or no?

-My dear Mr. Robie...

l beg your pardon. Ever been married?

No, but what has that to do
with yes or no?

lt might help you
to understand my problem.

l have two wives,
Felicity, God bless her,

and the London office.
l must return worthy of both of them.

l see. And you don't think
they'd approve of your giving me

a list of your richest clients.

Officially, you come under
the category of extremely bad risk.

Well, see you later, Hughson.

lt's always a pleasure
to meet an insurance agent

who enjoys paying off
such expensive claims.

However, unofficially,
there's hope for you.

l was sure there would be.

We're both taking a big chance,
you know.

Really? What happens to you
if l'm caught?

l might be embarrassed,
even censured officially.

-They could put me away for good.
-You made a bad choice of professions.

Well, then let's come
to an understanding.

l'm doing you a favor.

l take all the risks,
you get all the jewelry back.

Mr. Smith, it strikes me that only
an honest man would be so foolish.

Thank you.

-How much of a list do you need?
-Only the top half-dozen names.

-Anything else?
-Oh, the addresses, habits,

whatever you've got.
Descriptions of the stones and settings.

-Suppose it falls into the wrong hands?
-Perhaps it already has,

unless you've been
pulling the thefts yourself.

l say, that's not a bad idea.

-And where are you staying?
-Carlton, Cannes.


No, no, no, my dear fellow,
not in the middle of the day.

Bring it to the table with you.

Come along.

Under the present circumstances,
do you think it pays to advertise?

He hasn't left the villa in years.

-Well, how do you like the place?

lt's a kind of travel-folder heaven,

where a man dreams he'll go
when he retires.

Now, about that list of your clients
who have jewelry worth stealing.

Look, why don't we
enjoy our lunch first?

There's plenty of time.

Mr. Hughson,
l don't want to seem impatient,

but in 10 days, l have to come up
with something pretty convincing

for the examining magistrate.

Now, it's a very nice custom
they have here in France,

provisional liberty
based upon insufficient evidence.

But, alas, that may not last long for me.

Bertani said you were something of
a celebrity in the Underground Army.

l was in the Resistance.

-Did you kill many people?

l know what would have pleased you,
though, Hughson.

Not one of them was insured.

You're a man of obvious good taste in...
Well, in everything.

How did you... l mean, why did you...

-You mean, why did l take up stealing?

Oh, to live better,
to own things l couldn't afford.

To acquire this good taste
which you now enjoy,

and which l should be
very reluctant to give up.

Oh, you mean
you were frankly dishonest?

l tried to be.

You know, l thought you'd have
some defense, some tale of hardship.

Your mother ran off
when you were young,

your father beat you or something.

No, no, no, l was a member
of an American trapeze act

in a circus that traveled in Europe.

lt folded and l was stranded,

so l put my agility
to a more rewarding purpose.

You have no other defense?

Well, for what it's worth, l only stole
from people who wouldn't go hungry.

Your plate.

This is a quiche Lorraine.
l think you'll enjoy this.

Quiche... Yes, l've heard of it.
l've never had it, though.

-lt looks delicious.

Oh, it's wonderful.
And the pastry is as light as air.

Well, Germaine
has very sensitive hands,

-an exceedingly light touch.
-Yes, l can tell.

She strangled a German general once

without a sound.

What an extraordinary woman. l...

l take it
you were a sort of modern Robin Hood.

l mean, you gave away
most of the proceeds of your crimes.

Kept everything myself.

Well, let's face it.
l was an out-and-out thief, like you.

-Oh, l say, steady, old man.
-Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Did you ever take an ashtray
from a hotel, or a towel?

Souvenirs. They expect that.

You're given an expense allowance
to pay for all the meals

you eat on the job, right?
But this meal is free.

Now, are you going to deduct
the price of a lunch

from your expense account?

But of course you're not.
lt would be stupid. Do you agree?

-You're a thief.

Well, only an amateur thief, of course,

but it'll help you to sympathize
with us professionals.

-l don't think l understand fully.
-Well, now, let's look at it this way.

You're sorry you took the ashtray
or the towel from the hotel, aren't you?

-Well, right now, yes.
-And someday you're going to be sorry

that you didn't deduct this lunch
from your expense account.

My dear fellow, l can't possibly deduct

every little item
from my expense account.

-l frankly couldn't spare the time.
-Well, someday you'll wish you had.

Every time an ashtray
is missing from a hotel,

they don't come looking for you.

But let a diamond bracelet
disappear in France,

and they shout, "John Robie, the Cat!"

You don't have to spend
every day of your life

proving your honesty, but l do.

Well, let's get down to business.
The list.

ls something bothering you?

l told the police
what you were going to do.

Well, l didn't expect them
to like my arrangement.

You were wrong.
They thought it a splendid idea,

because they hope
you'll make a mistake

and provide them with the evidence
they need against you.

Yes. lt had to be something like that.

Suppose the whole thing goes wrong?

Come on, Hughson,
you're wasting time.

Quite a thorough job.
Have some wine, Hughson.

Yes, l think l will.

Oh, my. l wish l'd known
someone in the insurance racket

when l first started
in the burglary business.

Well, let me see.
My first bait will be this Mrs. Stevens,

the American woman with the diamonds
and the daughter.

-Do you know them?
-l'm having dinner with them tomorrow.

l could possibly arrange a meeting.

Hughson, in this business,
you can't do things the honest way.

Remember that.

No, no, what l mean, Mrs. Stevens,
wouldn't it perhaps be better

if you left some of that jewelry
in the hotel safe?

Stop acting like an insurance agent.

l didn't buy these things for my old age.
l bought them to wear.

Put your money away, Hughson.

You can cheat a little
on your expense account.

That's France.

Yes, and everyone from
the vegetable scrubber to the manager

gets a tip, whether he's earned it or not.
lt's the law.

Mother, everywhere you go,
you complain about tipping.

And l shall continue to complain.
l've just paid for the privilege.

Come on. Let's go over to the casino.
l want to hit the tables while they're hot.

Perhaps l should
just mail them the money.

Oh, no. No, don't bother, Pierre.
l can't afford it.

l wouldn't mind buying that for you.

-Oh, Mother.
-Come along.

Maybe Mr. Hughson
doesn't care for gambling.

Everyone likes to gamble,
one way or another, even you.

l have an intense dislike for it.

Francie, dear,
when the stakes are right, you'll gamble.

lt's an imitation? Really?

You mean costume jewelry?
Well, what do you know?

The things they make these days.

Why, you can hardly tell it
from the real thing.

Well, it's better than anything
we have back in Portland, Oregon.

Almost everything is.

Thank you.

l should never have stopped here.
Baccarat's my game.

Why did you let me get so close
to this whirling pickpocket, anyway?

Wouldn't you know?

Oh, l'm terribly sorry, madam. l'm...

Yes, but, madam, that...

Well, that was a 10,000 franc plaque.

Well, maybe she doesn't...

Well, of course, madam, if you'd
rather not take my word, it's all right.

Well, thank you. l'll trust you, too.
l won't count it.

lf Jeremiah were only here.

But he'd think all this flying around
from Palm Springs

to Saint Moritz to the Riviera...
He'd think it was all foolishness.

He used to say, "l wouldn't be
one of those silly society gadabouts

"if they promised me
l could live forever."

Well, he got his wish.

Mr. Burns,
where'd you say you were from?

-Jeremiah would have liked you.

A man with both feet on the ground,
that's what he was.

Unfortunately for him,
he never realized how valuable

the ground was he had his feet on.

-We had a ranch, you see. lt wasn't...
-Mother, please.

Oh, Mr. Burns would be very interested.

We had a ranch.
lt wasn't a very big one.

No plumbing. Little thing out back.

Poor Jeremiah.

He'll never know how close he came
to 20 million barrels of oil.

Bourbon's the only drink.

You can take all that champagne stuff
and pour it down the English Channel.

Well, why wait 80 years
before you can drink the stuff?

Grape vineyards,
huge barrels aging forever,

poor little old monks
running around testing it,

just so some woman in Tulsa,
Oklahoma, can say it tickles her nose.

Mother, l think we ought to go to bed.

Nobody ever calls me Jessie anymore.

Mr. Burns, would you call me Jessie?

-l'd be happy to.

Mr. Hughson, would you call me Jessie?

-lf you like.
-l like.

-Mr. Burns, you said lumber?
-That's right.

How come you haven't made a pass
at my daughter?

And don't say "oh, Mother" to me.

Mr. Burns, l asked you a question.

Very pretty. Quietly attractive.

Yeah, but too nice.

Sorry l ever sent her
to that finishing school.

l think they finished her there.

-Come on, Mother.
-And so to bed,

where l can cuddle up to my jewelry.

You know, Mr. Hughson,
as rare and wonderful as they are,

l think l'd rather have
100,000 Jeremiahs.

Well, l think l'll toddle along to my cot.

l'll be delighted
to escort you to your suite.

That's very thoughtful of you, Mr. Burns.
Come on, Jessie.

Mr. Burns,
do you make much money at lumber?

Well, right now building is booming.

Would you mind
if l had you investigated a little?

Not at all. With what object?

Well, if l were Francie's age,
you'd sound too good to be true.

Thank you, Mr. Burns. That...

You know,
there's very little lumber around here.

Just why did you come
to the Riviera, anyway?

To meet someone as charming as you.

Boy, now l am
going to have you investigated.

-Aren't you going in?
-l'm down the other end.

How much did he get away with
last night?

The gems were insured
for 35,000 in dollars.

Somebody wins, somebody loses.

Hughson, l sympathize with you.

Pretty rough, having to send
bad news like that into your home office.

l insured Madame Leroux personally.

Yeah. Well, at least you know that the...
You know, the burglar.

-What do they call him? The...
-The Cat.

Oh, yes.

Well, at least you know he's still around
and getting closer all the time.

That's something, isn't it?

Mrs. Stevens, would you kindly
keep yourjewelry in the hotel safe?

And what do l do when l go out,
wear the safe around my neck?

-Well, no, not literally. lt's just that...
-lt's just that your insurance company

goes into shock
every time something's stolen.

lf you haven't any guts,
why, you shouldn't have taken my bet.

Well, that's what it was, a bet.
Now, you want to welsh?

lf yourjewels are stolen,
you will be paid, of course,

but we couldn't replace
the sentiment and affection

you have for those particular pieces.

Mr. Hughson, l have no more affection
for that jewelry

than l have for a train ticket
that gets me somewhere.

They're pretty and they attract attention.

Most of all,
they make it possible for my daughter

to go to the right places
and not be ashamed of me.

That is, too ashamed of me.

-Good morning, Mr. Hughson.
-Good morning, Miss Stevens.

-Mr. Burns.
-You sent for me?

Yes, l thought we might go for a swim,
or, if you're not athletic, sunbathing.

l think l can manage to stay afloat,
thank you.

Mr. Hughson's been telling us
about a robbery last night

-after we went to bed.
-Oh? Who?

Madame Leroux,
wife of a high government official.

-Oh, too bad.

You should find a more happy business.

The famous jewel thief, the Cat,
is loose again, they say.

-Well, Mother, you're next.
-l'm insured.

Well, l'll get my bathing trunks.
Meet you in the lobby.

l'll just slip into something
and be down in a few minutes.

Goodbye, Mrs. Stevens.
Good hunting, Hughson.

Just a minute, Mr. Burns.
Weren't we... Weren't we going to...

Weren't we what? Going to what?

Well, last night we discussed going up.

-Up? Up?
-Up. Up.

-Up the funicular railway.
-l can't even spell funicular.

What are you doing this afternoon?

Oh, l went to a real estate agent.

He gave me a list
of furnished villas for rent.

-Oh, do you plan that long a vacation?
-l might even retire here.

lt says that some of the villas
aren't in very good repair.

Quite a few of the roofs
need careful examination.

Goodbye, Hughson.
Don't let the robbery spoil your day.

lt's only money,
and not even yours at that.

Should l ask the social director
to introduce us?

No, no, no. l was just wondering
which was the best way out of here.

Well, the Mediterranean
used to be this way.

Well, l'm a gambler. Let's try that.

There's a message for you.

Thank you.

You performed a very beautiful robbery
last night.

-Strictly routine.
-You're marvelous.

Last night you steal a small fortune,

and today you lie on the beach
with an American beauty.

Well, that's why one needs
a small fortune.

ls this your next victim?

Well, let's just say she's a useful friend.

You know,
your old friends of the Resistance

who work at the restaurant, they called
the police all sorts of terrible names

when they had to let you go yesterday.

Would it be bad manners to ask
who tipped off the police

at the flower market?

Oh, they never say anything
to the flics.

-You know that.
-Well, somebody did.

But still, they would be very happy
if you were caught during your next job.

Well, it's nice to know l have friends.

Perhaps it would be better
if you were caught.

Any particular reason?

l heard some talk in the kitchen.

They say, "What a pity
if they must kill the Cat."

They will do all they can
to avoid the prison.

Well, now, isn't that amazing?
The police want me in jail.

My old friends want me dead.
The Cat wants me out of town.

What do you mean,
the Cat wants you out of town?

He sent me a message this morning.

lt seems the sky
is about to fall in on me.

Then don't you think
it's foolish to remain here

without knowing
what will happen to you?

But if you were
in South America with me,

you would know
exactly what will happen.

You make it sound dangerous
either way.

lt would be so much nicer
to be killed by love, no?

Pardon me
while l get the water out of my ear.

John, you know what sort of men
they are at Bertani's.

Another robbery
and they will do something to you.

Yes, yes. Well, l better get back.

But what has she got more than me,
except money?

And you are getting plenty of that.

Danielle, you are just a girl.
She is a woman.

Why do you want to buy an old car
if you can get a new one cheaper?

lt will run better and last longer.

lt looks as if my old carjust drove off.

No, it hasn't. lt's just turned amphibious.


l thought l'd come out
and see what the big attraction was.

-And possibly even rate an introduction.

Oh, you didn't tell me your name.

-Danielle Foussard.
-Miss Foussard, Miss Stevens.

How do you do, Miss Foussard?

Mr. Burns has told me
so little about you.

Well, we only met
a couple of minutes ago.

That's right. Only a few minutes ago.

Only a few minutes ago,
and you talk like old friends.

Well, that's warm, friendly France
for you.

Well, l was asking
about renting some water skis.

Would you like me
to teach you how to water ski?

Thank you,
but l was women's champion

at Sarasota, Florida, last season.

Well, it was just an idea.

Are you sure
you were talking about water skis?

From where l sat,

it looked as though you were
conjugating some irregular verbs.

Say something nice to her, Danielle.

She looks a lot older up close.

To a mere child,
anything over 20 might seem old.

A child? Shall we stand
in shallower water and discuss that?

Enjoying yourself, Mr. Burns?

Oh, it's very nice out here.
You know, the sun and all.

Well, it's too much for me.
l'll see you at the hotel.

-l'll come with you.
-But, Mr. Burns, you didn't finish

telling me why French women are
more seductive than American women.

You know what l'd like to tell you,
don't you?

Wait a minute!

Oh, for...


Do you have time for me now?

Well, l'm sorry l was so long
out there at the float.

From what l saw of that girl,
l thought you'd be a lot longer.

Yeah. Well, what about cocktails?
6:00 suit you?

Well, we can talk about that on the way.

-To where?
-To rent you a villa.

Miss Stevens, picking out a villa is...
You know, it's a personal thing.

l have my car, and a basket lunch
with chicken and beer.

No, no, no.
lt's too much to expect of you.

lt'll be a tiring, dusty trip
over mountain roads...

Where you're bound to get lost.

A perfect stranger who doesn't know
a word of the language?

Well, l was going to hire
an English-speaking chauffeur.

You have one.

l'll give you a wholesale rate,
and no tipping.

l must say your terms are generous.

-Too generous to refuse.
-My terms usually are.

-Where's your car?
-lt's right there.

Well, l guess l can't seem to
get out of this gracefully, so let's go.

l've been waiting all day
for you to mention

that kiss l gave you last night.

You know, back home in Oregon,
we'd call you a headstrong girl.

Where in Oregon, the Rogue River?

Where were you born?

ln a taxi,
halfway between home and the hospital.

l've lived in 27 different towns
and cities.

Why? Somebody chasing you?

-Well, you can stop running now.

When l was 10, my father died
and they discovered oil on our land,

and that's when l really started to travel.

You mean the boys' fathers
were chasing you?


But l had the funny feeling
that all they wanted

was to get their hands on my money.

Oh, l'm impressed.

Well, on second thought,
back home in Oregon,

we'd have called you
a rich, headstrong girl.

-That would have made it all right.
-Money handles most people.

-Do you honestly believe that?
-l've proved it.

-You're a singular girl.
-ls that good or bad?

Oh, it's good. lt's quite good.
You know what you want,

you go out after it,
and nothing stops you from getting it.

You make it sound corny.

Oh, no, you're a jackpot
of admirable character traits.

l already knew that.

Yes, l will say
you do things with dispatch.

No wasted preliminaries.

Not only did l enjoy that kiss last night,
l was awed by the efficiency behind it.

Well, l'm a great believer
in getting down to essentials.

Yes, inviting me for breakfast,
planning a swim, and now this drive.

Miss Stevens,
l must say you are a girl in a million.

That's a routine compliment,
but l'll accept it.

-May l ask you a personal question?
-l've been hoping you would.

What do you expect to get
out of being so nice to me?

Probably a lot more
than you're willing to offer.

l know.

You're here in Europe
to buy a husband, huh?

-The man l want doesn't have a price.
-Well, that eliminates me.

You're absolutely right. Give me
a woman who knows her own mind.

No one gives you a woman like that.
You have to capture her.

-Any particular method?

But it's no good
unless you discover it yourself.

Are you sure this is the right address?

Well, it is a little large,
but it's on the real estate agent's list.

-Let me see.
-Let's look at the gardens first.

No need to bother the people.

-Why don't you own a place like this?
-Palaces are for royalty.

We're just common people
with a bank account.

That sounds
more like your mother than you.

There's not much difference
between us.

A few years and some grammar.

And jewelry. You never wear any.

l don't like cold things touching my skin.

Why don't you invent
some hot diamonds?

l'd rather spend my money
on more tangible excitement.

Tell me,
what do you get a thrill out of most?

l'm still looking for that one.

l thought we were going
to look at the gardens.

l was interested in the architecture.

turn of the century, isn't it?

-You never mention your wife.
-Never found the time to get married.

You don't seem to be
pushed for time now.

Or did you just come over
to add interesting items to your diary?

Like the name and description of
that French girl you swam out to meet.

You are husband-hunting, after all.

That wasn't jealousy you heard working,

merely disappointment
in your limited imagination.

Teenage French girls yet.

Oh, l'll bet you snowed her under.

The big, handsome lumberman
from America.

l'll bet you told her
all your trees were sequoias.

Yeah, well, that certainly sounds
like jealousy to me.

Don't be ashamed of it. Let it out.

-You're somewhat egotistical.
-Fighting fire with fire.

-Miss Stevens?
-Yes, Mr. Burns?

-You know what l think?
-About what?

-l don't really care.

Tell me.

You're an insecure, pampered woman
accustomed to attracting men,

but you're not quite sure

whether they're attracted to you
or to your money.

-You may never know.
-Anything else?

What you need is something
l have neither the time

-nor the inclination to give you.

And just what is that?

Two weeks with a good man
at Niagara Falls.

l'm hungry.
What about opening that picnic basket?

Not till we get to the picnic grounds.

-Which you've already picked out.
-Which l've already picked out.

-ls it far?
-Oh, a few miles.

-Lonely and secluded?

Well, then why are we
dawdling like this?

That's exactly
what was running through my mind.

Hey, slow down.

-And let them catch us?
-Let who catch us?

The police in the black car.
The ones who are following you.

l don't know what you're talking about.
Police following me?

Yes, police following you,
John Robie, the Cat.

Lovely day.

Have you ever seen
any place in the world more beautiful?

Just look at the colors
of the sea down there and the sky,

and those little
pink and green buildings on the hill.

Think of all those roofs
you could climb over.

-Who did you call me?
-Robie. John Robie.

One of the world's cleverest
jewel thieves, known as the Cat.

l read all about you in the Paris paper.

You may have read
about somebody called the Cat, but...

-l thought you said you were hungry.
-l am.

Well, the picnic basket's in the trunk.

l hope you try to bluff me, Mr. Robie,

and then l can have the fun
of telling you how clever l was.

Well, since l'm not Mr. Robie
but Mr. Burns,

there would be hardly any point
in trying to bluff you.

tell me how clever you were.

Well, the first thing
l noticed about you was...

Don't sound so pleased with yourself.

l've never caught a jewel thief before.
lt's stimulating.

-lt's like... Well, it's like...
-Like sitting in a hot tub?

Here, let me serve.

The first time l saw you
was on the beach at Cannes.

You swam ashore from a motorboat
driven by that little French girl.

You got an opener? Thank you.

-You want a leg or a breast?
-You make the choice.

That was just two days
before you showed up at the hotel

as Mr. Conrad Burns,
just over from America.

Did you swim?

Well, naturally.

Oh, now, don't be disappointing
and sound like Mr. Burns.

Well, l can only be myself,
Miss Stevens.

Then be yourself, John.

-l prefer Conrad.
-Oh, you can't be serious.

And l think it's about time
you called me Francie.

l have to look out for Mother. They've
tried to steal herjewelry before.

So when l read about the...
You in the paper,

just a small item, but l picked it up,
l was sure Mother would catch your eye.

Well, she did, because l liked her.

-And so far, Miss Stevens...

So far you haven't said anything
that sounds even remotely clever.

Well, stick around.
The next thing l noticed about you

-was something remarkable.

All evening long, you only looked
at my mother, never at me.

-l kissed you, didn't l?
-l kissed you.

l certainly wasn't
looking at your mother then.

You were thinking about her.

Otherwise you never would have
let me say good night so easily.

Well, l'm a gentleman.

A rough lumberman
from the big Northwest?

l must remember
to yell "timber" occasionally.

Now, here comes
some of the clever part.

You're just not convincing, John.

You're like an American character
in an English movie.

You just don't talk the way
an American tourist ought to talk.

Don't you know
that all the guidebooks say,

"Don't behave like a tourist"?

Well, it's just that you never mention
business or baseball or television

-or wage freezes or Senate probes.
-All the things l left America to forget.

You're just not American enough
to carry it off.

Tell me, how long has it been?

-How long has what been?
-Since you were in America last?

Oh, l don't know, about four or five days.

-And Oregon?
-Two or three days before that.

Name me three deciduous trees
indigenous to the Northwest.

Now, listen, you're a very nice girl,
but you've got too much imagination.

You go around
talking like that about me,

and l'll wind up in a French jail
for something l didn't do.

Are you going to rob Mother first
or somebody else?

Well, under the circumstances,
somebody else.

-That's nice. Mother likes you.

l think Lady Kenton
should be our next job.

-Now, listen...
-lsn't she on your list? She ought to be.

The Kenton jewels are famous.
l know every inch of her villa.

-l can already hear your next line.
-The Cat has a new kitten.

-When do we start?
-Don't talk like that.

You're leaving fingerprints on my arm.

-l am not John Robie, the Cat.
-Why are the police following you?

Show me that real estate list.

That villa we went to isn't for rent,
and you know it.

The Sanfords have owned it for years,
and l'm going to a party there in a week.

You have a very strong grip,
the kind a burglar needs.

That's why you came up here, isn't it?

We'll have cocktails at 8:00
and dinner at 8:30, all in my suite.

-We'll talk about it there.
-l can't come.

l'm going to the casino
and to watch a firework display.

-You'll get a better view from my place.
-Already got another date.

Everywhere you go, l'll have you paged
as John Robie, the Cat.

8:00, and be on time.

-l haven't got a decent watch.
-Steal one.

Excuse me. l could not speak
with you today, Monsieur Robie.

-l did not know your new name.
-l figured you'd have had a good reason.

What were you doing
at the Sanford villa, anyway?

l supply food and drinks
for the grand gala.

l was inspecting the kitchen.

I do not ask you
what you were doing there.

You prepare also, no?

There wiII be many women, rich jeweIs.

Just the bait l need.

Something the Cat can't resist, huh?

-l suppose all your boys will be there?

That's nice. You know,
they threatened to put me away.

Oh, Robie, they'd be much too busy
to do anything like that.

-Well, you keep them busy.
-Goodbye, Robie.

Oh, who was the pretty American girl?

You bring her
to my restaurant for dinner, yes?

Not tonight. She made
some small plans for the two of us.

Well, soon.

Good night.

lf you really want to see fireworks,
it's better with the lights out.

l have a feeling that tonight
you're going to see

one of the Riviera's
most fascinating sights.

-l was talking about the fireworks.
-l never doubted it.

The way you looked at my necklace,
l didn't know.

You've been dying to say something
about it all evening. Go ahead.

-Why, have l been staring at it?
-No, you've been trying to avoid it.

-May l have a brandy?

-Would you care for one?
-No, thank you.

Some nights,
a person doesn't need to drink.

Doesn't it make you nervous
to be in the same room

with thousands of dollars' worth
of diamonds

-and unable to touch them?

Like an alcoholic outside of a bar
on election day.

Wouldn't know the feeling.

All right. You've studied the layout,
drawn your plans,

worked out your timetable,
put on your dark clothes

with your crepe-sole shoes
and your rope,

maybe your face blackened.

And you're over the roofs
in the darkness,

down the side wall
to the right apartment,

and the window's locked.

All that elation turned into frustration.
What would you do?

l'd go home, get a good night's sleep.

Oh, what would you do?
The thrill is right there in front of you,

but you can't quite get it.

And the gems glistening
on the other side of the window.

And someone asleep, breathing heavily.

l'd go home, get a good night's sleep.

Wouldn't you use a glass cutter,
a brick, your fist,

anything to get what you wanted,

knowing it was just there
waiting for you?

-No, l wouldn't.
-Drinking dulls your senses.

And, if l'm lucky, some of my hearing.

Blue-white, with just
hair-like touches of platinum.

You know, l have about
the same interest in jewelry

that l have in politics,
horse racing, modern poetry

or women who need weird excitement.


Hold this necklace in your hand

and tell me
you're not John Robie, the Cat.

John, tell me something.

You're going to rob that villa
we cased this afternoon, aren't you?

Oh, l suppose "rob" is archaic.
You'd say "knock over"?

-Oh, for...
-Don't worry. l'm very good at secrets.

Tell me, have you ever been
on a psychiatrist's couch?

Don't change the subject.

l know the perfect time to do it.

Next week, the Sanfords
are holding their annual gala.

Everyone who counts will be there.
l'll get you an invitation.

lt's an 18th-century costume affair.

There will be thousands
upon thousands of dollars' worth

of the world's most elegant jewelry.

Some of the guests will be staying
for the weekend.

We'll get all the information and we'll
do it together. What do you say?

My only comment
would be highly censurable.

Give up, John. Admit who you are.

Even in this light, l can tell
where your eyes are looking.

Look, John. Hold them.

Diamonds. The only thing
in the world you can't resist.

Then tell me you don't know
what l'm talking about.

Ever had a better offer
in your whole life?

One with everything?

l've never had a crazier one.

Just as long as you're satisfied.

You know as well as l do
this necklace is imitation.

Well, l'm not.

Give them back to me.

What did you have in mind, Francie?

Give them back to me. Mother's jewels.

l don't have them.

Now tell me...
Wait a minute. Whoa. No, no, no.

-When did it happen?
-When l was asleep.

Well, let's look.

There's only one place to look,
and that's obviously here.

Help yourself.

Did you see Francie?
Did she tell you what happened?

Yes. She's downstairs,
searching my room.

Well, that doesn't make sense. She said
she knew where my jewelry was.

Well, she was wrong.
May l look into your bedroom?

lf you think it'll do any good.
But don't you think

we ought to call the police
and the hotel manager?

You know, they always like
to get in on these things.

Yes, but would you let me
look around first, Mrs. Stevens?

l don't care. l'd be just as happy
if you didn't find anything.

Why do you say that?

Oh, l'm a little tired
of draping those things over me.

lt was exciting at first, but, you know,

now l think it's more exciting
to have them stolen.

Yes, and of course
you can't lose financially

as long as Hughson is around
to make out the check.

Well, l'd be crazy
to take this attitude if l did.

Why on earth did Francie
suspect you, Mr. Burns,

a simple woodcutter from Oregon?

l'm anything but that, Mrs. Stevens.

My real name is John Robie. l used
to be a jewel thief several years ago.

Well, what a wonderful surprise.

Somehow, l can't get worked up over it.

-Where did you keep the stuff?
-ln the case over there.

-Watch out for fingerprints.
-There won't be any.

-Now, did they get everything?

Francie must have known about you
all along.

She guessed today.
You must sleep soundly.

l do.

He came down through the air shaft.

lf you're not Mr. Burns from Oregon,
why do you call yourself that and not...

-What was the other name?
-Robie. John Robie.

-Oh, Mrs. Stevens...
-Oh, l know the whole story.

You want to go straight,
but the gang won't let you.

-Well, in this case, the gang is the law.
-Mother, don't talk to him.

Don't touch anything.
You're not going to cover up any clues.

But there aren't any clues to cover up.
He came down the air shaft,

took the stones
and went away the same way.

You know how he got in here
as well as l do.

-Did you find anything in my room?
-l certainly did.

-Nothing of your mother's.
-No, you gave those to your accomplice.

But l did find that the clothes
of Mr. Burns, the American,

all had French labels in them,
and l found this.

A list of everyone on the Riviera
with jewelry worth stealing.

Listen to what it says about us.

What good is that going to do you?
You're already caught.

l called the police from your room
and told them who you are

and what you did tonight.

Everything? Oh, the boys must have
enjoyed that down at headquarters.

Mother, his name isn't Burns.

He's a notorious jewel thief
called the Cat.

And what's he doing here now, lamb,
if he already has got the junk?

Returning to the scene of his crime.

Since when is love a crime?

His name is Robie,
and for my money he's a real man,

not one of those milksops
you generally take up with.

-Mother, after all...
-After all, my foot.

Why do you think
we moved so many times?

Your father was a swindler, dear,
but a lovable one.

You ask me, this one's
a bigger operator on every level.

-Thank you, madame.
-Mother, this is why

l've had to spend half my life
traveling around the world after you,

to keep men like this away from you.

Well, after this,
let me run my own interference.

Looks like the blockers
are having all the fun.

Well, if she doesn't have
any common sense, l do.

Oh, shut up.

They were my baubles that were stolen.

lf l don't care, why should you?
They're insured.

Now, the big question is,
where do we go from here?

To jail.

Where is he?

-John Robie.

Never heard of him.

Mother, the book you're reading
is upside down.

We may be in France,
but l'm still an American,

and a man is innocent
until he's proved guilty.

-That won't be hard.

What's bothering you
is John Robie's the first man

who wouldn't fall down
and roll over for you.

Oh, Mother, he played us both for fools,
and you know it.

l know you ought to be spanked
with a hairbrush

and sent back to school, public school,

where they could pound some sense
into you during recess.

-He's a low, worthless thief.
-Just what did he steal from you?

Oh, Mother!

Sit down while l tell you something
about life and John Robie.

Sit down before l knock you down.

So for three days
you've been doing nothing but fishing.

Keep it down. Do you still believe
l did the Stevens job?

Well, l... Yes, until you sent for me.

lf you had done it, you'd hardly
risk my bringing the police with me.

Thank you.

As you've been safely in hiding
for several days,

why did you come out in the open?

-l need your help.
-Perhaps l need yours even more.

You see, my superiors
at the London office...

Well, this time l might solve some
of your problems, possibly all of them.

That's too much to hope for.

For three nights, l've been watching
one of the villas on your list.

-Oh? Which one?
-The Silvas',

that South American couple.

Somebody else is watching it, too.
l've seen him in the dark,

but l haven't managed
to get close enough

to catch him and to find out who it is.

-Has he seen you?

l want to set a foolproof trap
for him tonight.

To do that, l'm going to need
the assistance of the police.

Naturally, l can't approach them.

Well, how do you know
he'll be there tonight?

Somebody gave this to Germaine,
my housekeeper.

But it's in French. What does it say?

Roughly, it says, "Robie, stay away
from the Silvas' villa tonight.

"lt's my night to yowl, not yours."

-Who gave it to Germaine?
-lt was left in her shopping basket.

Look, Hughson,
get back to town and convince Lepic

to have the police at the villa
soon after midnight.

-You're actually going there?
-Of course.

But, Robie, that note
is obviously bait for a trap.

Someone wants you
to go to the Silvas' tonight.

-l know it.
-Possibly to kill you.

-Will you talk to Lepic?
-All right,

but, look, if this Cat doesn't show up,
the police might get you,

and the whole thing
will turn out rather badly.

No, maybe l'd better
go along tonight as your alibi.

Hughson, l know you get
your insurance rates at a discount,

but why be foolhardy?

Almost everybody in Philadelphia
reads The Bulletin.

Just a minute, Mother.

-What is it? What's all the excitement?
-The cat burglar's dead.

-John Robie?
-No, a man named Foussard,

a wine steward in a restaurant.

Honey, you better start practicing
your apologies in two languages.

You are positive Foussard was the Cat?

We have no reason to change
the story l gave to the newspaper.

Well, that's hardly
a direct answer, Commissioner.

l cannot give you another.
Now, if you'll excuse me...

One more point, Monsieur Lepic.
This is a check for $280,000.

That's nearly 92 million francs.

Now, since you caught
and unfortunately killed the Cat...

ln our opinion, he killed himself
attempting to escape justice.

Yeah, well, either way,
l've been instructed by my company

to pay off the Stevens' claim.

Now, l'm disinclined to do this
if recovery of the jewelry is imminent.

ls it?

-lt will take time.
-l'd say several centuries.

l just came in to congratulate you
on your capture, Commissaire.

All's well that ends well, huh?

Yes, newspapers have their headlines,
all the rich tourists can relax,

and you, Lepic, got your publicity

and possibly a commendation
from the Paris office.

Almost everyone
got some good out of it.

Oh, except, of course,
Hughson's company.

But then, they can well afford it,
can't they, Hughson?

Well, it has cut into their assets.

Poor Foussard.
Never guessed it was him.

Ordinary wine waiter.
Family man. Wooden leg.

Oh, didn't you know?
Why, certainly. He lost it during the war.

You know, that's remarkable, isn't it?

A man with a wooden leg
teaching himself to climb up walls

and to run over the roof
with the agility of a four-footed cat.

-ls that true?
-l believe he had a bad leg.

Yes, you showed such good taste
in keeping it out of the newspapers.

Well, l think it only fitting
that l drop into Foussard's funeral,

pay my last respects.

Oh, and at the same time
get a look at the real Cat,

who will certainly be there purring.

-You know who the real Cat is?
-ln a phrase, l do.

-Well, tell the Commissioner who it is.
-He wouldn't believe me.

-Well, then try me.
-You'd find it hard to believe.

But when l catch the Cat on a rooftop
with a handful of stolen diamonds...

Monsieur Robie, it's because
l gave this story to the newspapers

you're at liberty.

But the day l catch you on a roof,
l'll call the reporters again.

Lepic, that's all l wanted to know.

Good day.

A most unhappy affair, eh, Robie?

Unhappy because it isn't me
down there?

Poor Danielle.

l have a great compassion for her.

l'll look out for her.

What do you suppose happened
to all the stuff he stole?

That's a mystery.

The police have looked in every place.

Someday it'll turn up.

-The boys owe you many thanks.
-For what?

You know, for risking the prison
to capture the Cat.

Oh, that.

But you, you have no reason
to complain, eh?

Could you be a little more specific?

The American girl... What's her name?

Oh, Francie Stevens. That the one?

What luck.

A beautiful woman with love for you,
rich beyond your dreams.

l dream pretty rich.

-When are you going to America?
-l didn't know l was.

You will make a great mistake
if you don't marry her

and return to your native country.

Tell you what. Let's talk about it
at the Sanford gala over the weekend,

you know, between your catering duties.

-You are not invited.
-l will be.

What costume will you wear?

l'll figure out something to surprise you.

Good luck.


lt's because of you he's dead.

Get out!

Get out of here, killer.




Are you going to make it hard
for me to apologize?

-Not at all. l'm sure you're sorry.
-You know l am.

Till Mother told me, l had no idea
of the things you were up against.

Yeah, well...

What are your plans now?

-Now what?
-That the cat burglar's dead.

-Foussard isn't the Cat.
-But the newspapers...

The man had a wooden leg.

Wasn't he caught at a villa
trying to rob it?

He wasn't trying to rob it.
He was trying to kill me.


Because l was getting
too close to the Cat.

-Well, then who killed him?
-lf l ever find that out, l'll let you know.

-Goodbye, Francie.
-John, why bother?

You know, it's sort of a hobby of mine,
the truth.

-Let me do something to help you.
-Oh, no, thanks.

Now, you've just made your apologies.

Let's go back to our mutual disregard
of each other.

Mr. Robie,
l was wrong about you, l think.

You might possibly be wrong about me.

Well, now, that's another thing
that l may never know.

Now if you'll pardon me,

-l have a bus to catch.
-l won't pardon you.

l'm in love with you.

-Well, that's a ridiculous thing to say.
-ls it?

You know, to you,
words are just playthings.

Were playthings.

l'll make you a sporting, exciting offer.

l don't know if l'm up to it now.

Get me an invitation
to the Sanford gala. l'll take you there.

lt's costume, you know.
You can't go without a costume.

-What are you wearing?
-Louis XV.

Mother and l got them in Paris.

l'll phone you in a day or two.

Oh, you probably wonder
why l want to go, huh?

l have an idea.

l thought you might like to see
a real, live burglar in action.

Will it be dangerous?

Not for tourists.

Well, we're in.

Any man without a lady on his arm
can only be a policeman.

My nerves could stand a drink.

Your nerves and your mother.

There they are.

Police Commissioner Lepic
and one of his men.

Wigs, pantaloons and flat feet.

Come on.

Oh, my heart pills.

l can't drink champagne
without my pills.

lt gives me heartburn.

Where do you think
you left them, Mother?

Upstairs in our room.
They're in my purse.

Would you be a sweetie, John,
and go and get them for me?

Of course. l'd be delighted.

-Well, all l said was...

Never mind what you said.

Thank you, dear.

Shall we dance?

Well, l hope the London office
appreciate what l've done for them.

My feet are killing me.

Mother was quite a little actress tonight.

Yes, l thought she played her part
rather well. "Heart pills."

Frankly, l didn't believe this scheme
of yours would work, Francie, but it has.

l figured it was you
the night your father died.

He couldn't climb anything,

and you always did his legwork for him,

even during the war
when you were a kid.

Come down, Robie!

Come down, Robie,
or we shall be forced to shoot.

Put that gun down. He's not the Cat.

-Then what does he do on that roof?
-Yourjob. That's what he's doing.

-Madame, l can only believe what l see.
-You shoot him and l'll...

John Robie is just where
l knew he'd be someday.

He's not alone up there.

Oh, pull me up!

Don't shout. lt makes me nervous.
l might drop you.

-Then drop me.
-Whatever you say.


All right, now,
you've got a full house down there.

-Begin the performance.
-What performance?

You know,
the one in which you tell them

what is what and who is really who.

But, please, John, l might slip.

l figure l can hold you
for about 30 seconds, no more.

l did it for my father.

That's fine, but l already know it.

We're telling them down there,

Oh, l'll kill you when l get up there.

lf you get up here. Tell them.

l was working for my father!
Now, please...

Your father is conveniently dead.
Who else?

That's all.

You know, l'm out of training.
My fingers are beginning to open.

Tell them who was behind it,
who engineered the whole thing,

who knew as much about me
as l knew myself.

Go on! Go on!

Bertani. Bertani's was behind it.

We're telling them
down there, remember?

Bertani's was behind it!

-That's right.
-Oh, no! Please, please.

-Who brought you up here?
-The police.

And we would have caught you, too,
if my dress hadn't gotten caught

all over the steering wheel
and gearshift.

lt was only 20 minutes ago
l said goodbye.

As quickly as you could.

-Didn't l thank you?

Well, then...

Oh, John, you left in such a hurry,
you almost ran.

l had work to do up here.

Were you afraid to admit that you just
can't do everything by yourself,

and that you needed the help
of a good woman,

and you just aren't the lone wolf
you think you are?

All right.
Without you, l couldn't have done it.

l needed the help of a woman.

l guess l'm not the lone wolf
l thought l was, Francie.

Well, l just wanted to hear you say that.

Thank you.


So this is where you live.

Oh, Mother will love it up here.