There’s a clear difference between Alfred Hitchcock‘s handling of the runaway car sequence in Family Plot (’76) vs. the mountain road chase in To Catch A Thief (’55). For some reason the rear-projection footage feels bothersome in Plot (not to mention Barbara Harris‘s absurd over-reactions making things worse for poor Bruce Dern) but oddly natural in Thief. The fact is that Robert Burks‘ Oscar-winning VistaVision photography for Thief is handsome, beautifully balanced and easy on the eyes, and George Tomasini‘s editing makes the Thief sequence feel centered, relaxed and at peace with the universe. The reactions of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly to the various intrigues and impediments are just right; ditto the insert shots of Grant’s nervous hands. There’s a reason why To Catch A Thief is one of my favorite late-night comfort films and why I’ve never re-watched Family Plot (and I own a decent Bluray of it). Thief is smooth, elegant and comforting and Plot is not.