Region 1 Warner (USA)
NTSC, 1.33:1 and 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced
Audio: DD 2.0 mono and DD 5.1
Subtitles: Optional English (some have French and Spanish)
Released: 29 July 2014
Currently, Warner and Paramount have a three-year (2013-2015) agreement for the former to distribute the vast majority of the latter's movies on home video. Due to this agreement, Warner has been able to promote similar or related titles from both studios' libraries in new packaging.
Warner's new Grace Kelly Collection includes six of the actress's movies. (The five that aren't present are Fourteen Hours, High Noon, Rear Window, Green Fire, and The Swan.) This set also includes Princess Grace de Monaco: A Moment in Time on its own disc.
Undoubtedly, Grace Kelly's astonishing beauty continues to capture the imagination today. She did not have a long career, but High Noon is widely considered a classic. Rear Window and To Catch a Thief are enduringly popular entertainments.
Her acting, though, is a bit of an acquired taste. She spoke with what's called the “Mid-Atlantic” accent, which is an invented hybrid of American English and the “posh” British accent (only one of many in the UK). Depending on how affected her speaking was, Grace Kelly's performances ranged from the sympathetic to the grating. This is especially true of High Society, which I found to be almost unbearable due to Kelly's highly affected mannerisms. Indeed, I was shocked by how negative my reaction was to High Society.
Grace Kelly won an Oscar for The Country Girl, which is perhaps her most naturalistic and complex role. She plays a woman whom most of society perceives through her husband's descriptions. Eventually, we discover that she has been incredibly supportive and self-sacrificing despite her husband's passive-aggressive lies. At the opposite end of the spectrum, To Catch a Thief presents Grace Kelly at her most glamorous and playful.
Mogambo and The Bridges at Toko-Ri are fairly conventional melodramas despite their “exotic” settings. Dial M for Murder is rather stagey and excruciatingly obvious at times. However, even in 2D, you can see how Hitchcock adapted to 3D quite well. “Pop out” effects are apparent, and the camera moves in a way to highlight various planes within the depth of a shot.
Princess Grace de Monaco: A Moment in Time is a fifty-minute interview with Grace Kelly conducted by Pierre Salinger. This interview took place ten days before her death in a car crash. There are some softball questions, and Salinger seems too casual in both appearance and methodology. However, Grace Kelly provides some very candid and surprising responses. For example, she says that we should be less concerned with boundaries and frontiers than we are under the current IR system.
Note: There are three DVD versions of To Catch a Thief -- 2002, 2007, and 2009. This set has the same disc as the 2007 version. The 2007 and 2009 versions have different audio commentaries. The Blu-ray has the same set of Extras as the 2009 version.
These DVDs have been released and re-released several times under various guises. The oldest of these is The Bridges at Toko-Ri, from 2001. Video quality varies greatly, with Mogambo looking as if a layer of petroleum jelly had been applied on the film stock. The newest transfer, To Catch a Thief, looks the best. (Some of these movies are also available on Blu-ray.)
Some of these movies have basic DD 2.0 mono tracks, which tend to be thin and harsh due to the recording technologies of the time. High Society's audio was remastered in DD 5.1, which gives it a slightly “bigger” feel.
Mogambo = trailer
The Bridges at Toko-Ri = trailer
Dial M for Murder = “Hitchcock”, “Dial M and 3D: A Brief History”, trailer
The Country Girl = none
To Catch a Thief = audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich and Laurent Bouzereau, “Writing and Casting To Catch a Thief”, “The Making of To Catch a Thief”, “Alfred Hitchcock and To Catch a Thief: An Appreciation”, “Edith Head: The Paramount Years”, trailer
High Society = “Cole Porter in Hollywood: True Love”, “Gala Premiere for High Society”, four radio ads, “Millionaire Droopy” cartoon, trailers for High Society and The Philadelphia Story, text information about the production and filmmakers
The discs are kept in a large, colorless plastic case. You also get a small envelope which holds thirteen art cards and a reproduction of a letter by Bing Crosby about his experiences working with Grace Kelly. The case and envelope are housed in a cardboard slipbox.