To Catch a Thief (1955) Script

(SCREAMlNG)

My jewels! My jewels! l've been robbed! Someone stole my jewels!

Help! Help! Police!

(WOMAN SCREAMlNG)

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

(WOMAN SHOUTlNG lN FRENCH)

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)


(TlRES SCREECHlNG)


(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)


(KNOCKlNG ON DOOR)

(DOOR OPENlNG)

(HOUSEKEEPER CALLlNG lN FRENCH)

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

(THANKlNG lN FRENCH)

-Lepic. -Mercier.

Monsieur Robie, we represent the Sûreté.

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?

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

(GUN FlRlNG)


(CAR ENGlNE REVVlNG)

(TlRES SCREECH)


(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)


(CHlRPlNG)


(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Okay.

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 1 5 years.

-Honesty. -Well, it has a good feeling.

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

-Bertani... -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.

(WOMAN SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Excuse me. Business calls.

Don't go.

(GREETlNG lN FRENCH)

(MAN SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

(PEOPLE LAUGHlNG)

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

(BERTANl CHUCKLES)

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?

-Surely. -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."

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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

-Where? -The beach club in Cannes.

Wait for a phone call there.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Okay, Mr. Cat, let's go.

Danielle, do me a favor. Don't call me a cat. l only do one favor a day.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Will you do as your father here asks?

Did l brush your fur the wrong way?

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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. -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?

(AlRPLANE HUMMlNG)

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. -Oh.

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.

Well...

Whoo-hoo!

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

-How much further to the beach club? -Oh, about 1 5 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.


(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

-Hello? -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.


Tails?

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... -Smith. 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.

Uh-huh.

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.

Okay.

(CROWD CLAMORlNG)

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

(BOTH SHOUTlNG lN FRENCH)

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)


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

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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? -lmmensely. 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 1 0 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? -Seventy-two.

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? -Yes.

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. -Yes.

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?

-Yes. -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.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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.

Handsome. 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.

ROBlE: 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?

(MAN SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Wouldn't you know?


(WOMAN GASPS)

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

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Yes, but, madam, that...

Well, that was a 1 0,000 franc plaque.

(TRANSLATlNG lN FRENCH)

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.

(LAUGHlNG)

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?

-Oregon. -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. -Good.

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 1 00,000 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.

-$35,000. -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.

Uh...

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.

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

-Yes. -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...


Here.

Merci.


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?

-Boys. -Well, you can stop running now.

When l was 1 0, 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?

Yes.

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? -Yes.

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.

Mediterranean, 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?

-You. -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. -Oh?

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? -Naturally.

Well, then why are we dawdling like this?

That's exactly what was running through my mind.


(HONKlNG)


(TlRES SCREECHlNG)

(CAR HORN HONKlNG)

(CAR CRASHlNG)

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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.

Nevertheless, 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... -Francie.

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. -Yeah?

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. -Well... 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 will be many women, rich jewels.

Just the bait l need.

Something the Cat can't resist, huh?

-l suppose all your boys will be there? -Naturally.

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.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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? -Please.

-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? -No.

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.

None.

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 1 8th-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? -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?

(KNOCKlNG ON DOOR)

To jail.

Where is he?

-Who? -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.

-Proved. -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.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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? -Probably. 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?


(MAN SHOUTlNG lN FRENCH)

(MEN GRUNTlNG)


(OFFlCER SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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.

(PRlEST REClTlNG PRAYER lN LATlN)


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.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Killer! lt's because of you he's dead.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Get out!

Get out of here, killer.

(DANlELLE SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Murderer!


FRANClE: John?

John.

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.

Why?

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.


ROBlE: 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.


(ALL SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

There they are.

Police Commissioner Lepic and one of his men.

Wigs, pantaloons and flat feet.

Come on.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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?

ROBlE: Of course. l'd be delighted.

-Mother. -Well, all l said was...

Never mind what you said.

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

Thank you, dear.

Shall we dance?

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)

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.


(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)


(CLATTERlNG)

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.

OFFlCER: Come down, Robie!

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

(SPEAKlNG FRENCH)


(GUN FlRlNG)

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.

(GUN FlRlNG)

HUGHSON: 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.

No!

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, remember?

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? -Politely.

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.

-Goodbye. -Goodbye.

So this is where you live.

Oh, Mother will love it up here.