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What Are Grace Kelly's Best Films? We Give the Top Three to Hitchcock

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood April 1, 2014 at 1:26PM

Grace Kelly is having a comeback this year. The Weinsteins' "Grace of Monaco," starring Nicole Kidman, is opening Cannes. And a new six-film DVD collection is set to arrive later this summer, celebrating the quintessential icy blonde. Which leads us to ask: What are Kelly's best films?
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Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in 'Rear Window'
Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in 'Rear Window'
Nicole Kidman in 'Grace of Monaco'
Nicole Kidman in 'Grace of Monaco'

Grace Kelly is having a comeback this year. The Weinsteins' "Grace of Monaco," starring Nicole Kidman, is opening Cannes. (The film mostly deals with the Hollywood star turned princess giving up her career for love.) Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox mounted a Kelly exhibition. And a new six-film DVD collection is set to arrive later this summer, celebrating the quintessential icy blonde. Which leads us to ask: What are Kelly's best films? 

1. Hitchcock's "Rear Window" is the clear frontrunner. A slow-burn masterpiece of reflexivity, the one-location tale sees Jimmy Stewart immobilized with a broken leg, left to let his mind and long-lens camera wander wild around the courtyard of his apartment block. And, lo and behold, he discovers Raymond Burr's up to some rather disturbing wife-removal. Meanwhile Kelly uses all her persuasive powers -- including a sensational shimmering nightgown -- to make the case for Stewart settling down with her. As if most men would think twice.

Indeed, Kelly did her best and most iconic work with Hitch. 

2. In "To Catch a Thief" cool heiress Kelly heats up cool cat burglar Cary Grant. In what would soon be her Riviera milieu, Kelly flirts over pieces of cold chicken ("do you want a leg or a breast?") and when they kiss, they ignite fireworks. 

3. Then there's the more dramatic 1954 "Dial M for Murder," in which Kelly plays an unfaithful wife who has to extricate herself from vengeful husband Ray Milland. Both "To Catch A Thief" and "Dial M for Murder" are included in the new box set. (Alas, "Rear Window" is not.)

The set's available July 29, via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Kelly's last TV interview, conducted by Pierre Salinger, is part of the special features. Here's the list of included films:

"Mogambo"

"Dial M for Murder"

"The Country Girl"

"The Bridges of Toko-Ri"

"To Catch a Thief"

"High Society"

Clips, after the jump.

This article is related to: News, Grace of Monaco, DVDs, DVD / Blu-Ray, Classics, Grace Kelly


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.