Since the late 60’s, John Boorman has been one of the most successful directors; he has made a handful of classics ranging from Point Blank to Deliverance. However, his directorial debut, Catch Us If You Can, has weirdly been one that not many have talked about or even seen! Compared to Boorman’s other films, his 1965 British comedy has been a movie that has gone under the radar. Now with the movie releasing for the first time on DVD and Blu-ray, is the film worth your time? Read on to find out.
John Boorman’s directorial debut has now finally been released on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital as part of Studiocanal’s Vintage Classics range (a selection of classic British movies which are given a new release that celebrates iconic films from the past) and is finally able to be seen in the most stunning way possible. The plot follows Dinah (Barbara Ferris), a model and actress whose face appears on an ad campaign for meat. While shooting a TV commercial, she and Steve (Dave Clark), one of the stuntmen, run off together. Before long, Dinah is reported missing and everyone is looking for her, making their getaway anything but tranquil.
The plot is fairly straightforward. This allows the film to establish its characters, tone and story almost immediately which allows everything to flow much more coherently making Catch Me If You Can a blast from the past from start to finish! Almost immediately, each character is given some depth to them and while some have more than others it doesn’t particularly matter since they all play off each other so nicely. The group of characters with the least character development are easily The Dave Clark Five who portray Steve’s friends who join him on the journey. Each character is given something to do and the way the movie came together during its finale felt satisfying and a great conclusion to the simplistic story.
The cast are all on top form. Each actor delivers a solid performance that progresses the story but also kept me hooked and wanting to know what will happen next. I was always invested in what I was watching and even when the film moves away from the upbeat nature, you can empathise with the characters and understand why they are feeling that way. However, the heart and soul of the film is the relationship between Dave Clark’s Steve and Barbara Ferris’ Dinah. Both leads have incredible chemistry with one another and the way their relationship develops throughout the film is shown perfectly on-screen.
However, the film does have some issues. For around ten minutes during the second act, the movie grinds to a halt and did feel like it was meandering quite a bit. The film did not progress and could have easily been edited to keep the pace of the film moving at a faster pace. Also, since Catch Me If You Can’s release in 1965, I do feel like I have seen this plot in other movies and television series’ since. For its time, the story is original, witty and a light-hearted watch and while it does hold up over fifty years later, the plot has been used many times which made many elements very predictable. You can feel where the movie is going from its opening sequence and that did temper my enjoyment with the feature sadly.
From its opening scene and tune from The Dave Clark Five, Catch Me If You Can had me hooked and left me wanting more by the end. The film does suffer some minor pacing issues and predictability but this is truly a blast from the past featuring great music, performances and direction from John Boorman. This is a welcome addition to Studiocanal’s Vintage Classics range.
Catch Us If You Can is now available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Platforms