1947                            Crime drama

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    • Gregory Peck Anthony Keane
    • Valli [Alida Valli] Maddlena Paradine
    • Ann Todd Gay Keane
    • Charles Laughton Lord Horfield
    • Charles Coburn Sir Simon Flaquer
    • Ethel Barrymore Lady Sophie Horfield
    • Louis Jourdan Andre Latour


  • Dir:
  • Prod:
      David O. Selznick
  • Scr:
      David O. Selznick, Alma Reville, James Bridie, from the novel by Robert Hichens
  • Ph:
      Lee Garmes
  • Ed:
      Hal C. Kern
  • Mus:
      Franz Waxman
  • Art Dir:
      J. McMillan Johnson




    [ t h e   p a r a d i n e   c a s e : m o v i e  r e v i e w ]

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    Classification: u

      That this film works at all is a minor miracle. Producer David O. Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock disagreed over the script, the shooting style, and the leads (Hitchcock wanting Laurence Olivier and Greta Garbo for the roles played by Gregory Peck and Alida Valli, in her US film debut).

      But despite all this, it works. The Paradine Case offer two hours of high dramatics.

      Plot concerns murder of a blind man by his wife so she can marry her lover. Her attorney, believing in her not guilty plea, fights for her life. Himself infatuated with his client, the barrister plots and schemes to defeat justice but as dramatic events are brought out the truth is revealed. There are no flashback devices to clutter the trial and the audience gradually is let in on the facts as is the court as the hearing proceeds and emotions take hold. Charles Laughton gives a revealing portrait of a gross, lustful nobleman who presides at the trial.

      Hitchcock's penchant for suspense, unusual atmosphere and development get full play. There is a deliberateness of pace, artful pauses and other carefully calculated melodramatic hinges upon which he swings the story and actors. Selznick wrote the screenplay, adapted from the Robert Hichens novel by Alma Reville and James Bridie. It is a job that puts much emphasis on dialogue and it's talk that punches. A very mobile camera helps give a feeling of movement to majority of scenes confined to the British courtroom as Hitch goes into the unfoldment of the highly dramatic murder trial.

      Gregory Peck's stature as a performer of ability stands him in good stead among the extremely tough competition. As the barrister who defends Aloda Valli, charged with the murder of her husband, he answers every demand of a demanding role. Ann Todd delights as his wife, giving the role a grace and understandng that tug at the emotions.

    • 1947: Nomination: Best Supp. Actress (Ethel Barrymore)

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