The beautiful Mrs. Paradine is accused of poisoning her older, blind husband. She hires married Anthony Keane as her lawyer and when he begins to fall in love with her, she encourages him. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In opening credits scroll below Ethel Barrymore: "and two new / Selznick Stars / Louis Jourdan / and / Valli". Alida Valli's name is in script form, and Jourdan had been playing leading roles in French films for several years before making "The Paradine Case". See more »
A technically sound, but ultimately unsatisfying courtroommelodrama
This is a disappointing effort from the team of Hitchcock and Selznick. Probably its greatest shortcoming was its inability to ingeniously circumvent the Production Code (as accomplished in "Notorious") to present its adult themes. As a result, even though it is obvious that the case itself is not the subject of the film so much as a backdrop for an awkward arrangement of love triangles and its effect on one "involved" attorney, the courtroom scenes are the most compellingly watchable of the film. In contrast, the final scene of the film does not carry the weight that it should and feels like a cheat rather than the resolution it pretends to be.
Some fault may be given to the just-OK performances from usually dependable actors such as Peck and Ann Todd. The stand-out performances here are from supporting characters such as Charles Coburn, Louis Jordan, Joan Tetzel, Charles Laughton and Ethel Barrymore, but they are either given very little to do or, in Barrymore's case, feel like they were interesting characters in sub-plots that were incompletely edited out of the film (usually a sign of a poor adaptation).
In the final analysis, this is a film that will probably only appeal to devotees of Hitchcock and/or Laughton.
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