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The Paradine Case (1947) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (2)
Alfred Hitchcock wanted to cast Laurence Olivier or Ronald Colman as Anthony Keane, Greta Garbo as Mrs. Paradine and Robert Newton as André Latour.
David O. Selznick cut several scenes from this film. Some of these cut scenes survived and they are available at George Eastman House in New York.
An exact replica of the Old Bailey courtroom was constructed for the court scenes for $400,000.
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Alfred Hitchcock's last film under contract with David O. Selznick.
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The movie cost almost exactly the same to film as Gone with the Wind (1939), with most of the overruns due to David O. Selznick's constant interference with Alfred Hitchcock's carefully budgeted production and his insistence that Hitchcock do extensive re-shoots. Since Hitchcock required that he receive his contractual $1,000-per-day fee, Selznick took over, including supervising editing and the musical score.
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In 1980, a flood destroyed the original, uncut version, making the restoration of the cut scenes unlikely.
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While Alfred Hitchcock liked the actors, he felt that Gregory Peck, Alida Valli and Louis Jourdan were unsuited to their roles. David O. Selznick asserted his power as studio head to insist that Hitchcock use them.
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When Alfred Hitchcock delivered the completed film to the studio, after a Hitchcock record of 92 days of filming, it ran almost three hours.
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Alfred Hitchcock wanted to direct Ingrid Bergman in the role of a woman on trial for killing her husband - the part that eventually went to Alida Valli. Bergman wanted to avoid doing another movie for producer David O. Selznick.
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It was Alfred Hitchcock who selected Ann Todd for the role Gay Keane.
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When Keane goes to the Paradine house in Cumberland, he walks over to Mrs. Paradine's piano. On the piano we see close-up of a page of music called Appassionata Op. 69 by Francesco Ceruomo. Francesco Ceruomo is an Italianized version of Frank Waxman, who wrote the background music for the film. The music shown on the piano is the actual music that is playing on the soundtrack at that point.
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Ben Hecht and James Bridie wrote the original screenplay, based on the adaptation by Alma Reville. But David O. Selznick wasn't pleased. So David O. Selznick rewrote the script.
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Greta Garbo turned down the role of Martha in "I Remember Mama" around the same time she also rejected the role of "Mrs. Paradine" in Alfred Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1947). She is reputed to have commented, "No murderesses, no mamas."
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A memorable image in The Paradine Case occurs when Mrs. Paradine is taken from her life of luxury and confined to a bare jail cell. The slamming of the iron door behind her as she enters the cell recalls one of Hitchcock's own memories, that of six-year old Alfred being locked up in the Leytonstone jail.
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Although "The Paradine Case" was a box office failure, many critics noticed performances from Ann Todd and Joan Tetzel. Time Magazine (Jan. 12, 1948 issue) commented on their performances with remarks like this - "The only characters who come sharply to life are the barrister's wife (Ann Todd) and her confidante (Joan Tetzel)." Variety Magazine Commented about Ann Todd's performance in "The Paradine Case" like this "Ann Todd delights as his wife, giving the assignment a grace and understanding that tug at the emotions."
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Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick wanted either Ronald Colman or Sir Laurence Olivier for the role "Malcolm Keane." But both were unavailable: Colman was making "A Double Life" and Olivier was making his version of "Hamlet". So the role went to Gregory Peck. And the name "Malcolm Keane" was changed to "Anthony Keane."
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James Mason was also considered for the role "Anthony Keane."
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Alfred Hitchcock wanted Robert Newton for the role "William Marsh." But the role went to Louis Jourdan. So the name "William Marsh" was changed to "Andre Latour."
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In Hitchcock's rough cut and 131 minutes version, Ethel Barrymore can be seen as a half crazed wife of Lord Horfield played by Charles Laughton. But David O. Selznick removed these scenes in the final editing and the final runtime was only 114 minutes.
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According to Book "Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light", Hitchcock's favorite effect, he told Charles Higham, had been planned since the inception of The Paradine Case. Keane and Sir Simon Flaquer walk toward the camera as they enter Lincoln's Inn, part of venerable fourteenth-century London law complex. The two are seen entering the building, closing the door, walking up the stairs, turning the corner, heading along a landing into an office, and then continuing into the office, all without a single cut. It was one of Hitchcock's signature composites, using background projection and a treadmill, elaborately planned and prepared in advance by his second unit in London. Opposed to the long take, and oblivious of the significance of Lincoln's Inn, Selznick deleted the shot.
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According to François Truffaut, Director Stanley Kramer may have watched The Paradine Case before he shot the Nuremberg Trial in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Truffaut mentioned about some of the similarities between the two films in an audio interview with Alfred Hitchcock.
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The original Hitchcock script for the film was written by James Bridie, and 'Ben Hecht 'contributed additional dialogue. But this script wasn't used, because the characters were changed, for example William Marsh became Andre Latour. This Hitchcock script is available at IUCAT Library.
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One of several Selznick pictures sold to ABC Television as a film "package".
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David O. Selznick originally wanted Bernard Herrmann to do the score for The Paradine Case. But Herrmann wasn't interested, so Franz Waxman was hired to do the score.
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"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 9, 1949 with Louis Jourdan and Alida Valli reprising their film role and Joseph Cotten as Keane.
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In the adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie, Malcolm Keane (Anthony Keane in the film) is an Irish man, and Gregory Peck was of Irish descent.
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'Alfred Hitchock (I)' wanted William Marsh (Andre Latour in the film) to be "a manure-smelling stable hand, a man really reeked of manure." So he tried to get Robert Newton for the role.
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The music in "The Paradine Case" was written by Franz Waxman.

Director Cameo 

Alfred Hitchcock:  getting off a train at the Cumberland station carrying a cello (see also his cameo in Strangers on a Train (1951)).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

David O. Selznick cut several of Hitchcock's scenes from the rough cut. One of them was an eye contact scene between Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck) and Mrs. Paradine (Alida Valli) when Anthony Keane is questioning Andre Latour. Another scene that was cut from the film was a scene where Lady Horfield (Ethel Barrymore) tries to hide her coughing from her husband Lord Horfield (Charles Laughton).
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In the original Hitchcock adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie, there was a physical resemblance between Mrs. Paradine and Anthony Keane's wife Gay Keane. But due to casting changes, this idea was dropped altogether.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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