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The Paradine Case (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 13 July 1948 (USA)
A happily married London barrister falls in love with the accused poisoner he is defending.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Robert Hichens (from the novel by), Alma Reville (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Anthony Keane
Ann Todd ... Gay Keane
Charles Laughton ... Judge Lord Thomas Horfield
Charles Coburn ... Sir Simon Flaquer
Ethel Barrymore ... Lady Sophie Horfield
Louis Jourdan ... Andre Latour
Alida Valli ... Maddalena Anna Paradine (as Valli)
Leo G. Carroll ... Sir Joseph
Joan Tetzel ... Judy Flaquer
Isobel Elsom ... Innkeeper
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Storyline

Following a short investigation, the London Police charge Maddalena Paradine with the poisoning murder of her older, blind husband, retired Colonel Richard Paradine, who was dependent on her and others to manage in his life due to his physical disability. She is up front about being a woman with a past, she only becoming wealthy and thus glamorous because of the marriage. Her personal solicitor Sir Simon Flaquer refers the case to his colleague Tony Keane. In spending time with Mrs. Paradise in prison, Tony is immediately attracted to her, that attraction which morphs into obsession. As such, Tony does whatever he can to clear her of the charges, either in mounting a defense of suicide, assisted or not, or that someone else killed him, the most likely candidate being the Colonel's trusted valet, Andre Latour, with who Tony initially believes Mrs. Paradise was having an affair. In the process, Tony may be blinded to the evidence as it presents itself. Who can see what is going on is ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1946. See more »

Goofs

When Latour is seen in close-up in the court, there is a man on either side of him. In the long shots, there is nobody near him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lakin: Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes, mum.
Mrs. Maddalena Anna Paradine: Thank you, Lakin.
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Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

The film made its network television debut in a severely edited 95 minute version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in O Solon Etsi kai to diamanti tou Milou (1988) See more »

User Reviews

Fine Cast in Slow-Moving But Interesting Drama
9 July 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Because this movie has so few of the features normally associated with a Hitchcock picture, it has a rather poor reputation. But it has a fine cast, most of whom perform quite well, and if the story is taken on its own merits it is interesting, although slow-moving and heavily dependent on the characters' conversations with one another. If it had been made by someone else, it might seem like more of an accomplishment.

In "The Paradine Case", Mrs. Paradine (Alida Valli) is arrested and tried for the murder of her husband. She is defended by the great lawyer Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck), who quickly becomes intoxicated by his client and loses all objectivity. Even as evidence mounts that she may have done the crime after all, he risks his marriage and reputation on the slightest of chances to find new evidence. It moves quite slowly, but is helped by the presence of many good supporting characters and a fine cast that portrays them convincingly. Things come together in a lengthy courtroom sequence that is sometimes uncomfortable to watch, but tense and realistic.

Many viewers feel let down by the film because it lacks the energy and excitement found in most of Hitchcock's films, and because the courtroom setting creates expectations that are not quite filled. Indeed, it does have its faults, and it's hard to believe that someone of Hitchcock's creative genius could not have thought of some ways to give more life to the body of the picture, because there are times when it really crawls along. But taken on its own merits, it is a pretty good movie, carefully filmed as always, and one that gives the viewer plenty to think about. There are some good scenes, with the best one being the subtly crafted opening sequence of Mrs. Paradine being arrested in her elegant home and taken to prison.

Many Hitchcock fans will not particularly enjoy this one, although if you like his more somber masterpieces such as "Vertigo", you might at least want to give this one a try - not that it is nearly as good as "Vertigo" (how many films are), but it is somewhat similar in tone. It works much better as straight drama, rather than as suspense or mystery, and as such it is worth watching.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's The Paradine Case See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,258,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,789
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) | (original) | (edited television) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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