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
According to the book "Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light", Hitchcock's favorite effect, he told Charles Higham, had been planned since the inception of this movie. 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, producer David O. Selznick deleted the shot. See more »
When Keane travels to the Paradine country home, his train is seen entering the village from the left, framed by an overhanging tree branch. When Keane departs the village, a train is shown beneath the same branch departing from the right. It's the same shot, flipped for reuse. See more »
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 »
OK, so it wasn't the most suspenseful movie Hitchcock ever made, but what a cast! Whenever you can get Charles Laughton, Ethel Barrymore, Gregory Peck, Leo G. Carroll, AND an exceedingly pretty Louis Jordan on the same screen at the same time, you know you're in for a treat. Laughton, as the judge, alone is worth the time spent watching this film.
True, they don't make "talky" pictures like this anymore, but that's half the fun. I think Maltin's 2 1/2 stars is just about right.
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