A French Intelligence Agent becomes embroiled in the Cold War politics first with uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up an international Russian spy ring.
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
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. But in the next scene, when we see Keane passing by the piano, none of the three pages on it have any title at the top, only music, showing they are subsequent pages of that piece, and not the first one, as shown in the close-up. 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 »
I wish some other star rather than Gregory Peck had played the lead role. Someone like a Ronald Coleman (whom Hitchcock wanted) or Laurence Olivier (whom Selznick wanted). I personally would have loved Robert Donat, but any of the above would have served better. I like Peck normally, but in this film, he's too young and never convincingly English, despite his accent. Even without the accent, he doesn't suggest someone who is passionately and irrationally swept away, as the role calls for.
That said, I still love the film. Some Hitchcock films I love more--as I guess we all do--but I prefer this one over others. View THE PARADINE CASE and then compare it with the master's three movies that followed, those he directed without Selznick (ROPE, UNDER CAPRICORN, STAGE FRIGHT), and you'll see the touch that pervades those he made with Selznick. All the Selznick/Hitchcock flicks are wonderful; they are the director's most glamorous and romantic movies.
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