🎥 The Paradine Case – 1947
The Story …
In London, Maddalena Anna Paradine (Alida Valli) is a very beautiful and enigmatic young Italian woman who is accused of poisoning her older, blind husband, a wealthy retired colonel.
It is not clear whether she is a grateful and devoted wife who has been falsely charged or a calculating and ruthless femme fatale.
Mrs. Paradine’s solicitor, Sir Simon Flaquer (Charles Coburn), hires Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck), a brilliant and successful barrister, to defend her in court. Although Keane has been happily married for eleven years, he instantly becomes deeply infatuated with his client.
Keane’s wife, Gay (Ann Todd), sees his obsession, and although he offers to relinquish the case, presses him to continue. She knows that a “guilty” verdict, followed by Mrs. Paradine’s hanging, will mean that she will lose her husband emotionally forever.
The only way that she can regain her husband’s love and devotion is if he is able to obtain a “not guilty” verdict for Mrs. Paradine.
Meanwhile, Keane himself starts to focus his legal efforts on Colonel Paradine’s mysterious servant, André Latour (Louis Jourdan). Keane sees Latour as a scapegoat on whom he can pin the crime of murder, but this strategy backfires. After Keane pressures Latour in court, triggering an angry outburst, word comes that Latour has killed himself.
Mrs. Paradine is coldly furious that Keane has destroyed Latour, who was her lover. On the witness stand, she tells Keane that she hates him and that he has murdered the only person she loved. She goes so far as to say that she poisoned her husband in order to be with Latour.
Keane is overwhelmed. Attempting to summarize, he improvises a brief and faltering speech, admitting how poorly he has handled the case, but cannot continue speaking, and has to leave the court.
He stays overnight at Sir Simon’s office, feeling that his career is in ruins. Finding him there, his wife offers reconciliation and hope for the future …
- Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
- Screenplay by Alma Reville, James Bridie, David O. Selznick and Ben Hecht
- Based on The Paradine Case by Robert Hichens
- Produced by David O. Selznick
- Cinematography : Lee Garmes
- Edited by Hal C. Kern
- Music by Franz Waxman, Edward Rebner and Paul Dessau
- Production Company : Vanguard Films
- Distributed by Selznick Releasing Organization
- Release Date : December 29, 1947
- Gregory Peck as Anthony Keane, counsel for the defence
- Ann Todd as Gay Keane
- Alida Valli as Mrs. Maddalena Anna Paradine (as Valli)
- Charles Laughton as Judge Lord Thomas Horfield
- Charles Coburn as Sir Simon Flaquer, solicitor for the defence
- Joan Tetzel as Judy Flaquer, daughter of Simon Flaquer
- Ethel Barrymore as Lady Sophie Horfield
- Louis Jourdan as André Latour, Col. Paradine’s valet
- Leo G. Carroll as Sir Joseph, counsel for the prosecution
- Isobel Elsom as Innkeeper
- John Williams as Barrister Collins
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