The Info List - The Paradine Case

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The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
is a 1947 American film noir courtroom drama film, set in England, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by Selznick and an uncredited Ben Hecht, from an adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie
James Bridie
of the novel by Robert Smythe Hichens.[3] The film stars Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Alida Valli, Charles Laughton, Charles Coburn, Ethel Barrymore and Louis Jourdan. It tells of an English barrister who falls in love with a woman who is accused of murder, and how it affects his relationship with his wife.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Critical reception 5 Awards and honors 6 Adaptation 7 References 8 External links


Alida Valli
Alida Valli

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 11 years, he instantly becomes deeply infatuated with this exotic, mysterious, and fascinating client. Keane's kind-hearted 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). Consciously or subconsciously, Keane sees Latour as a suitable scapegoat on whom he can pin the crime of murder, but this strategy backfires. After Keane has pressured 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, in fact, her lover. On the witness stand, she tells Keane 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, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Attempting to sum up, 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. His wife finds him there; she offers reconciliation, and hope for the future. Cast[edit]

Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
as Anthony Keane, Counsel for the Defence Ann Todd
Ann Todd
as Gay Keane Alida Valli
Alida Valli
as Mrs. Maddalena Anna Paradine Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
as Judge Lord Thomas Horfield Charles Coburn
Charles Coburn
as Sir Simon Flaquer, Solicitor
for the Defence Joan Tetzel
Joan Tetzel
as Judy Flaquer, daughter of Simon Flaquer Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
as Lady Sophie Horfield Louis Jourdan
Louis Jourdan
as André Latour, Paradine's valet Leo G. Carroll
Leo G. Carroll
as Sir Joseph, Counsel for the Prosecution Isobel Elsom
Isobel Elsom
as Innkeeper John Williams as Barrister

Cast notes

Hitchcock had originally wanted Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
to play Mrs. Maddalena Anna Paradine, but she turned down the role after the screen test,[4] which allowed Alida Valli
Alida Valli
to step into the role for her American film debut. The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
was also the American film debut of Louis Jourdan as André Latour, Paradine's valet.[5] Both Valli and Jourdan hoped that the film would give them the status in the U.S. that they enjoyed in their home countries ( Italy
and France), but that did not come about, though Jourdan in particular went on to make many U.S. films.[6]

Production[edit] David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick
had purchased the rights to Robert Smythe Hichens' novel in 1933, before it was published, when Selznick was still at MGM, with Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
in mind to star – indeed, Garbo was Hichens' inspiration for the creatsion of "Mrs. Paradine". Garbo did consider doing the film, but ultimately turned it down, as she decided to retire from acting.[5][7] (Garbo had also turned down I Remember Mama at about the same time, and is reputed to have said "No murderesses, no mamas".[3]) Howard Estabrook
Howard Estabrook
was assigned to write the script at that time, and it was announced that John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
and Diana Wynyard would star in the film. A draft of the script was submitted by MGM
to the censors at the Hays Office, who warned that the script would likely be rejected since Mrs. Paradine was guilty of murder, adultery and perjury, and later committed suicide. They also objected to the judge being portrayed as a sadist who enjoyed sending people to their deaths. A new draft of the script was submitted, but not for some years, in 1942, and this script was approved. In 1946, another version was sent in, and this was also approved after the suicide was removed from the story.[5] In 1946, it was announced that Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
would direct the film, and that Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
would star as the barrister,[5] but Olivier eventually turned the project down, as he was preparing for his production of Hamlet.[7] Hitchcock was also interested in Ronald Colman for the part, as well as Garbo (who had not yet turned down the project) or Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
for "Mrs. Paradine". Other actors who were considered for the film include: Maurice Evans, Joseph Cotten, Alan Marshal, James Mason
James Mason
for "Anthony Keane"; Hedy Lamarr
Hedy Lamarr
for Mrs. Paradine; Claude Rains
Claude Rains
for "Lord Thomas Horfield"; and Robert Newton for Mrs. Paradine's lover.[5] In the end, Hitchcock pushed for Gregory Peck, then at the peak of his box office appeal, Ann Todd
Ann Todd
was loaned from the Rank Organisation
Rank Organisation
to play his wife, and Selznick settled on Alida Valli, considered one of the most promising actresses in the Italian cinema for "Mrs. Paradine".[6]

Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
and Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
in discussion on the set of The Paradine Case

The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
was the last film made under Hitchcock's seven-year contract with Selznick, and it has been suggested that Hitchcock was tired of the association by that time. In an interview with François Truffaut, Hitchcock said that he and his wife Alma Reville wrote the first draft of the script together, before bringing in Scottish playwright James Bridie
James Bridie
to do a polishing – but Selznick was dissatisfied with the result, and would view the previous day's rushes, do a rewrite, and send the new scenes to the set to be shot.[5][6] According to his biographer Donald Spoto "...Hitchcock's disgust with the content and method that were forced upon him conspired to produce an uneasy atmosphere from which Hitchcock could scarcely wait to extricate himself." Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
said of the director, "He seemed really bored with the whole thing..."[8] The film was in production from December 19, 1946 to May 7, 1947,[9] with retakes done in November of that year. Although some external shots show the Lake District
Lake District
in Cumbria, the rest of the footage was shot entirely on three sets at Selznick's Culver City, California
Culver City, California
lot a first in Selznick's career as an independent producer.[5] Selznick reportedly spared no expense:[7] the set for the courtroom scenes exactly duplicated a courtroom in London's Old Bailey, photographed, with permission, by unit manager Fred Ahern, and built in 85 days at the cost of $80,000. Unusually, the set had ceilings to allow for low camera angles.[5] For the courtroom sequence, Hitchcock used a new technique by utilizing four cameras shooting simultaneously, each focused on one of the principal actors in the scene – multiple camera photography had been used in the past, but only to shoot the same subject.[5] This set-up, including elaborately choreographed crane shots, allowed Hitchcock to shoot long 10-minute takes, something he would push to the limit on his next two films, Rope (1948) and Under Capricorn (1949).[4] The completed film cost an estimated $4,258,000 to make, almost as expensive as Gone with the Wind. Selznick maintained close supervision on the production, and interfered with Hitchcock's normally carefully budgeted process by insisting on extensive re-takes. When Hitchcock insisted on receiving his contractual $1000/day fee, Selznick took over post-production himself, supervising the editing and the scoring of the film.[3] The producer went through eighteen different title changes for the picture before rechristening it The Paradine Case, just hours before the premiere.[10] The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
had its world premiere in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
on December 29, 1947, opening simultaneously in two theatres across the street from each other in Westwood.[5] It then had its New York City
New York City
premiere on January 8, 1948.[5][11][12] On its initial release, the film was 132 minutes long, due to Selznick's editing of Hitchcock's rough cut, which ran almost three hours. After the film's premieres, Selznick pulled the film from distribution and re-cut it for general release, bringing it down to 114 minutes, which is currently the length of the film on DVD release. In 1980, a flood reportedly destroyed the uncut original version of the film, making a restoration of that version unlikely.[3] The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
was not a box office success: worldwide receipts barely covered half of the cost of production.[6] Almost every Hitchock film, of course, has a cameo appearance by Alfred Hitchcock. In this film, he can be seen leaving the Cumberland train station, carrying a cello, at about 38 minutes into the film. Hitchcock described The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
as "...a love story embedded in the emotional quicksand of a murder trial". Critical reception[edit] Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, liked the film, the acting, and Hitchcock's direction, and wrote, "With all the skill in presentation for which both gentlemen are famed, David O. Selznick and Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
have put upon the screen a slick piece of static entertainment in their garrulous The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
... Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
is impressively impassioned as the famous young London
barrister who lets his heart, cruelly captured by his client, rule his head. And Ann Todd, the pliant British actress, is attractively anguished as his wife. Alida Valli, an import from Italy, makes the caged Mrs. Paradine a compound of mystery, fascination and voluptuousness with a pair of bedroom eyes, and Louis Jourdan, a new boy from Paris, is electric as the badgered valet."[13] Despite the mixed reviews the movie received, most critics noted the strong performances of Ann Todd
Ann Todd
and Joan Tetzel. Awards and honors[edit] Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
was nominated for a 1947 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Lady Sophie Horfield, but lost to Celeste Holm
Celeste Holm
in Gentleman's Agreement.[14] Adaptation[edit] Lux Radio Theatre
Lux Radio Theatre
broadcast a radio adaptation of the film on 9 May 1949, starring Joseph Cotten, with Alida Valli
Alida Valli
and Louis Jourdan reprising their roles.[5] References[edit]


^ a b David Thomson, Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, Abacus, 1993 p 506 ^ Variety puts US rentals at $2.2 million - see "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46 ^ a b c d The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
on IMDb. ^ a b Erickson, Hal "The Paradine Case" (Allmovie) ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l TCM Notes ^ a b c d Steinberg, Jay S. "The Paradine Case" (TCM article) ^ a b c Osborne, Robert. Comments on Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
broadcast of The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
on June 28, 2007 ^ Spoto, Donald. The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. pp. 294, 298. ISBN 0-316-80723-0 ^ IMDB Business data ^ Spoto, p. 296 ^ TCM Overview ^ IMDB Release dates ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, "Selznick and Hitchcock Join Forces on Paradine Case", January 8, 1948. Last accessed: January 6, 2008. ^ 1947 Academy Awards Winners and History


The Paradine Case, Hichens Robert, Ernest Benn (1947), ASIN B00178VIDM The Complete Films of Alfred Hitchcock, Michael S. Lasky and Robert A. Harris, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-2427-8

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Paradine Case

Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Paradine Case.

The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
on IMDb The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
at the TCM Movie Database The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
at AllMovie The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
at Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
the Master of Suspense The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
at Rogue Press 1: In and Around The Paradine Case: Control, Confession and the Claims of Marriage by Douglas Pye The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
at Rogue Press 2: 'When I Made The Paradine Case' by Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
and Mark Rappaport http://www.hitchcockwiki.com/wiki/The_Paradine_Case_(1947) The Paradine Case] at Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Wiki The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
film clip at TCM Media Room The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
on Lux Radio Theater: May 9, 1949 The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
at Louisjourdan.net

v t e

Alfred Hitchcock

Filmography Unproduced projects Themes and plot devices Cameos Awards and honors

Feature films

Silent films

The Pleasure Garden (1925) The Mountain Eagle
The Mountain Eagle
(1926) The Lodger: A Story of the London
Fog (1927) The Ring (1927) Downhill (1927) The Farmer's Wife (1928) Easy Virtue (1928) Champagne (1928) The Manxman
The Manxman

British sound films

Blackmail (1929) Juno and the Paycock (1930) Murder! (1930) Elstree Calling
Elstree Calling
(1930) The Skin Game (1931) Mary (1931) Rich and Strange (1931) Number Seventeen
Number Seventeen
(1932) Waltzes from Vienna
Waltzes from Vienna
(1934) The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) The 39 Steps (1935) Secret Agent (1936) Sabotage (1936) Young and Innocent
Young and Innocent
(1937) The Lady Vanishes
The Lady Vanishes
(1938) Jamaica Inn (1939)

Hollywood and later

Rebecca (1940) Foreign Correspondent (1940) Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) Suspicion (1941) Saboteur (1942) Shadow of a Doubt
Shadow of a Doubt
(1943) Lifeboat (1944) Spellbound (1945) Notorious (1946) The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
(1947) Rope (1948) Under Capricorn (1949) Stage Fright (1950) Strangers on a Train (1951) I Confess (1953) Dial M for Murder
Dial M for Murder
(1954) Rear Window
Rear Window
(1954) To Catch a Thief
To Catch a Thief
(1955) The Trouble with Harry
The Trouble with Harry
(1955) The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man
(1956) Vertigo (1958) North by Northwest
North by Northwest
(1959) Psycho (1960) The Birds (1963) Marnie (1964) Torn Curtain
Torn Curtain
(1966) Topaz (1969) Frenzy
(1972) Family Plot
Family Plot

Short films

Always Tell Your Wife (1923) An Elastic Affair (1930) Aventure Malgache (1944) Bon Voyage (1944) The Fighting Generation (1944)


Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock


List of The Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Hour episodes Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Presents (1985 TV series)


Hitchcockian Number 13 The Blackguard Lord Camber's Ladies German Concentration Camps Factual Survey Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Edition Clue Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine Alfred Hitchcock's Anthology Three Investigators Transatlantic Pictures High Anxiety Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
and the Making of Psycho Hitchcock The Girl Hitchcock/Truffaut



Alma Reville Pat Hitchcock

v t e

Filmography of David O. Selznick

Roulette (1924) Forgotten Faces (1928) Chinatown Nights (1929) Betrayal (1929) The Man I Love (1929) The Four Feathers (1929) Street of Chance (1930) What Price Hollywood?
What Price Hollywood?
(1932) A Bill of Divorcement (1932) Rockabye (1932) The Animal Kingdom
The Animal Kingdom
(1932) Topaze (1933) Our Betters
Our Betters
(1933) Christopher Strong
Christopher Strong
(1933) Dinner at Eight (1933) Night Flight (1933) Meet the Baron
Meet the Baron
(1933) Dancing Lady
Dancing Lady
(1933) Viva Villa!
Viva Villa!
(1934) Manhattan Melodrama
Manhattan Melodrama
(1934) David Copperfield (1935) Vanessa: Her Love Story (1935) Reckless (1935) Anna Karenina (1935) A Tale of Two Cities (1935) Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) The Garden of Allah (1936) A Star Is Born (1937) The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) Nothing Sacred (1937) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) The Young in Heart (1938) Made for Each Other (1939) Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) Gone with the Wind (1939) Rebecca (1940) Reward Unlimited
Reward Unlimited
(1944, short) Since You Went Away
Since You Went Away
(1944) I'll Be Seeing You (1945) Spellbound (1945) Duel in the Sun (1946) The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
(1948) Portrait of Jennie
Portrait of Jennie
(1948) The Third Man
The Third Man
(1949) Gone to Earth (1950) Stazione Termini (1954) Light's Diamond Jubilee (1954, TV) A Farewell to Arms (1957)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 316751821 GND: 4825417-4 BNF: