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The Paradine Case [VHS] [1947]


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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Ann Todd, Charles Coburn, Ethel Barrymore, Louis Jourdan
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Gregory Peck
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • VHS Release Date: 30 Oct 2000
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RRJS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,917 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Gregory Peck stars in this Alfred Hitchcock adaptation of Robert Hichens' novel. Barrister Anthony Keane (Peck) is defending the wealthy Mrs Paradine (Alida Valli), who has been accused of murdering her husband. Keane finds himself falling in love with his client, becoming obsessive about her to the exclusion of all else. However, the judge in the case (Charles Laughton) makes things difficult, adopting a belligerent attitude towards Keane because he secretly desires the lawyer's wife (Ann Todd).

From Amazon.co.uk

This minor 1948 film by Alfred Hitchcock beats a familiar Hitchcockian drum: an attorney (Gregory Peck), in love with the client (Alida Valli) he is defending on a murder charge, implicates himself in her guilt by trying to put the blame on another man. The no-one-is-innocent theme may be consistent with Hitchcock's best films and world view, but this is one of the movies that got away from his crucial passion for the plastic side of creative directing. Stuck in a courtroom for much of the story, the film is fit to burst with possibility but is pinned down like a freshly caught butterfly in someone's airless collection. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sherman31 on 21 Jan 2010
Format: DVD
it may not be one of Hitchcock's greatest but a must have for your collection none the less. this is worth watching for Charles Laughton portrayal of the Judge and we get to see Gregory Peck really get to stretch his acting chops. the casting is perfect for this picture. the story revolves around Mrs Paradine and her arrest for the murder of her husband. Gregory Peck is the hot shot lawyer defending her and he soon becomes infatuated with her to the extent that it almost destroys his family and career. to say any more would be to give too much of the story away. it may not have many of the usual Hitchcock flourishes but is a very enjoyable courtroom film
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Maybe it's not Hitch's best (neither his most famous) film, but it is a good work and quite different from his movies of the same period. In his interview by Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock said it was a tale of moral degradation: a woman falling in love for a rude stable-boy, and becoming a criminal. Too bad that Louis Jourdan isn't as sleazy as he should have been for the role of the stable-boy... Anyway, Alida Valli is ambiguous and fascinating, and Laughton menacing and funny as usual. As a whole, a morally intriguing and low key Hitch film. Recommended to his fans.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By stickinsect on 4 Nov 2009
Format: DVD
The Paradine Case is generally regarded as one of Hitchcock's lesser efforts, however most Hitchcock is still good Hitchcock.

This DVD presentation from Prism Leisure has a faultless restored image and clear sound, as well as some extra features. Unfortunately the extras are mediocre and most are not specific to the film, other than a few stills in the Photo Gallery. I found it difficult to sit through the Kim Newman interview. The presenter has a good knowledge of Hitchcock but his peculiar appearance and rapid fire delivery were off putting. For those wanting only the movie, this DVD will be more than adequate.

A much better DVD edition is available in R1, released in 2008 in a joint effort by MGM and 20th Century Fox. The image and sound are of an equally high standard, and it comes better equipped with extra features tailored to the film. These include a commentary by Hitchcock scholars Stephen Rebello and Bill Krohn, original theatrical trailer, Hitchcock audio interview with Peter Bogdanovich, 1949 Radio Play starring Joseph Cotton, isolated music and effects track, still galleries and English subtitles. These extras contribute greatly to the understanding and appreciation of the film, making the R1 edition the better choice.

Film 6/10, R2 DVD Edition 3/10, R1 DVD Edition 9/10
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Format: DVD
The movie is very proud to be a David O. Selznick film and displays it proudly at the beginning.

This is one of those movies where you go "yeah yeah" I saw before. You are probably thinking of Richard Attenborough's " Trial and Error" (1962) or Billy Wilder's "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957). Much of this film is predictable and then again maybe not. Remember this is a 1947 film.

Rich old blind Mr. Paradine, of whom we never met, is found dead; is it suicide or is it murder? Soon Mrs. Maddalena Anna Paradine (Alida Valli) is accused of having motive and opportunity.

Assigned to defend Maddalena is Anthony Keane, Counsel for the Defense (Gregory Peck). Even with Mrs. Paradine's wild past and alluring continence, Anthony, a happily married man, is sure threat the butler (o.k. the valet) did it. We the viewers also want to help him, as it is obvious if it was not the Andre Latour, Paradine's Valet (a very young Louis Jourdan) than you know who will hang. Not only that but we find the valet to be quite devious.

A plus that gives this film added character is Charles Laughton as Judge Lord Thomas Horfield.

Trial and Error (aka The Dock Brief)
Witness For the Prosecution
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sarah L. Willis on 30 Aug 2003
Format: DVD
When you've seen the great Hitchcock movies it can be hard to reconcile yourself to the lesser films, and personally I found 'The Paradine Case' profoundly unsatisfying.
The film is not without considerable merit. The witholding of truth until the denoument scenes is well scripted, the impact of the case on the central characters meticulously and realistically plotted and, as always, taking central stage in the emotional impact of the film. Gregory Peck in particular turns in a marvellous performace as a man so deluded by love that he drives himself to the point of self-destruction. His sweaty, defeated abandonment of his case is a painful, draining scene to watch - just as it should be.
The director's visual flair is obvious in some scenes - the ominous face of Mrs Paradine in her bedhead at the family home, the down-looking and through-bars shots of the conversations in the prison - but largely the action is supressed by the static courtroom and home scenes, so unreminiscent of Hitchcock's later assertion that is the movement of the camera that moves the audience. This film is _so_ still that at some points one cannot feel it at all.
The impassioned speech of Gay, instructing her husband to save Mrs Paradine so that she should not lose him, would in a later Hitchcock film be a suble and dramatic moment, but here it is just melodramatic. The cut glass English voices and imposing 'darlings' in every other sentence of personal dialogue leave you yearning for Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman - the Liverpudlian and the Swede - pretending to be American in 'Notorious,' with it's sharp, cutting dialogue and economical emotiveness.
Of course, some of the restlessness and dissatisafaction that the film imposed upon me was entirely intended by the director.
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