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Paradine Case [VHS]

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Paradine Case [VHS] + Foreign Correspondent [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton, Charles Coburn, Ethel Barrymore
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: David O. Selznick, Alma Reville, Ben Hecht, James Bridie, Robert Hichens
  • Producers: David O. Selznick
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • VHS Release Date: September 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305122695
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,033 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A relatively unknown 1947 Alfred Hitchcock thriller about a happily married London barrister who falls in love with the accused poisoner he is defending. Stars Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton


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 worldview, 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

Customer Reviews

It makes no sense to me that this movie is not recognized as one of Hitchcock's best.
Barbara Yoder
One thing this movie has going for it is that it's beautifully shot, with great cinematography, camerawork, lighting, atmosphere, and sets.
The way he treats her, the way she keeps making excuses for him - oh, it just frustrated me so much!!
Swamp Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on August 23, 2004
Format: DVD
Alida Valli didn't make very many pictures in the USA, but the ones she did are without exception worth seeing.

In Italy, of course, she is as important to the indigenous cinema as Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida put together. But here is the USA, she starred in a mere handful of pictures, and we remember her mainly via her connection to David Selznick, for whom she made THE THIRD MAN and THE PARADINE CASE. THE MIRACLE OF THE BELLS and WALK SOFTLY, STRANGER are also worth seeing. In THE PARADINE CASE, she is on trial for murdering her husband in a stuffy British courtroom, to which her sultry and exotic beauty is continually being counterpointed. She is a bird in a gilded cage all right, literally and figuratively. Gregory Peck falls hard for her, and it's watching how low he goes that makes this film one of Hitchcock's best. He even quarrels with his wife, the cold, perfect Ann Todd, and makes it plain to her and to everyone in their bourgeois social circle that he has fallen in love with his client, thus breaking all the rules in one fell swoop.

He begins to suspect that Valli has been framed, and he begins to suspect Louis Jourdan, Paradine's handsome manservant, of an illicit interest in his master's wife. The scenes between Peck and Jourdan are fiery and full of passion. Each of them is fighting for his life and honor. There is as well an erotic charge between the two of them. In a sense Peck is representing the colonialist who seeks authenticity by embroiling himself in the lives and bodies of a darker and more obviously sexed people, whether they be Italian or French. He gets slapped down for his efforts.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Schuyler V. Johnson VINE VOICE on February 25, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thus spake Andre La Tour, the valet and the catalyst for the murder of Col. Paradine. Valli is Mrs. Paradine, and she wants Andre La Tour, so badly she murders her husband and benefactor to remove any and all obstacles standing between her and La Tour. Louis Jourdan is La Tour, and handsome in a sharp, chiseled way; Valli is really something to see, very beautiful and arresting, and the accent further enhances her mysterious image. Gregory Peck, her attorney, falls for her, hard and fast, and is almost sympathetic in his desire to possess her. Ann Todd, a curious mixture of ice and warmth, is steadfast in her loyalty to her husband, and Joan Tetzel is good as her friend and the daughter of Charles Coburn, (I enjoy the banter between Coburn and Tetzel, he is always a joy to watch)who is a colleague of Gregory Peck's. The score by Franz Waxman is one of the stars of the movie, and haunting, as his music always is. The movie is unusual and quieter than the typical Hitchcockian fare, but should not be judged more harshly for that, but taken on it's own merits, which it has in abundance. Charles Laughton ("curious how the convolutions of a walnut resemble those of the human brain...") is wonderful as the censorious and righteous Judge of the proceedings, and rather an unpleastant bully to his wife, Ethel Barrymore, who seems rather wasted in this weak role as the much maligned wife. She is one of my favorite actresses, but I much prefer her in "The Spiral Staircase", a much richer role and one more worthy of her immense talent. I own this on VHS and DVD, and of course, the DVD is far superior in quality.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Silva on September 11, 2002
Format: DVD
Pleasant and interesting courtroom drama set in England, about a beautiful young widow, accused of murdering her much-older, rich and blind husband, defended on trial by a successful barrister who, in the process, gets caught under her spell, eventually falling in love with her.
Italian actress (Alida) Valli is alluring, ravishing, sophisticated and mysterious, as the lady in question. Gregory Peck is good as the barrister, so absolutely infatuated with Valli, that risks his own career for her sake. English actress Ann Todd is also good as his troubled wife. Others in this stellar cast: Charles Coburn, Joan Tetzel, Louis Jourdan, Ethel Barrymore and, last but not least, Charles Laughton, who gives an excellent performance as an aristrocratic, rather cruel and ironic Judge.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "silo1013" on August 18, 2000
Format: DVD
Frankly, I can't see what the fuss is all about. We watch Gregory Peck's character make a fool of himself for an nearly two hours over his beautiful client, Mrs. Paradine, with whom he is harmlessly infatuated. Well, it would have been a harmless infatuation if he weren't such a damn fool.. making sloppy errors that no lawyer, as good as he is supposed to be, would ever make, no matter how moony and googly eyed he was over his client. The dramatic climax of the movie left me thinking, "Was that all?". The only high points in The Paradine Case for me were a young and very good-looking Louis Jordan, and the usual Hitchcock directorial touches; one scene in particular I found odd and strangely delightful: At one point Gregory Peck is confronted by Louis Jordan's suspiciously enigmatic character. The more they protest they hate each other, the closer they move toward each other, and the tension and chemistry was so odd I felt convinced they were either about to tear into each other like wild dogs, or make out. *laugh*
But really, the story is a bit too silly and melodramatic for my taste. I found Marnie to be a *much* better film [at least stylistically, and sloppy 60's psychology I can excuse more easily than melodrama], and I understand that it's generally panned, while this gets nothing but praise [from Amazon reviewers, at any rate]. Go figure.
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