The Paradine Case

Screening on Film
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton.
US, 1947, 35mm, black & white, 129 min.
Print source: Disney

Hitchcock’s last film for producer David O. Selznick is a courtroom drama about a society woman on trial for murdering her husband. The director’s interest clearly lies in the love triangle linking the defendant, her attorney and his wife, but the film takes advantage of the ensemble nature of the story to provide a panoply of fascinating character studies, including a distasteful judge and his long-suffering wife. Shooting entirely on a soundstage, Hitchcock focuses on the faces of his cast as canvasses on which to juxtapose light and dark, emphasizing the characters’ moral complexities in a reminder of the influence that German Expressionist cinema had on the young filmmaker. 

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