The Alfred Hitchcock Stay-at-Home Special!

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “H” (as in Hitchcock—get it? 🙂 ).

The Paradine Case is one of those rare Hitchcock films that I haven’t watched ten or twelve times before. In fact, I just saw it for the first time recently (recently being maybe two or three or five years ago … ahem 🙂 ). It is (ostensibly) a film noir courtroom drama, which sounds more fun than it turns out to be, despite the sheer magnitude of star power involved.

The story takes place in England, where the very beautiful (to the point of captivating men on sight, apparently) Maddalena Paradine is arrested for poisoning her older, blind husband (who also happens to be super-rich). Is she falsely accused or a money-grubbing femme fatale?

To represent her in court, her solicitor (played by Charles Coburn) hires the amazingly handsome and successful trial attorney, Anthony Keane (played by Gregory Peck). And, upon sight of her loveliness, the happily married Keane falls madly in love with Little Mrs. Paradine. Just like that.

Via Diabolique Magazine

What follows is mostly Courtroom Drama 101, with shades of soap opera mixed in. Keane goes all-out to find evidence to absolve his client. He spends so much time visiting her in prison, his obsession with her has become the hit of the prison rumor mill. In fact, half of London seems to talk of nothing else.

And how does the Divine Paradine feel about this? She tells Keane to quit following up on leads. And, whatever else he does, he is not to bring her husband’s (very young and cute) servant into this mess. Which only leads Keane to pursue that lead harder.

Via Derrick Winnert

I won’t tell you the end, but I will say it sucks it’s anticlimactic.

Frankly, the only thing less believable than Keane’s record-breaking bout of infatuation with the Widow Paradine is Mrs. Keane’s bizarre peculiar test of her husband’s allegiance to her. My thoughts throughout these scenes: “Mind games? Must we?” and “You really want your husband to keep representing this ungrateful bitch truculent client?”

I wouldn’t recommend this one for anyone (other than the most die-hard of Hitchcock fans).

Two stars–tops! What can I say? I’m being nice. 🙂 You can watch the movie here, if you insist like. 🙂

While sadly, I didn’t care for this film … I can recommend these ten (much better) Hitchcock films instead! 🙂

And here’s a trailer for the Hitchcock/Truffaut documentary, which you can buy or rent after viewing!

PS: You can also find the film on Kanopy for free, assuming your local library participates.

PPS: I wonder what the Master of Suspense would make of our involuntary confinement situation today. I shudder to think …! 🙂

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8 Responses to The Alfred Hitchcock Stay-at-Home Special!

  1. moviefanman says:

    You can never go wrong with Hitchcock. I prefer Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief myself, but I like others he’s done too. I still need to check out my copy of The Lodger, Hitchcock’s first classic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never even heard of this one. I’ll see if I can track it down, but I won’t have high expectations.

    I wanted to leave a comment on your “Knives Out” review, but comments were closed? (Or maybe I’m going blind??) Anyhoo, I liked this film much more than I thought I would. It had lots of twists – not only could I not guess who the murderer was, I couldn’t even guess what was going to happen next!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbi says:

      Wow! I’ll have to check my settings to allow more time for comments.

      Yeah, I happened to see this one and … meh … but I’m such a diehard fan of Hitchcock, I kept watching anyway. To the bitter end. 🙂

      Knives Out was just brilliant. And fun!

      I feel lucky we decided to catch a matinee when we did. Before all the … stuff going on. It was like the old days. You know, when people always went out to see movies.

      It would be interesting to write about the evolution of radio, film, and Internet entertainment over time. To me, it’s nothing less than astonishing. But then, my grandparents probably said the same thing about airplanes. And television, which was going to rot our brains, as I recall. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is so great you were able to see this in the theatre. Being able to see a matinee seems like such a long time ago, in a way. Do you find that each time you see a movie or series you’re conscious of how close people are in proximity to each other?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Debbi says:

      I’ve extended the comment period to 30 days! That’s a good length of time. I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

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