Newan Sen returns with his double bill for the day to chat with us about The Paradine Case. Read on to see what he had to say about it!
The Paradine Case (1947); starring Gregory Peck, Alida Valli, Louis Jourdan, Ann Todd, Charles Coburn, Charles Laughton and Ethel Barrymore; is about a psychological extra marital fling, without any physical contact, between a married lawyer, Anthony Keane (Peck) and his client, a convicted murderer, the widow Paradine (Valli). Keane cheats on his wife, Gay Keane (Todd), on a psychological level.
In The Paradine Case, we see a bewitchingly beautiful woman, Madame Paradine (Alida Valli), accused of being a man eater, more for her beauty, than actual proof (though she has lead a colourful past, before she was married), who is being prosecuted for killing her blind husband, by poisoning him. The widow Paradine, is an ambiguous character, for we find it difficult to evaluate her, until the end of the film, whether she is a femme fatale or a heroine. For we see her being honest, about her past, and she states she has nothing to do with her husband’s death, at the same time she doesn’t like any innocent party being accused of the crime; yet everything points accursedly towards her being the criminal, and everything suggests she’s a man eater even now. Meanwhile, we see Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck), the widow Paradine’s defence lawyer, being infatuated by her, and believing he’s in love with her, despite being happily married for eleven years to a beautiful classy lady, Gay Keane (Ann Todd). Thus we see Tony Keane suffering with a guilty conscience and the famed ‘Seven-year-itch’ syndrome, after eleven years of marriage. Gay Keane is an understanding wife, though jealous of Mrs. Paradine, she wants her husband to win the case, for she’s afraid if Mrs. Paradine gets the death sentence, she’d lose her husband for good, as he’d brood over Madame Paradine’s death, and his failure, for the rest of his life. Yet Gay Keane, doesn’t let her husband even kiss her, while that Paradine woman is in his mind. This movie, with a massive cast, has a load of interesting character sketches. But I shan’t continue to that extent. The court case is one of the most intriguing court cases ever seen on screen. The Paradine Case, is a must watch for any film buff, especially a Hitchcock buff.