The Paradine Case (Hitchcock, 1947): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.20pm
This film, which is part of the BFI Hitchcock season, is also screening on Aug 25. This was one of my five picks for the Guardian of underrated Hitchcock
films not to be missed this summer. You can read my thoughts on the
quintet of movies via the web here and this is what I had to say about The Paradine Case:
'Hitchcock's rough-cut of The Paradine Case, with which producer David Selznick tinkered
extensively in post-production, was lost in a flood in the 1980s.
That's a shame as its restoration would surely have revived interest in a
film now almost wholly neglected but which has at its core themes the
director was to return to with such devastating effect in Vertigo. In no
other Hitchcock film, bar that 1958 masterpiece, is the central male
character so undermined as he is here, with Gregory Peck as a barrister
who ends up destroying the object of his obsession, the woman he is
supposed to be defending on a charge of murder. Peck's wife's plea to
him to win the case, despite her knowledge of his love for her rival,
and her protestation that "if she dies you are lost to me forever"
undercuts the notional happy ending here in a film darkened even moreby
Charles Laughton's scene-stealing role as the grotesque judge, Lord
Here is an extract on YouTube.