The first Hitchcock film that I am to review is 2013 is The Paradine Case, a courtroom drama/romance with some brilliant tenseness. 

WHAT HAPPENED?

Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck) is a happily married lawyer who is brought in to defend a fascinating widow (Alida Valli) accused of murdering her husband. Keane soon falls in love with this woman and finds himself obsessed with getting her off with the murder, as Keane’s wife discovers his infatuation things come to a head in the trial.

THE GOOD

The film is good as an example of how Hitchcock is a master at building tension from very little. Within the film nothing particularly tense happens until the last half-hour yet somehow Hitch builds a great sense of drama throughout trivial scenes such as Peck looking around a house.

There are several scenes which are beautifully staged for symbology particularly surrounded the widow Mrs. Paradine, for example when she is arrested and sent into a bare prison cell or as she waits in a corridor to go into the courtroom.

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The performances of all the cast are excellent with Peck being the outstanding performer just as he was in Spellbound a few weeks ago. He seems to know perfectly well who his character is and his motivations are clear throughout.

THE BAD

The film takes a long time to get going, you are interested first off in the fact that a woman has been arrested. However there is then 20 minutes of establishing Gregory Peck as the happily married lawyer that just seemed to stretch out a bit too long.

Some of the sub-characters although well acted and scripted also seemed a little pointless when viewing the film, the daughter of a fellow lawyer for example giving a running commentary over the court-case was unneeded and took attention away from the important things that where happening.

CAMEO O’CLOCK

Hitchcock makes a cameo about 40 minutes into the film exiting a train station and carrying a cello.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Paradine Case is far from the best Hitchcock film but also far from the worst. It is extremely typical of what to expect without ever really surpassing itself. Therefore I award it a simple 3 Hitchs.

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