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Matt Hough

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Matt Hough

The Paradine Case Blu-ray Review
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The Paradine Case may have offered master director Alfred Hitchcock fewer opportunities for “pure cinema” that he usually applied to the projects he chose to direct, but he nevertheless explores three different troubled marriages in various ways while concentrating on a rather standard courtroom drama involving the death of a wealthy man.

[review]
 

Josh Steinberg

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I've never seen this before - I skimmed just the tech parts of the review and will read the rest once I've seen the film!
 

TravisR

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I've never seen this before - I skimmed just the tech parts of the review and will read the rest once I've seen the film!
Not to be that guy but lower your expectations because it's not one of Hitch's best. It's worth watching (I've got my copy pre-ordered) but if it wasn't Hitchcock, I doubt anyone would remember it today.
 

Josh Steinberg

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That's about where my expectations have been - the movie wasn't easily available on disc before so I didn't go out of my way to see it.
 

Steve...O

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Thanks, Matt! This is the one. American Hitch I don't own and haven't seen so was eagerly waiting this release. I'm still getting it but admit to being disappointed at the reports of inconsistent video quality. Not surprising though since Kino releases are often reported to being a mixed bag. It's great this is coming to BD, but it does seem like a missed opportunity.
 

benbess

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Paradine is a flawed film, but still worth watching. Here's how it compares to my ratings for other Hitchcock films from the 1940s....

Rebecca: A
Foreign Correspondent: B-
Mr and Mrs. Smith: D+
Suspicion: C+
Saboteur: B+
Shadow of a Doubt: A
Lifeboat: A
Spellbound: A
Notorious: A
The Paradine Case: B-
Rope: A
Under Capricorn: B
 

TravisR

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Paradine is a flawed film, but still worth watching. Here's how it compares to my ratings for other Hitchcock films from the 1940s....

Rebecca: A
Foreign Correspondent: B-
Mr and Mrs. Smith: D+
Suspicion: C+
Saboteur: B+
Shadow of a Doubt: A
Lifeboat: A
Spellbound: A
Notorious: A
The Paradine Case: B-
Rope: A
Under Capricorn: B
The crazy thing is that most people have trouble making 3 masterpieces in an entire career and Hitchcock did it in a 10 year span while also making at least half a dozen really good movies too. And, astoundingly, a decade that good isn't even his best decade.
 

benbess

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The crazy thing is that most people have trouble making 3 masterpieces in an entire career and Hitchcock did it in a 10 year span while also making at least half a dozen really good movies too. And, astoundingly, a decade that good isn't even his best decade.

Yes, imho Hitchcock made six classics in the 1940s, movies that I've watched and enjoyed again and again in the last 30 years. And really, Saboteur counts as a classic for me too. In my heart, I probably rate Saboteur as high as an A- in terms of how much I enjoy watching it (even with its not-quite-perfect stars). Paradine has some interesting Hitchcock touches and performances. But while Selznick helped make Rebecca better, I think he hurt the Paradine in a number of ways.
 
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TravisR

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And really, Saboteur counts as a classic for me too. In my heart, I probably rate Saboteur as high as an A- in terms of how much I enjoy watching it (even with its not-quite-perfect stars).
Yeah, I think Saboteur is possibly Hitchcock's most underrated movie. It's not Vertigo or Rear Window but it's one that I feel that people should give more recognition to.
 

Randal Gist

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"The Paradine Case" is probably my least favorite, (along with "Topaz") of Hitchcock's films after he immigrated to America. Technically, it is quite proficient, but dramatically rather uninvolved. Hitchcock was finishing his contract with Selznick. Selznick, being Selznick meddled with everything, re-writing the script, demanding re-shoots. It doesn't help that the two leads have absolutely no chemistry together. Peck is miscast as an English barrister. Valli is blank, rather than mysterious. And Louis Jordan . . .? The supporting cast is excellent, and much more interesting. As a Hitchcock completest, I will eventually get this. "The Paradine Case" is not bad, it just isn't very good Hitchcock.
 

John Skoda

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One mystery about this movie is its running time. The disc package lists it as 125 minutes, although the film runs 114, which is apparently the running time it has had since its general release in the 40s.

I doubt the additional footage would change the general assessment of the film, but I wonder if there might have been more Ethel Barrymore in the longer edits. She got a Best Supporting Actress nomination for this, although in the final edit she has barely more than a walk-on part.
 

Dick

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I am not quite a Hitchcock completist - I own about 85% of his films on Blu, but I saw this film and it bored me into a mild stupor (as did UNDER CAPRICORN). However, I will likely buy this release due to the extras.
 

Robin9

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I watched The Paradine Case last night. (I'd been sitting on the Blu-ray disc for some time) As always, I enjoyed the film far more than most people do. I think Matt's review is about right in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the film.

There's no doubt that Selznick damaged the film with his love of middle-class banality but Hitchcock's remarks about the characters and the casting have always made me suspect that he misjudged the material too.
 

JohnMor

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I'm sorry, but what the hell is up with the HIDEOUS digital noise/grain that swarms all over this blu-ray image? It's less problematic in lighter scenes or shots, but in darker scenes or against the black robes or Valli's wardrobe and hair the screen virtually pulsates and crawls. In some shots what I call mosquito noise obscures most detail. Easily the worst blu-ray image quality I have ever seen. I'm not saying it's Kino's fault as it's most likely in what they were given, but it makes many scenes nearly unwatchable. Once I turned my TV's digital noise filters to high, it was somewhat improved, but never eliminated (and it improves a bit as the film goes on anyway). I've only seen this mentioned in one online review (Slate) so I was scratching my head. But then I read the reviews at Amazon and realized that I was not alone in seeing this.

Did no one else here have any issues with the picture quality on this disc?
 

ABaglivi

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JohnMor: I have compared the Blu to the DVD of The Paradine Case. The noise/grain problem is not present in the DVD. I have seen this occur in the first Blu release of Macbeth (1948).
 

albert_m2

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Yeah, I think Saboteur is possibly Hitchcock's most underrated movie. It's not Vertigo or Rear Window but it's one that I feel that people should give more recognition to.

Much like Shadow of a Doubt, it has a dark undercurrent below its aw shucks "innocent' appearance. I enjoy both a lot. My only complaint about Saboteur is that the dialogue can be corny at times, even by the standards of the time.
 

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