In no sense a 'wronged innocent' thriller, The Paradine Case sets out to be a morality tale on the dangers of Strong Emotion. A happy marriage is threatened when rising young barrister Peck falls hopelessly in love with the woman (Valli) he is defending on a murder rap. Blinded by passion, he can see neither her guilt, nor that her obsession lies elsewhere - with the man (Jourdan) whom he would destroy in her stead. Bleak in its message (those who love passionately inevitably destroy the object of their desire), the movie only half works; Peck is rather half-hearted, Valli coldly cat-like, Ann Todd as the rejected wife too self-sacrificing and loyally forgiving to be true. And the intricate, triangular plot is finally overburdened by the courtroom setting from which it tries to draw a laborious analogy between the perversion of love and justice.
Cast and crew
Leo G Carroll