Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Paradine Case (1947)

WHO: Alfred Hitchcock

WHAT: I've never seen The Paradine Case. It stars Gregory Peck, one of the truly beloved actors I've yet to become much of a fan of (having seen only a handful or so of his films. perhaps the wrong ones), and I understand it contains a trial scene- one of my least favorite cinematic tropes. You'd think I've been avoiding the picture. But no, I've just been lying in wait. At some point several years ago (after a DVD viewing of Under Capricorn come to think of it) I decided not to watch any more Hitchcock films on home video without having seen them on the big screen somewhere first. Hitchcock films feature the whole package for audiences: they almost invariably feature stunning compositions, impeccable timing, and splashes of humor that frequently cannot translate when watching at home unsurrounded by an engrossed crowd. He can even make trial scenes (as The Wrong Man testifies) completely riveting sometimes.

The Paradine Case is rarely mentioned among Hitchcock's masterpieces, but perhaps that's because it screens in cinemas so rarely. Take advantage of a rare opportunity while it's here! I plan to.

WHERE/WHEN: Tonight only at the Pacific Film Archive at 7:00.

WHY: As I've noted before, the first half of 2013 is offering myriad opportunities for Hitchcock immersion, some of them more unique than you might realize. For instance, I've recently been alerted to the fact that next week's PFA showing of Vertigo will use an IB Technicolor print, meaning those who wish the film's 1996 restoration hadn't made changes to the sound track that they find objectionable, should make sure to come out for a rare screening not sourced from that restoration. I haven't yet been able to learn whether Vertigo's screenings at the Stanford Theatre the following week will also utilize the IB Tech print or one with the 1996 sound track. 

HOW: 35mm print from the distributor Swank Motion Pictures.

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