Jump to: navigation, search

Film Bulletin (19/Jan/1948) - What the Netospaper Critics Say about New Films: The Paradine Case




What the Netospaper Critics Say about New Films

"Paradine Case" Called Slick, Fascinating

The Selznick polish and the Hitchcock suspense are the chief ingredients in the New York critics' analysis of "The Paradine Case" and both emerge slightly scarred but, triumphant after running the reviewers' gauntlet. Some took issue with the fact that a courtroom is the restricted background for virtually the entire picture, others lauded the masters' achievement in meeting the challenge.

Decrying its "circumscribed" action and length, but admitting its "artistry, imagination and resourcefulness," the Herald Tribune's Howard Barnes gives if his seal of approval as a "fascinating movie," done with all the Hitchcockian touches and fortified by a Sterling cast performing impressively.

Bosley Crowther, the Times' terror, grudgingly admits the ability of producer and director to get "as much tension in a courtroom as most directors could get in a frontier fort." He calls it a "slick piece of static entertainment" with a story that is neither "significant" nor "too-well-written," but nonetheless "fitfully intriguing." He also grants Hitchcock credit for the manner in which "he has pulled some distinguished work out of his cast of brilliant actors."

"Beauty technique, and productive elegance preserved a la Hitchcock, visually enticing but thin in substance," us the Post's Archer Winsten's verdict. The director has made "a silk purse out of the traditional material," says the Post's critic, lauding Hitchcock for his craftsmanship in maintaining interest despite "talk rather than action." and coming up with a "civilized, intelligent, adult" film.

PM reviewer Cecelia Ager calls it "as high-toned a movie as has ever zoomed out of Hollywood, bursting with stars, sheen, fiction, tension, passion and so forth and .so forth," a typical example of Hollywood escapism, "eminently saleable, luxuriously obvious, endearingly nostalgic of the good old days, good and juicy and grand."

The Journal American's Rose Pelswlck and the Sun's Eileen Creelman both go overboard for the picture. Miss Pelswick names it "spellbinding entertainment ... right out of the top drawer," while Miss Creelman blesses it with "typical Hitchcock, rich in characterizaton, tense with drama" and offered "with the smoothness expected of Hitchcock and Selznick."