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Friday December 1st 2023

The Paradine Case | 1947

The Paradine Case location: Wilton Crescent, Belgravia
The Paradine Case location: Mrs Paradine’s palatial Belgravia home: 33 Wilton Crescent, SW1

Although Alfred Hitchcock’s courtroom melodrama, his last picture for David O Selznick, was made at the RKO Studio in Hollywood, it’s set in the UK, where location shots were captured by a Second Unit.

Back in the innocent days of 1947, the response to being arrested on suspicion of murder was not “You effin’ slag, I wanna see my brief” but “I may not be home tonight. Please tell cook I’m sorry about supper”. Thus the elegant Mrs Paradine (Alida Valli) is led graciously from her palatial home at 33 Wilton Crescent in swanky Belgravia, central London, at the opening of the film.

The exterior of the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, EC4, where Mrs Paradine is tried for murder, is real, still showing the extensive bomb damage sustained during the Blitz, but the famous courtroom interior was meticulously reproduced in the Hollywood studio.

Similarly, Bow Street Police Station and London’s old Holloway women’s prison were recreated from detailed photographs.

The Paradine Case location:Portland Place, London W1
The Paradine Case location: the home of lawyer Anthony Keane: 60 Portland Place, W1

The house of defence lawyer Anthony Keane (Gregory Peck) is 60 Portland Place at Weymouth Street, W1 – only a few doors away from the home of embittered playwright Van Johnson in Henry Hathaway’s Hitchcockian thriller 23 Paces To Baker Street, at number 74.

The Paradine Case location: Langdale Chase Hotel, Windermere, Cumbria
The Paradine Case location: ‘Hindley Hall’ – the Paradine estate: Langdale Chase Hotel, Windermere, Cumbria | Photograph: istockphoto/espeascod

When Keane investigates Mrs Paradine’s past in Cumbria, the ‘Station Hotel’, at which he stays, is the Drunken Duck Inn, Barngates, off the B5286 just southwest of Langdale Chase.

‘Hindley Hall’, the Paradine estate, is a mock-Elizabethan manor house built in 1891, now the Langdale Chase Hotel, on the A591 between Brockhole and Ambleside on the north shore of Lake Windermere, in Cumbria’s beautiful Lake District.