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Paper Moon (1973)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 May 1973 (USA)
During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writers:

Joe David Brown (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,000 ( 731)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan O'Neal ... Moses Pray
Tatum O'Neal ... Addie Loggins
Madeline Kahn ... Trixie Delight
John Hillerman ... Deputy Hardin / Jess Hardin
P.J. Johnson ... Imogene
Jessie Lee Fulton ... Miss Ollie
James N. Harrell James N. Harrell ... The Minister (as Jim Harrell)
Lila Waters Lila Waters ... The Minister's Wife
Noble Willingham ... Mr. Robertson
Bob Young Bob Young ... Gas Station Attendant
Jack Saunders Jack Saunders ... Station Master
Jody Wilbur Jody Wilbur ... Cafe Waitress
Liz Ross Liz Ross ... The Widow Morgan - Pearl
Yvonne Harrison Yvonne Harrison ... The Widow Bates - Marie
Ed Reed ... The Lawman - Bates' Home
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Storyline

Set in the midwest of the depression-era, Paper Moon follows Moses Pray and Addie Loggins - one a con artist, the other, the young girl who's the daughter of a woman who's just passed away. The pair meet when 'Mose' stops by the sparsely-attended funeral in Kansas of a woman he once knew (we never see her). In attendance, is the woman's young daughter, Addie, whom Moses agrees to transport to St Joseph, Mo -- for money, of course. Mose - an inveterate hustler, has been working ostensibly as a representative of the Kansas Bible Company - who picks his marks from the obits, and tries to sell - at exorbitant prices - the decedents' spouse the custom bible they'd previously ordered. Wise beyond her years, Addie picks up on Moses' grift, and very quickly, she and Mose become a team. Traveling from town to town, making money in every dishonest way imaginable, and looking for the ultimate score. The colorful characters they meet along the way make the film all the more interesting. One in ... Written by MARK FLEETWOOD <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These aren't everyday people and this is no ordinary movie. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paper Moon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles, a close friend of director Peter Bogdanovich, did some uncredited consulting on the cinematography. It was Welles who suggested shooting black and white photography through a red filter, adding higher contrast to the images. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1935 and there are multiple references to bootlegging. Although national Prohibition was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment, the Amendment did not legalize liquor: it left regulation of liquor to the states. Kansas did not legalize the sale of cereal malt beverage (also known as 3.2 beer) until 1937, and the first post-Prohibition legalization of alcoholic liquor did not occur until the state's constitution was amended in 1948. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Minister: Judge me, oh Lord, for I have lost in mine integrity. I have trusted also in the Lord, therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, oh Lord, and prove me. Try my reins and my heart, for Thy loving kindness is before mine eyes, and I have walked in Thy truth.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the people in and around Hays, Kansas and St. Joseph, Missouri See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.161 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee
(1932) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Enric Madriguera and Orchestra
Sung a cappella by Ryan O'Neal and then by Tatum O'Neal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A terrific film on all levels
8 February 2002 | by groltSee all my reviews

Paper Moon has to be one of the finest pieces of American cinema to grace the 70's. Bogdanovich's direction bares a strong resemblance to The Last Picture Show, but overall this film is much more satisfying and enjoyable. The Black and White photography gives the film a nostalgic beauty that perfectly complements the Depression-era it attempts to recreate. Also notable is the charming Jazz-based score, with a wonderful opening title track, reinforcing the film's charm. As good as the story, direction and music are however, the true stars of the film are the O'Neal twosome. Both bring forth their best performances of their careers, and share a chemistry on screen that only a father and daughter could. Ryan O'Neal brings forth a subtle charm as the wise-talking, but inept hustler Moses Pray. Tatum however, even upstages her father with what has to be the best youth performance in history. She is funny and moving when need be, and always charming, eliciting laughs many times based solely on her malleable facial expressions. Her show-stopping five minute shot, no matter how long it took to film, proves just how fully Tatum was able to embody little Addie Pray. The movie is always entertaining, with never a dull spot, with a strong supporting performance by Madeline Kahn to help keep things rolling during the middle. This is a true classic that should be seen by people of all ages, I can't recommend it enough!


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