7.2/10
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The Paper Chase (1973)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 16 October 1973 (USA)
A first-year law student at Harvard Law School struggles with balancing his coursework and his relationship with the daughter of his sternest professor.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kevin Brooks
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Robert Lydiard ...
O'Connor
Lenny Baker ...
William Moss
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Toombs
Regina Baff ...
Irma Hurley ...
Mrs. Weasal
Bill Moher ...
Philip
...
Miss Farranti
Richard Whelan ...
Pruit
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Storyline

Serious, hard-working student James T. Hart faces the rigors of his first year at Harvard Law School. The pressure to succeed is tremendous and some of the students form study groups while also spending a great many hours studying. Hart's greatest challenge is contract law and his professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. Using the Socratic method, Kingsfield challenges his students with questions demanding accuracy and creativity in their responses and often humiliating those who are unable to respond. As the school year progresses, Hart faces many challenges but befriends Susan Fields - unaware that she has a connection that affects their relationship. Finally, Hart accommodates himself to whatever might come his way, accepting a new set of priorities in his life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You may be looking at a future President, Supreme Court Justice, Secretary of State or a dropout. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bright Young Men  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American Film Institute website states that John "Houseman was only approached [to play Professor Kingsfield] after East Coast locations were decided upon and the producers had visited Juilliard School for the Arts, where Houseman had established the acting program, looking to cast the roles of students". See more »

Goofs

During Kingsfield's cocktail party Bottom's character finds out his love interest is Kingsfield's daughter and is understandably perturbed. As she approaches him, he looks to walk out the door. At that point Hart nearly runs into Edward Herman's character (Thomas) but calls him 'Ed'! Oops. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: Mr. Hart, would you recite for us the facts of Hawkins versus McGee?
[looks up]
Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: I do have you name right? You are "Mr. Hart"?
James T. Hart: [mumbles] Yes, my name's Hart.
Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: You're not speaking loud enough, Mr. Hart. Will you speak up?
James T. Hart: Yes, my name's Hart.
Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: Mr. Hart, you're still not speaking loud enough. Will you stand? Speak louder, Mr. Hart! Fill the room with your intelligence!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Edgemont: The Paper Chase (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

CONCERTO IN D+ for 3 trumpets, tympani, 2 oboes, strings and harpsichord
Composed by Georg Philipp Telemann
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User Reviews

 
MISTER Hart............
5 February 2005 | by (West Chester, Pa) – See all my reviews

Story of Bottoms and cohorts trying to make it through first year of Harvard Law. Of anything I ever saw this is the one movie that made me want to go to law school. It's one of those treasured movies I feel like I lived; I actually used to set my watch, sit back and smile before my exams just like my boy Timothy. Bottoms perfectly captures the feel of a smart, hip and modest kid from the sticks trying to hang tough in the pressure cooker. Houseman was a behind-the-scenes movie guy who became an overnight sensation with his portrayal of the brilliant, caustic Professor Kingsfield. Wagner is hauntingly beautiful as Bottom's elusive love interest. I don't know how someone first viewing this film today would look at it, but it still has a classic, timeless quality for me and I highly recommend it.


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