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The Paper Chase (1973)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 October 1973 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,206 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 20 critic

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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Title: The Paper Chase (1973)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Kevin Brooks
...
...
Robert Lydiard ...
O'Connor
Lenny Baker ...
William Moss, Tutor
...
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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors James Mason, Gregory Peck, Melvyn Douglas, Sir John Gielgud, Paul Scofield and Edward G. Robinson, were considered and offered the role to play Professor Kingsfield by director James Bridges. In the end, John Houseman was cast . Although Houseman had appeared in a small but important role in Seven Days in May (1964), he had previously been known primarily as a producer of radio (The Mercury Theatre of the Air's The War of the Worlds (1938)), stage (Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre) and film (Julius Caesar (1953)). This movie was his first major film role and the part won him the 1973 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. See more »

Goofs

The airplane Hart makes from the envelope and the one that he throws from the rocks are two different planes. 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 Seinfeld: The Face Painter (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

THE 'LITTLE FUGUE' IN G-
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
How much are you willing to sacrifice?
16 September 1999 | by (Rock Forest, Quebec) – See all my reviews

As hard as it is to believe, this film makes studying exciting. The Paper Chase shows the difficulty of a first year law student. The endless studying sessions are followed by frustrating classroom encounters. The point of this film is that to succeed one must not sellout their ideals. People are changed by their experiences in this film. To win, one must place perspective on the pursuit of academic goals. Are good grades worth sacrificing love and friendship? Is flunking out truly the end of the world? At the end of the film Hart has come to realize that he has been just chasing after a paper diploma.


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