8.2/10
27,263
129 user 55 critic

Paper Moon (1973)

PG | | Comedy, Crime, 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:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,695 ( 341)

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ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #216 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Deputy Hardin / Jess Hardin
P.J. Johnson ...
Jessie Lee Fulton ...
Miss Ollie
James N. Harrell ...
The Minister (as Jim Harrell)
Lila Waters ...
The Minister's Wife
...
Bob Young ...
Gas Station Attendant
Jack Saunders ...
Jody Wilbur ...
Liz Ross ...
The Widow Morgan (Pearl)
Yvonne Harrison ...
The Widow Bates (Marie)
Ed Reed ...
The Lawman (Bates' Home)
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Storyline

Adapted from the novel, "Addie Pray" (1971) by Joe David Brown, PAPER MOON is the story of Moses Pray and Addie Loggins. With scenery reminiscent of "The Grapes of Wrath," the film is set in the depression-era Midwestern region of the United States. As the movie opens, we see a small group of mourners clustered at a graveside. Among the mourners is Addie, the dead woman's small daughter. Moses Pray -- ostensibly of the "Kansas Bible Company" -- approaches the group, as the service concludes, and two of the elderly women remark that the child bears some resemblance to him and asks if he might be related. "If ever a child needed kin, it's now," one lady says. With no knowledge of who her father is, Addie's only haven is her Aunt's home in St. Joseph, Missouri. Having identified himself as a "traveling man spreading the Lord's gospel in these troubled times," "Mose" is prevailed upon to deliver the helpless child to her Aunt since he's going that way, anyway. Addie, wise beyond her years... 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 | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luna de papel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$30,933,743 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moze refers to a "Coney Island" delicacy. It's a version of the hot dog, as popularized by restaurateur Nathan Handwerker in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. Out-of-state eateries would create variations called "Coney Islands"; the name would also be applied to the eatery itself. See more »

Goofs

When Addie says, "Don't knock, use the key!" and sends Moze to Trixie's hotel room, we see a window behind Addie with a lace curtain. However, though this lace curtain, we can see cars that are of late 60's / early 70's style. 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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Steamboat Round the Bend (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Mort Dixon and Billy Rose
Performed by Victor Young and His Orchestra with The Boswell Sisters
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What's not to like?
26 November 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

As cute and sharp as it's 9-year-old star Tatum O'Neal, Paper Moon is a bona-fide gem that says that, one way or another, we're all con artists. The acting is wonderful (Ryan O'Neal was never better), the cinematography is exceptional and it's to the eternal credit of director Bogdanovich and his writer Alvin Sargeant that the caper never sinks into mushiness. By avoiding the earnestness that pervades so many Depression Era tales and perfectly balancing character with situation, it rolls along so merrily that you don't realise how touching it is until the very end.

Having (criminally) never seen Paper Moon before, I suspect that it must have had more than a passing influence on a great many other movies, including my all-time favourite Midnight Run. Watching it is an experience to be savoured and treasured, and one that I'm looking forward to repeating time and again.


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