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Paper Moon (1973)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  9 May 1973 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 21,016 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 61 critic

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.

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Title: Paper Moon (1973)

Paper Moon (1973) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Addie / Addie Loggins
...
...
Deputy Hardin / Jess Hardin
P.J. Johnson ...
Imogene
Jessie Lee Fulton ...
Miss Ollie
James N. Harrell ...
The Minister (as Jim Harrell)
Lila Waters ...
The Minister's Wife
...
Mr. Robertson
Bob Young ...
Gas Station Attendant
Jack Saunders ...
Station Master
Jody Wilbur ...
Cafe Waitress
Liz Ross ...
Yvonne Harrison ...
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

Plot Keywords:

bible | girl | con | missouri | kansas | See All (62) »

Taglines:

As P.T. Barnum put it, "There's a sucker born every minute."

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  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Bogdanovich wound up making the film, despite his initial resistance, mainly because his estranged wife, Polly Platt, felt he was ideally suited to the material, both on a pictorial and narrative level. Bogdanovich wanted Platt to serve as the film's production designer, but she refused at first, because of her husband's open affair with Cybill Shepherd, whom he directed in The Last Picture Show (1971). Platt acquiesced on the condition that Shepherd not be allowed to visit the Paper Moon set. See more »

Goofs

On several occasions throughout the picture, autos can be seen speeding away, with tires screeching as though on asphalt, even though the vehicles are almost always on dirt roads. 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 Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Only a Paper Moon
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and Billy Rose
Played during the opening credits and sung by an unspecified female
Performed by Paul Whiteman and Orchestra often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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