The Paper Chase: Season 1, Episode 13

An Act of Desperation (19 Dec. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Brooks has fallen behind in his studies, and wants to rejoin the study group. Hart is willing, but the others are reluctant, until Brooks produces some study aids from his 'tutor'. The ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (developed for television by), 1 more credit »
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Title: An Act of Desperation (19 Dec 1978)

An Act of Desperation (19 Dec 1978) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Stephens ...
Tom Fitzsimmons ...
Jonathan Segal ...
Jonathan Brooks
Francine Tacker ...
Elizabeth Logan
Asheley Brooks (credit only)
John Devlin ...
Charles Hallahan ...
Betty Harford ...
Mrs. Nottingham
Priscilla Taylor ...
Miss Hogden
Gagarian (as Stanley De Santis)
David Drucker ...
Albert Sanders ...


Brooks has fallen behind in his studies, and wants to rejoin the study group. Hart is willing, but the others are reluctant, until Brooks produces some study aids from his 'tutor'. The entire study group (even the questionable Brooks) gets an A in Kingsfield's mid-term exam. This starts the suspicious looks and hushed tones from the other students. Hart gets to the bottom of this, and it ends with Brooks' amicable exit interview in Kingsfield's office. Written by JEFJR

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Release Date:

19 December 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A good way to trim down the cast.
25 April 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The show begins with the study group members, aside from goody-goody Hart, becoming angry at Brooks. Once again, he's absent from the group and seems to be off in his own world doing law school his own way. When he does show, he tells them that he's receiving private tutoring--but his in-class performance makes it seem that he's being tutored by Mr. Potatohead! However, in an act of desperation, the perpetually lost Brooks suddenly proves that the group SHOULD let him back--he's somehow come up with a list of questions from Kingsfield's previous exams--including one that hits them totally by surprise. This 'missing question' turns out to be THE question on the exam--making others wonder just how Brooks got these questions--and this obscure one in particular.

The character 'Brooks' and his wife appeared to be an early idea for the series that simply never panned out. This character's wife is shown in the credits at the beginning of the show but was seldom seen and seldom had any lines. As for Brooks himself, he was the married member of the study group and as such never was hanging out in the dorms--so was also seen far less often. Combining this with a relatively bland persona, Brooks clearly was not an important cast member. No,...more than that...he was expendable and it sure looked as if the writers soon realized this. However, instead of just writing him off the show, they featured him in a very good story--and provided an excellent and logical way to remove him from "The Paper Chase". Well worth seeing and well done all around.

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