The Paper Chase: Season 1, Episode 15

The Man in the Chair (6 Feb. 1979)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 6 users  
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A disabled transfer student is befriended by, and included in, the study group. As time goes on, he takes advantage of the group's kindness/empathy. His mother, who, as a family friend of ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (developed for television by), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Man in the Chair (06 Feb 1979)

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Episode complete credited cast:
James Stephens ...
Tom Fitzsimmons ...
Francine Tacker ...
Elizabeth Logan
Paul Chandler
Marian Chandler
Charles Hallahan ...
Betty Harford ...
Mrs. Nottingham


A disabled transfer student is befriended by, and included in, the study group. As time goes on, he takes advantage of the group's kindness/empathy. His mother, who, as a family friend of Kingsfield, attempts to gain preferential treatment for her son. Written by JEFJR

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

6 February 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

It's interesting because of how it deals with disabilities.
25 April 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A new transfer student, Paul Chandler (Leigh McCloskey) comes to the Contract Law class and despite being in a wheelchair, Kingsfield doesn't cut him any slack. The students in the class are rather appalled and seem very willing to bend over backward for Paul--and the study group quickly invites him to join. He seems like a pretty cool guy--and also a guy coming from immense wealth and privilege. It turns out Kingsfield is an old family friend and his mother (Jayne Meadows) pushes him hard to succeed.

In the midst of all this is an essay contest for the best and brightest law students. For one nominee, Hart, it could mean he could stop working and concentrate on his studies. For Paul, it means another notch on his belt--a way to prove himself to others. Plus, he knows how to use his disability to make his chances better for the award. But, the study group soon becomes disenchanted by Paul--and see his staying in the competition as a stab in the back. After all, he doesn't need the scholarship. What's next?

As a father of two disabled daughters, I really, really appreciate this episode. Unlike many portrayals of folks in wheelchairs, Paul is NOT particularly noble and seeing Kingsfield treat him just as nastily as he treats others is refreshing. It also brings up some wonderful dilemmas and is NOT politically correct--just direct and unflinching in showing a disabled guy as a person! Exceptional all around.

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