6.3/10
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13 user 7 critic

Paper Lion (1968)

Approved | | Comedy, Sport | 14 October 1968 (USA)
Sportswriter George Plimpton poses as a rookie quarterback for the Detroit Lions for a "Sports Illustrated" article.

Director:

Alex March

Writers:

George Plimpton (book), Lawrence Roman
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Alda ... George Plimpton
Lauren Hutton ... Kate
Joe Schmidt Joe Schmidt ... Joe Schmidt
Alex Karras ... Alex Karras
John Gordy John Gordy ... John Gordy
Mike Lucci Mike Lucci ... Mike Lucci
Pat Studstill Pat Studstill ... Pat Studstill
Bill McPeak Bill McPeak ... Bill McPeak
Jim Martin Jim Martin ... Jim Martin
Jim David Jim David ... Jim David
Chuck Knox Chuck Knox ... Charles Knox (as Charles Knox)
John North John North ... John North
Carl Brettschneider Carl Brettschneider ... Carl Brettschneider
Roger Brown Roger Brown ... Roger Brown
Lem Barney Lem Barney ... Lem Barney
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Storyline

George Plimpton wants to write a story for Sports Illustrated on what it is like to be a quarterback for an NFL team. No one is willing to allow a klutzy amateur to go on the field for fear he'll kill himself. After several teams turn him down, Plimpton got the Detroit Lions to let him go to training camp. He tries to keep his true identity a secret from the real players. This is based on a true incident and many of the players play themselves in the movie. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Paper Lion is About to Get Creamed

Genres:

Comedy | Sport

Certificate:

Approved

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paper Lion See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was filmed at saint Andrews school See more »

Goofs

In the flashbacks when Plimpton pitches against the American and National League All-Stars, Yankee players are shown wearing both home and road jerseys. See more »

Quotes

Vincent Lombardi: You know, George, we carry four quarterbacks now. And to ask us to carry five, I think would be a real headache. I just don't think it will work.
[Shows George the door]
Vincent Lombardi: Have you tried the AFL?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer from the opening credits: "This film is an amiable fiction based on the book 'Paper Lion' by George Plimpton and is not intended to be a literal depiction of its author." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Deuce: My Name Is Ruby (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

The Real NFL
11 July 2005 | by diamondgroupSee all my reviews

To echo what another commentator said, this was real football. No cell phone celebrations in the end zone, no agents who held their players out of camp,no players moving to five different teams in five seasons (like Seinfeld says "Your rooting for the laundry"}, only real football by real football players. The big money, free agency and showboating have ruined the sport.These guys played together for 6 or 7 seasons and knew each other well. It shows in every scene. There was real veteran leadership, and real veteran depth on these ball clubs.

The action, on camera anyway, must be the 1967 season, because thats the year Roger Brown was traded to the Rams to complete the final version of the "Fearsome Foursome". This is mentioned in the film. The Lions did not have a good season that year. Their once proud defense, of which Coach Joe Schmitt was a key element at MLB, was unraveling and their offense (especially at QB) was never that efficient to begin with. Another important footnote is that Lem Barney, seen singing his alma mater in the film, was defensive rookie of the year in 1967. Mel Farr, the rookie running back seen in several scenes, was the offensive rookie of the year.That is the only time this has ever happened in NFL history. Despite this infusion of new talent,the Lions only finished third in the Central Division, with a record of 5-7-2. Ironically, it was Vince Lombardi's Packers (Lombardi initially rejects Plimpton's offer to cover the team in the film)who would win the division, their third straight NFL title and the Super Bowl.

Alda is OK as Plimpton, but an approximation of the real George Plimpton would have been much funnier. Plimpton had that upper crust Havard accent, which the players liked to mock. ""Forrrty Fouurrr"!! Somebody talking like that among a bunch of football players would have been a scream. I think the non-professional football actors did a wonderful job in this one.Karras showed real acting ability, and John Gordy and Pat Studstill came off like pros. Even Mike Lucci was very effective as the "villian" of the training camp. Joe Schmitt played himself without the self consciousness of most non professional actors. In all, this movie was not only very amusing, but a real look at the guts of pro football during its golden age.


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