8.1/10
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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:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writers:

Joe David Brown (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,767 ( 73)

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Top Rated Movies #239 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan O'Neal ... Moses Pray
Tatum O'Neal ... Addie Loggins
Madeline Kahn ... Trixie Delight
John Hillerman ... Deputy Hardin / Jess Hardin
P.J. Johnson ... Imogene
Jessie Lee Fulton ... Miss Ollie
James N. Harrell James N. Harrell ... The Minister (as Jim Harrell)
Lila Waters Lila Waters ... The Minister's Wife
Noble Willingham ... Mr. Robertson
Bob Young Bob Young ... Gas Station Attendant
Jack Saunders Jack Saunders ... Station Master
Jody Wilbur Jody Wilbur ... Cafe Waitress
Liz Ross Liz Ross ... The Widow Morgan (Pearl)
Yvonne Harrison 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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Luna de papel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,933,743
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book Moses' nickname is "Longboy". In the movie it's just " Moze". See more »

Goofs

As Moze crosses the street in Wilson, KS to pass Addie's $20 birthday bill at the general store, the Wilson city hall building to the left of the store clearly displays a 1938 construction date, despite the general consensus that the film takes place in 1935. 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 Gilmore Girls: New and Improved Lorelai (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Georgia on My Mind
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyrics by Stuart Gorrell
Performed by Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Father/Daughter Con Team Played by a Father and Daughter
8 June 2007 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

A charmer.

Ryan O'Neal stars with his real-life daughter Tatum in this story about a father and daughter con team scraping together an existence in Depression-era America. Along the way, the dad picks up a brassy floozy, played by the expert comedienne Madeline Kahn, which doesn't go down well with the precocious kid.

The entire success of "Paper Moon" relied upon the performance of the child actor, and Peter Bogdanovich did well to cast Tatum, as she plays the role without any of the self-conscious cutesiness that makes other child actors unbearable. Ryan was never more relaxed or likable in a role, maybe because he was working with his daughter. And Kahn of course is a delight, though one wishes she had a bigger role.

As with "The Last Picture Show," Bogdanovich shoots in nostalgic black and white, but this project is much more light-hearted than the other.

Grade: A-


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