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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,123 ( 1,310)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

Set in the midwest of the depression-era, Paper Moon follows Moses Pray and Addie Loggins - one a con artist, the other, the young girl who's the daughter of a woman who's just passed away. The pair meet when 'Mose' stops by the sparsely-attended funeral in Kansas of a woman he once knew (we never see her). In attendance, is the woman's young daughter, Addie, whom Moses agrees to transport to St Joseph, Mo -- for money, of course. Mose - an inveterate hustler, has been working ostensibly as a representative of the Kansas Bible Company - who picks his marks from the obits, and tries to sell - at exorbitant prices - the decedents' spouse the custom bible they'd previously ordered. Wise beyond her years, Addie picks up on Moses' grift, and very quickly, she and Mose become a team. Traveling from town to town, making money in every dishonest way imaginable, and looking for the ultimate score. The colorful characters they meet along the way make the film all the more interesting. One in ... Written by MARK FLEETWOOD <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

These aren't everyday people and this is no ordinary movie. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ryan O'Neal hoped that the film would exonerate him from the overwhelming success of Love Story (1970), a film he found hard to live down and which threatened to typecast him as an Ivy League yuppie. See more »

Goofs

When Mose is running through the streets being chased by Deputy Hardin. The engine noise for the Deputy's car is wrong. Either the studio used the wrong sound effect or the car used for the film had a late 60s / early 70s carbureted V8 engine. It's unmistakable. Car engines of the late 20 and early 30's sounded nothing like the car in this scene. 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

Featured in Asking for the Moon (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Nobody's Darlin' But Mine
(1936) (uncredited)
Written by Jimmie Davis
Performed by Gene Autry and the Sons of the Pioneers
See more »

User Reviews

 
"Just this once let Miss Trixie sit up front with her big tits"
12 February 2005 | by DommyCommy57See all my reviews

Film directors of the 1970's had an obsession with older films of the 30's and 40's. The director of this movie is Peter Bogdonavich and he really put together a masterpiece of nostalgic film making. Paper Moon is a classic comedy drama, that resembles the films of John Ford or Sam Wood. Ryan O' Neal in his best performance, stars as Moses pray a con man who sells bibles to recent widows meets up with Addie Loggins played by Academy Award Winner Tatum O'Neal who is wonderful. The cinematography is beautifully crafted. The landscapes and roads of St. Louis and other cities are so expertly filmed. The black and white photography, would make todays audiences think this film was released in 1933 not 30 years after in 1973. Now 32 years later this film holds up and stands the test of time. I don't want to give too much away, I am sure many of the readers here have seen it. The supporting cast is great John Hillerman in 2 roles a bootlegger and his brother, who is a sheriff. Then you have Randy Quaid and Burton Gilliam in smaller roles. P.j. Johnson is hysterical as the maid to Miss Trixie Delight played with such zest by th greatest comic actress of the 20th century the late and great Madeline Kahn. She stole the film. She was nominated for an Oscar for supporting actress and lost out to you know who. I think she should have gotten it, because her role really was supporting and also for a small role around 20 minutes with few close-ups she gave such a tarnished performance. She makes you laugh so hard and yet is so heartbreakingly touching in her big scene on the hill with Addie.

If this film was actually made in the 30's Moses could have been played by maybe James Stewart, James Cagney, Henry Fonda or John Garfied. Addie could have been played by Shirley Temple and Trixie maybe have been played by Sylvia Sidney, Betty Field or Ann Sheridan. But I don't think they could have played them any better than Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal and most especially Madeline Kahn.


51 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 155 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paper Moon See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed