8.1/10
37,985
141 user 47 critic

Paper Moon (1973)

PG | | Comedy, 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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,203 ( 1,523)

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ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Birthday Boy", by the Drive-By Truckers contains the line, "Let Miss Trixie sit up front" - a quote from Madeline Kahn in the film. See more »

Goofs

The camera crew's shadow can be seen as Mose, Trixie and Imogene leave the circus tent. 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.
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the people in and around Hays, Kansas and St. Joseph, Missouri See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Second Uncanny Issue of X-Men! Making 'X2' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

After You've Gone
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by Turner Layton
Lyrics by Henry Creamer
Performed by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What's not to like?
26 November 2004 | by skymoviesSee all my reviews

As cute and sharp as it's 9-year-old star Tatum O'Neal, Paper Moon is a bona-fide gem that says that, one way or another, we're all con artists. The acting is wonderful (Ryan O'Neal was never better), the cinematography is exceptional and it's to the eternal credit of director Bogdanovich and his writer Alvin Sargeant that the caper never sinks into mushiness. By avoiding the earnestness that pervades so many Depression Era tales and perfectly balancing character with situation, it rolls along so merrily that you don't realise how touching it is until the very end.

Having (criminally) never seen Paper Moon before, I suspect that it must have had more than a passing influence on a great many other movies, including my all-time favourite Midnight Run. Watching it is an experience to be savoured and treasured, and one that I'm looking forward to repeating time and again.


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