The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
9.2/10
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Birthday Party 

Hart and the others want to do something special to mark Professor Kingsfield's 80th birthday, against the advice of Mrs. Nottingham and Kinsgfield himself. Meanwhile, why is the U.S. Attorney General paying a midnight visit to Kingsfield?

Director:

Jack Bender

Writers:

John Jay Osborn Jr. (novel), James Bridges (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Houseman ... Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.
James Stephens ... James T. Hart
Tom Fitzsimmons Tom Fitzsimmons ... Franklin Ford III
James Keane ... Willis Bell
Jane Kaczmarek ... Connie Lehman
Michael Tucci ... Gerald Golden
Betty Harford Betty Harford ... Mrs. Nottingham
Mark Schubb Mark Schubb ... Sims
Wortham Krimmer Wortham Krimmer ... Martin Zeiss
Robin Gammell ... Attorney General Patterson
Janine Turner ... Sondra
Bruce Gray Bruce Gray ... Greg Noyes
Frank McCarthy Frank McCarthy
Susan Friedman Susan Friedman
Deborah Tilton Deborah Tilton
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Storyline

Hart and the others want to do something special to mark Professor Kingsfield's 80th birthday, against the advice of Mrs. Nottingham and Kinsgfield himself. Meanwhile, why is the U.S. Attorney General paying a midnight visit to Kingsfield?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1983 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
The show picks up some steam
27 June 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

As you may know, the TV show "The Paper Chase" began on CBS back in 1978--but it only lasted a single season. Then, in 1983, Showtime began showing new episodes--ones with some of the old cast members and with some new ones. "Birthday Party" is the second Showtime episode--and it is significant because it is every bit as good as the original shows and sets a nice precedent for future episodes.

The show begins with a surprise visit of the US Attorney General to campus. He is interested in putting forth Kingsfield for a seat on the Supreme Court. At the same time, the Professor is approaching his 80th birthday--and Hart would like to somehow mark this milestone. However, Kingsfield isn't exactly human, and he HATES birthday celebrations. An additional problem concerns Hart and Ford working through their relationship as roommates--and lots of tension is the result.

Overall, a very sentimental but extremely well-written episode of the series. You really find yourself pulled into this one--and it packs a strong emotional punch.

As I mentioned in a previous review from Season Two, it's obvious that the show was made for Showtime, as the characters curse and have sex lives--things you'd never really have on the original show. It was not gratuitous, however.


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