The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
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The second year begins with Hart and Ford moving to an off-campus apartment, while Bell is still at the dorm as the advisor for the 1-L students. Some of the 1-L students hound Hart for his... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
... Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.
... James T. Hart
Tom Fitzsimmons ... Franklin Ford III
... Willis Bell
... Connie Lehman
... Gerald Golden
Betty Harford ... Mrs. Nottingham
Mark Schubb ... Sims
Michael Mitz
Richard Wygant
... Berger (as Gabriel Yorke)
Marion Yue ... Student


The second year begins with Hart and Ford moving to an off-campus apartment, while Bell is still at the dorm as the advisor for the 1-L students. Some of the 1-L students hound Hart for his Contracts outline, until Ford and Bell auction it off (against Hart's wishes). Meanwhile, 1-L Connie Lehman shows a personal interest in Hart ... or is it only his outline? Written by JEFJR

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

15 April 1983 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the first episode presented on Showtime. See more »

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User Reviews

A decent first episode...
27 June 2013 | by See all my reviews

Back in 1978, CBS brought us the show "The Paper Chase". While critically acclaimed, the show only had mediocre ratings and was soon canceled--only lasting a single season. In 1983, Showtime decided to revive the series. The problem is that only some of the original actors were available--and the absence of several key cast members isn't even mentioned in this new show. Instead, it focuses on the second year of law school for three of the originals--Bell, Ford and Hart. In addition, some first year law students are introduced (in particular, Jane Kaczmarek). It's not entirely a smooth transition, but having the new students and new roles for the second year students (Hart is with Law Review and Bell is a Resident Adviser) makes up for some of this. However, because the gap between year one and two was actually several, you might be startled to see how old the characters look as well as the massive weight loss James Keane (Bell) underwent. Additionally, since it was not shown on network TV, Showtime spiced up the show a bit by including a few obscenities and a new introduction was created.

This show didn't just introduce new characters. The major theme of the show is the panic within the first year students. To capitalize on this, Ford and Bell decide to make money auctioning off Hart's outline for Kingsfield's class, as Hart was a very, very rare student--he received an A in Contract Law! At the same time, Lehman (Jane Kaczmarek) is struggling--much like Hart did in the first episode of the original series. And, when she becomes personally involved with Hart, it's hard to determine if it's because she cares about him or because she wants access to his notes. Overall, a nice introduction to the new series--time will only tell whether the show would continue with the same quality it maintained previously. Well made and interesting throughout.

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