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Paper Moon (1973)

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
4,648 ( 433)
Top Rated Movies #245 | 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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1973 (Netherlands) 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

Film debut of Tatum O'Neal. See more »

Goofs

Mose tells Addie that "...this particular person don't like cigarette smoke." He is referring to Trixie Delight. However, we later see Trixie smoking a cigarette when Imogene informs her of Lloyd's proposition. This apparent goof is part of Miss Trixie's efforts to create a "proper" impression for Mose; she doesn't want him to be aware that she does in fact smoke. 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 WatchMojo: Top 10 Acting Debuts in Movies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Flirtation Walk
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Lyrics by Mort Dixon
Performed by Dick Powell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Enchanting Depression-era comedy...
29 August 2006 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

True, TATUM O'NEIL won an Oscar for her role as Addie Pray in PAPER MOON and fully deserved it. Her dad, RYAN O'NEIL must have been proud of her but his only reward was a Golden Globe nomination.

The con artist and little girl theme had been used before in Damon Runyon's famous comedy "Little Miss Marker" with Shirley Temple and Adolphe Menjou. But here the twist is that the girl is just as much a con artist as the man--and that's the key that makes the film so much more palatable for 1970s audiences without getting too sentimental about it.

There's a real Depression-era feeling to the whole story, with some richly detailed panoramas of rural America and its citizens at that time in history. Peter Bogdanovich has done a commendable job in making sure that his authentic backgrounds illuminate an enchanting tale about two drifters who share an unusual partnership when it becomes clear to the man that the girl would be a valuable aid in his con work.

There's a bright supporting role by MADELINE KAHN as Trixie Delight, a stripper who tosses off some good one-liners, but it's the chemistry between Tatum and Ryan that turns this into the most satisfying "buddy" movie of the '70s.

Summing up: A treat not to be missed.


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