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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
2,591 ( 418)
Top Rated Movies #238 | 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:

As P.T. Barnum put it, "There's a sucker born every minute." See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | 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

Peter Bogdanovich didn't think the movie would make much money or would be very successful. He certainly didn't think Tatum O'Neal would win the Oscar. See more »

Goofs

When Mose and Addy are agreeing to meet after they arrive in St. Joseph, he tells her to meet him on the 'Corner of East Wearing and Burlington.' There is no Wearing, (east or west) or Burlington in St. Joseph, MO. The streets in downtown St. Joseph, MO are numbered and/or named after the children of St. Joseph's founder, Joseph Robidoux. 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 I Love the '70s: Volume 2: 1973 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Georgia on My Mind
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyrics by Stuart Gorrell
Performed by Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A terrific film on all levels
8 February 2002 | by groltSee all my reviews

Paper Moon has to be one of the finest pieces of American cinema to grace the 70's. Bogdanovich's direction bares a strong resemblance to The Last Picture Show, but overall this film is much more satisfying and enjoyable. The Black and White photography gives the film a nostalgic beauty that perfectly complements the Depression-era it attempts to recreate. Also notable is the charming Jazz-based score, with a wonderful opening title track, reinforcing the film's charm. As good as the story, direction and music are however, the true stars of the film are the O'Neal twosome. Both bring forth their best performances of their careers, and share a chemistry on screen that only a father and daughter could. Ryan O'Neal brings forth a subtle charm as the wise-talking, but inept hustler Moses Pray. Tatum however, even upstages her father with what has to be the best youth performance in history. She is funny and moving when need be, and always charming, eliciting laughs many times based solely on her malleable facial expressions. Her show-stopping five minute shot, no matter how long it took to film, proves just how fully Tatum was able to embody little Addie Pray. The movie is always entertaining, with never a dull spot, with a strong supporting performance by Madeline Kahn to help keep things rolling during the middle. This is a true classic that should be seen by people of all ages, I can't recommend it enough!


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