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||IMDB Rating: 8.2/10 from votes
||Release: 9 May 1973 (USA) /
||Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
||Stars: Bob Young, Ed Reed, Jack Saunders, James N. Harrell, Jessie Lee Fulton, Jody Wilbur, John Hillerman, Lila Waters, Liz Ross, Madeline Kahn, Noble Willingham, P.J. Johnson, Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Yvonne Harrison
||Synopsis: 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 [email protected]
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PAPER MOON is one of those films which refuses to age or become dated,
because, as director Peter Bogdanovich claims, it was dated when it was
released. It has the look and presence of a film from the Golden Thirties
with the panache and style that could only come from the Golden Seventies.
That extraordinary decade when the Old Hollywood Studio Machine was being
rapidly replaced by the rise of the Artist Filmmaker, who were young,
and just out of film school. A wonderful period of flux when anything
and did happen. A seminal period in filmmaking where new artists were
making important new films, which would change Hollywood
PAPER MOON is outwardly a period road picture set in the mid 30s, about a
traveling man named Moze Pray (Ryan O'Neil) who will play any angle if it
means a couple of extra dollars in his pocket. As the story opens he
to escort the daughter of a now deceased lover to her Aunt in Missouri.
Slick Moze quickly meets his match in the half pint tough little Addie
Loggins (Ryan's real life daughter Tatum in her first role). No
tear jerker here, this is a great story which refuses to go down the
road of a father reunited with his lost little girl; we aren't even sure
it's really his daughter. Little Addie is tough as nails at every turn
a whole lot more savvy than Moze could ever be. At turn after turn she
outsmart and outmaneuver Moze in a way which is a sheer delight to watch.
Tatum O'Neil gives an Oscar caliber performance as little Addie, but why
was given a Best Supporting Actress award and not nominated for the Best
Actress category, one can only wonder. Madeline Kahn (What's Up Doc,
Blazing Saddles), in her second film ever also delivers the goods as Miss
Trixie Delight who meets up with the pair and sees her own angle.
is playing some angle in this film and we get to enjoy every minute of it.
Shot completely on locations in Kansas and Missouri PAPER MOON sparkles
a richness only capable in black and white. Cinematographer Lazlo Kovacs
a great camera artist and never better than PAPER MOON where he uses black
and white, deep focus and those great long takes to its best advantage.
the untrained eye it will just appear very sharp, but look closely at each
frame and notice that everything is in tack sharp focus from the closest
object to far in the distance. This deep focus is very difficult to
correctly, especially in the night shots, but Kovacs does it so well it is
seamless. Watch for the train station sequence where even the children
playing in the background are razor sharp. This is a look that can only
achieved using black and white to its fullest potential. New filmmakers
take notice. This is how it's supposed to be done.
All this cinematic brilliance would be wasted were it not for the
direction of Bogdanovich. In this his third film, he proves that he is a
consummate filmmaker who knows how to move the actors and camera in
concert. His craftsmanship of each scene is unmistakable as he brings a
fresh and very new approach using Hollywood tricks which are decades old.
lesser director might have used process shots and sets to tell the story,
but not Bogdanovich. He shot the entire film in real locations to give it
the look and feel of a real thirties road picture. You can almost smell
wide plains and feel the dust as it comes up to slap you in the face.
Notice too how he never resorts to sentimentality to move the story along,
it is told razor sharp and without tears. This, never more apparent than
the final sequence where he pays off the film in grand style.
There is only one thing about this film which still baffles me. Why in
night time hotel sequence toward the end of the film were electric lights
everywhere but inside the hotel lobby, which was lit entirely with
Was it to give the look and feel of the period, or did the real location
Small point, but interesting.
If, like myself, the last time you saw PAPER MOON was when it was released
in 1973, see it again on DVD and be delighted all over again. The DVD
transfer is marvelous and only serves to heighten its visual appeal. If
have only seen PAPER MOON on broadcast TV, do yourself a favor and see the
new DVD for a pleasant surprise. Without the obligatory broadcast TV
commercials, pan and scan and dialogue cuts this will appear like a new
seen the way it was supposed to be seen. And if you have NEVER seen PAPER
MOON and harbor some prejudice against black and white films, please see
this film. Any preconceived notions against this format will quickly
dissolve as it takes you along for a rich ride with Addie and Moze in the
only format it could - glorious black and white.
Tags for Paper Moon Full Movie
, Ed Reed
, Jack Saunders
, James N. Harrell
, Jessie Lee Fulton
, Jody Wilbur
, John Hillerman
, Lila Waters
, Liz Ross
, Madeline Kahn
, Noble Willingham
, P.J. Johnson
, Ryan O'Neal
, Tatum O'Neal
, Yvonne Harrison
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