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Paper Moon (1973)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 May 1973 (USA)
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
4,861 ( 21)

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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

Set in the midwest of the depression-era, Paper Moon follows Moses Pray and Addie Loggins - one a con artist, the other, the young girl who's the daughter of a woman who's just passed away. The pair meet when 'Mose' stops by the sparsely-attended funeral in Kansas of a woman he once knew (we never see her). In attendance, is the woman's young daughter, Addie, whom Moses agrees to transport to St Joseph, Mo -- for money, of course. Mose - an inveterate hustler, has been working ostensibly as a representative of the Kansas Bible Company - who picks his marks from the obits, and tries to sell - at exorbitant prices - the decedents' spouse the custom bible they'd previously ordered. Wise beyond her years, Addie picks up on Moses' grift, and very quickly, she and Mose become a team. Traveling from town to town, making money in every dishonest way imaginable, and looking for the ultimate score. The colorful characters they meet along the way make the film all the more interesting. One in ... 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 | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Luna de papel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
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

The book was dubbed a "female Huck Finn" by some critics. See more »

Goofs

Ryan O'Neal's character is called "Mose" at one place in the closing credits and "Moze" in another place. 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

Referenced in ALF: Wanted: Dead or Alive (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee
(1932) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Enric Madriguera and Orchestra
Sung a cappella by Ryan O'Neal and then by Tatum O'Neal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What's not to like?
26 November 2004 | by skymoviesSee all my reviews

As cute and sharp as it's 9-year-old star Tatum O'Neal, Paper Moon is a bona-fide gem that says that, one way or another, we're all con artists. The acting is wonderful (Ryan O'Neal was never better), the cinematography is exceptional and it's to the eternal credit of director Bogdanovich and his writer Alvin Sargeant that the caper never sinks into mushiness. By avoiding the earnestness that pervades so many Depression Era tales and perfectly balancing character with situation, it rolls along so merrily that you don't realise how touching it is until the very end.

Having (criminally) never seen Paper Moon before, I suspect that it must have had more than a passing influence on a great many other movies, including my all-time favourite Midnight Run. Watching it is an experience to be savoured and treasured, and one that I'm looking forward to repeating time and again.


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