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Paper Moon (1973)

Ryan O'Neal , Tatum O'Neal , Peter Bogdanovich  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman, P.J. Johnson
  • Directors: Peter Bogdanovich
  • Writers: Alvin Sargent, Joe David Brown
  • Producers: Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola, Frank Marshall, William Friedkin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2003
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009RDGA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,226 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Paper Moon" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making Of Paper Moon -
  • The Next Picture Show
  • Asking For The Moon
  • Getting The Moon

Editorial Reviews

Adapted from the novel "Addie Pray" by Joe David Brown, PAPER MOON is set in the Midwest during the Great Depression, and follows the story of Moses Pray (Ryan O’Neal), a happy-go-lucky con artist who travels through the Midwest on a mission to swindle money out of innocent widows. While attending a friend’s funeral, Pray is called upon by two elderly ladies to deliver the daughter of the deceased, Addie (Tatum O’Neal), to her aunt in Missouri. Soon learning that the 9-year-old is almost as mischievous and manipulative as he is, Pray and Addie develop a father and daughter routine that increases their credibility as well as their income. Now, the devious duo set out on a series of misadventures involving crooked cops, bootleggers, grieving widows and a Carney dancer named Miss Trixie Delight (Kahn) who adds a little spice to their routine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grossly underrated masterpiece. March 21, 2002
By D. Mok
Format:VHS Tape
I can't think of a big enough cynic who can dismiss the charms of this movie. On my list, Paper Moon qualifies as one of the best comedies ever made, a mixture of childlike wonder and wry sarcasm, simultaneously detached in its narrative approach (thanks to amazing understated camerawork) and intimate.
The script has no faults. Scenes hurtle forward at a brisk but never hyper pace, every moment pregnant with character development and sharp dialogue. Ryan and Tatum O'Neal's exchanges are pristine in their comic timing, side-splitting and touching at the same time, effortlessly exploiting the chemistry between father and daughter. Their scenes in the car are so hilarious and endearing that you'd wish you could ride with them for hours longer. And the film is rich in period flavour, from the stark black-and-white photography to the music to every character, evoking a sense of longing for a more innocent age without ever lapsing into downright nostalgia. The themes -- the vagabond heart which can't stand still, growing up, identity, friendship -- ring as true today as they always did.
I saw this movie when I was quite young and it's never lost its magical hold on me. Watch it again even if you have already; you will discover something new every time.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Adapted from the matchless novel "Addie Pray" by Joe David Brown, Paper Moon is set in the Midwest/dustbowl during the Great Depression/Roosevelt era. One-of-a-kind directing by Peter Bogdanovich, beautiful black & white cinematography, a great musical score with snippets of old time radio shows like Fibber McGee & Molly, Jack Benny and a host of others.
Real-life father & daughter duo, Ryan & Tatum O'Neil team up in this gem of a movie.
Ryan plays Moses Pray. A slick, sliver-tongued, gold toothed, travelling huckster & who always has a new con to turn up his sleeve such as door to door Bible selling to recently widowed women, bootlegging, short changing, and a "car swappin' wrasslin' match" between Moses and a very young Randy Quaid. Tatum plays Addie and garnered the coveted Oscar for her performance at the tender age of 10. Addie decides to get in on many of the cons and becomes quite a prolific short change artist. Addie decides on her own to take Moses' last name and travel with him under the guise as his daughter. In one of the best scenes in the movie they deal with whether or not Addie is Moses' illegitimate daughter. That scene is set in a diner while drinking NeHi's and eating Coney Islands. Addie is sure that Moses is, indeed, her father as she states, "We got the SAME jaw!" Moses responds and says, "I know a lady who has the jaw of a bullfrog but that doesn't mean that she's the damn things mother!" Addie asks Moses, "You meet my mamma in a barroom?" (implying that her mamma was a prostitute). Moses comes right back asking Addie, "You think that just because a man meets a woman in a barroom means that they get a baby?" Ryan and Tatum's bantering repartee is natural, hilarious and touching all at the same time.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life is Just a Paper Moon..." November 8, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
In the 1970s, director, Peter Bogdanovich was at the top of his game contributing a number of classics to that particular golden age of filmmaking. His masterpiece of course was the brilliant movie, "The Last Picture Show", which deserves all its accolades.But one film, which I do not feel has recieved its proper due, is his wonderful nostalgic comedy, "Paper Moon".This is among one of the best comedies to come out of the early '70s. "Paper Moon" takes place in the dust bowl Midwest at the height of the 'Great Depression'. Bible salesman/con-artist, Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) stops by the funeral of an old female acquaintance to pay his respects. He is immediatly talked into delivering the deceased women's little girl, Addie, (Tatum O'neal) to an Aunt in Saint Joseph, Mo.This episodic film then becomes a road trip movie. At first Mos' and the precocious, little girl (she smokes and swears) are at logger heads. But soon he discovers that Addie is smart and just as good a con- artist as he is.The two team up together and devise various scams to part a variety of fools with their money. Along the way in their adventures they meet up with crooked cops, bootleggers, grieving widows, gullible store clerks,a carney dancer & her valet and even a family of rasl'n hillbillies. Bogdanovich has created a wonderful nostalgic film that is full of both humor and pathos.We laugh as we watch the cons unfold and the twosome (most of the time) get away with their crimes.But their is also a certain melancholic atmosphere, throughout the movie as Bogdonovich shows us a rural America, which has been descimated by the effects of the dustbowl and the Depression.This is greatly aided and highlighted by Cinematographer, Laszlo Kovacs's brilliantly stark, black & white photography. Read more ›
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of the DVD version August 23, 2003
Format:DVD
The early successes of director Peter Bogdanovich -- which began with TARGETS in 1968, followed by his masterpiece THE LAST PICTURE SHOW in '71 and WHAT'S UP DOC the next year -- ended in 1973 with an evocative and endearing comedy-drama called PAPER MOON. Shot in rather stark black-and-white photography in real locations, and taking place mostly in sleepy locales and barren landscapes of the 30s, PAPER MOON seems to echo the memorably desolate world Bogdanovich had created in THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. But rather than a depressing look of American life, PAPER MOON is a light-hearted adventure about a con man and a tomboyish orphan girl partnering together to pull one small-time scam after another, with the girl often saving the day. The small cast of actors all give memorable performances. But the film will be most remembered for the work by then eight-year-old newcomer Tatum O'Neal as the orphan, who is on the screen nearly constantly and basically carries the whole film. She imbues every scene with the right emotions, convictions, world-weariness, precociousness, and understated pathos and comedy. It is a thoroughly convincing portrayal of a character that probably should have been played by a slightly older actress (in the original novel, it is a 12-year-old) to be believable. But looking at it today, it is an irreplaceable performance.
The Region-1-only DVD version offers a good-looking widescreen anamorphic transfer, with the high-contrast black-and-white photography presented very well, with only a few graininess here and there to mar its quality. The mono audio sounds reasonably good.
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The Soundtrack for Paper Moon
Years ago I found a vinyl version in an old antique shop. I've treasured it ever since!
Feb 28, 2007 by Kenneth M. Gelwasser |  See all 3 posts
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