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The Paper Chase was a one hour dramatic series premiering on CBS in 1978 that won great critical praise, garnering the Emmy for Outstanding New Series. Based on the movie and novel, rural Minnesotan James T. Hart (James Stephens) is unprepared for the life of a first year law student at an Ivy League law school. In his first class, he elicits the ire of revered and feared contracts professor Charles W. Kingsfield(played by the brilliant John Houseman reprising his Academy Award winning movie role). But Hart is committed. And smart. And so is The Paper Chase. In order to keep up with the never-ending workload, Hart joins a study group for support. Each episode explores the trials and tribulations, the successes and failures, the competition and camaraderie that each student faces.
The chase is finally over for this shining example of a television series that didn't treat its viewers as if they had skulls full of mush. Based on the acclaimed 1973 film that was adapted from John Jay Osborn, Jr.'s novel, this 1978 series is literally old school. It presents education in general and the study of law in particular as noble pursuits. The students for whom we develop a rooting interest are the best and the brightest, and in Professor Charles Kingsfield we have an addition to the pantheon of great movie/TV teachers. James Stephens anchors the series as Hart, an idealistic first-year law student. In the Grade-A pilot episode, as in the film, he gets on the wrong side of the intimidating Kingsfield, his role model and inspiration, on the first day of class. How Hart gets back in his good graces sets the stage for episodes in which classroom drama proves to be just as compelling as the courtroom variety. Hart's study-group classmates include third generation lawyer Ford (Tom Fitzsimmons), genius Anderson (Robert Ginty), activist Logan (Francine Tacker), newly-married Brooks (Jonathan Sagall), and slob Bell (James Keane). The Paper Chase got the prestige treatment. James Brooks, who directed the feature film, developed the series for television, Osborn wrote several of the episodes, and the venerable John Houseman recreated his Oscar-winning role as Kingsfield, a TV first. While Kingsfield was a monolithic character in the film, he is more accessible in the series. There is much more interaction between him and the idolizing Hart. Familiar faces in Season One include Marilu Henner as a sympathetic waitress in the pilot episode, Don Porter (Gidget) as Ford's demanding father in "The Man Who Would Be King," Robert Reed as a professor who sexually harasses Logan in "Once More with Feeling," and Kim Cattrall as a struggling law student's wife in "Da Da." The Paper Chase was a critics' darling, but just as bad grades could sink Kingsfield's students, so did bad ratings result in The Paper Chase's cancellation after one year. Following reruns on PBS, the Showtime network picked up the series for three more CableAce Award-winning seasons. The Paper Chase was no doubt to aspiring lawyers what All the President's Men was to fledgling investigative reporters. Rarely syndicated, the series is just as gripping as when it first aired, its intensity and intelligence are undimmed. --Donald Liebenson
Great set. Also have Season 2 and am waiting for season Three and Graduation to come out.Published 2 months ago by James M. Lurquin
I am a retired lawyer. Situations were often true-to-life. Brought back law school memories. Supposedly, Houseman's character was based on Professor Clark Byse,, whom I had at... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bennett I. Bardfeld
Starts a little slow, but becomes very interesting as the series goes on. Well worth watchingPublished 7 months ago by Raymond Herold
I'd been waiting for this DVD release for years and it was worth the wait. Just to see Prof. Kingsfield probing his law students' minds on assorted issues in his Contracts class. Read morePublished 8 months ago by PHILIP A. STAHL
This move is wonderful. It knocked me out at 10 years old in the theatre upon it's release and it still knocks me out to this day at 51 years old.Published 9 months ago by TODZZZZZ
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|NO subtitles for this?||
i agree,it should come with subtitles,helps much all those who don't speak english fluently.
Jul 18, 2009 by AL | See all 5 posts
|Vote at Shout! Factory for future DVDs!||
I saw that. Paper Chase is also being released with all 4 seasons at DVD.ONE.TV Never heard of it, and I don't recall it was being released on Region 1, though my TV plays Region 0 fine. Since I've already bought the first Paper Chase here, I would be paying for it twice, but I'm thinking... Read More
May 29, 2009 by Lotte | See all 3 posts
I think Hart's relationship with Logan, and his intense desire to do good in Kingsfield's eyes, are the 2 themes that replace the movie themes.
Jun 13, 2009 by Jim from D-town | See all 8 posts
|disc 2 missing||
disc 2 was inside my box set and contains great episodes,i hope season 2 becomes available soon.
Jul 18, 2009 by AL | See all 2 posts
|Image quality varies between episodes||
MY message is that for the most part only the worst and weirdest of TV shows are out on DVD. This was a good one, and though I have the movie I would like to have the TV version. Not just Season 1 but all the seasons. I'd pay for them too. But, once again like MTM, 4 seasons out of 7, and... Read More
May 19, 2009 by Lotte | See all 3 posts
|Does it have spanish subtitles?||Be the first to reply|