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The Paper Chase

1 rating: 5.0
1973 motion picture starring Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner and John Houseman.

The Paper Chase is a 1973 film starring Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, and John Houseman and directed by James Bridges. Based on John Jay Osborn, Jr.'s 1970 novel, The Paper Chase, the film tells the story of Hart, a first-year law student at Harvard … see full wiki

Genre: Drama
Release Date: 1973
1 review about The Paper Chase

The trials and tribulations of a first year law student at Harvard Law School.

  • Dec 20, 2008
  • by
Despite the fact that "The Paper Chase" is one of my personal favorites I had not seen this film in a number of years.  When I checked the DVD out of my local library the other today the librarian commented  "a great movie and a terrific TV show."  She is correct on both counts.  This 1973 motion picture chronicles the harrowing experience of being a first year law student.  The man who wrote the screenplay should know.   John H. Osborne Jr. was a 1970 graduate of the Harvard Law School"The Paper Chase" revolves around the exploits of a young man from the Midwest named James Hart (played by Timothy Bottoms) and his tenuous relationship with Contract Law Professor Charles Kingsfield (John Houseman).  Viewers quickly come to understand just how difficult it is to make the grade in such a prestigious school.   Hart is invited to join a Study Group by a descendant of the Ford family (yes, that Ford family!) and sets out on the long and winding road to make the grade.  He falls for a woman who is a bit older than he is and unbeknownst to him she turns out to be none other than Professor Kingsfield's only daughter!  Talk about complicating your life!   The competition in school is ruthless and the pressures enormous.  The truth of the matter is that not everyone will make the grade. 

Timothy Bottoms is superb in the role of James Hart.  This just might be his finest performance.  John Houseman, who had helped Orson Welles found Mercury Theatre (remember the 1938 radio broadcast "War of the Worlds"?) stepped away from his career as a Broadway producer to play the role of Professor Kingsfield.   After seeing Houseman in this role one cannot imagine anyone else in it.  "The Paper Chase" was highly successful at the box office and spawned a CBS series which last for just one season.  John Houseman appeared in the TV series as well.   "The Paper Chase" represents the very finest in motion picture entertainment.  Very highly recommended! 
The trials and tribulations of a first year law student at Harvard Law School.

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May 14, 2009
I loved this film...particularly the classroom scenes. Great writing and outstanding acting. John Osborne was my legal writing instructor at Berkeley and he was a great professor.
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