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"It's Only A Paper Moon Sailing Over A Cardboard Sea... " - My Favorite Film Of All Time

  • May 28, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
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.

The Prays fall "prey" to a con played on them (well, Moses anyway) as the film progesses, by a hootchie-cootchie sideshow carnival dancer/prostitute named Miss Trixie Delight, adeptly played by Madelyn Kahn who was also nominated for an Oscar. The sneaky and a little jealous Addie deals with Miss Trixie in her own time and also helps out Miss Trixie's maid, Imogene and gives her money to return back to her family.

This is a great family movie with a touching father/daughter story to share. No nudity, few "cuss" words, and an all-around crowd pleaser whether you are 6 or 106. I don't mind telling you that this is my favorite movie of all time and I have viewed it upwards of 100 times. I still laugh, cry, and go through a multitude of emotions no matter how many times a watch the film. Certainly, a hallmark of a great cinematic masterpiece!

Happy Watching!

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September 10, 2010
I remember seeing this in the cinemas in the mid 70's and really loving it, in fact I went twice. Then saw it later on TV and it was great fun, the story is so good and the performance of the actor just brilliant. I must get on DVD, it's a classic.
 
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More Paper Moon reviews
review by . December 22, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Story, acting (particularly the little O'Neal), camerawork and theme      Cons: Honestly nothing of note      The Bottom Line: In a small bit of hyperbole, it is a film so broadly, maturely funny, I don't think I'd want to have dinner with you if found little to laugh at.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Literary history defines two kinds of fools: the wit fool and …
review by . April 28, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
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, …
About the reviewer
Sheila Chilcote-Collins ()
Ranked #156
I enjoy writing my own reviews, listmanias, 'So You'd Like To's' on Amazon and love reading other people's thoughts. I own in excess of 1000 movies, 800+ albums, & 500+ books. … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Paper Moon is an American motion picture comedy that was released in 1973 and was directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

The screenplay was adapted from the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, and the film was shot in black-and-white.

The film is set during the Great Depression in the U.S. state of Kansas and it starred the real life father and daughter pairing of Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, as on-screen father and daughter Moses and Addie.

In September 1974, a television series called Paper Moon, based on the film, premiered on the ABC television network. The television version of Paper Moon starred Jodie Foster as Addie and Christopher Connelly (who had played Ryan O'Neal's brother in the TV series Peyton Place) as Moses Pray. However, it was not a ratings success and it went off the air a few months after it debuted, in January 1975.

A sweet and subtle gem of a movie. Newly orphaned Addie (Tatum O'Neal) falls into the care of small-time con artist Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal, Tatum's real-life father) and turns out to be better at grifting than he is. Set in Depression-era Kansas,Paper Moonis a miracle of unity. The set design and cinematography combine to give both the flavor of documentary photos and the visual quality of movies from the period, and every performance meshes with the overall tone of sincerity, earnest optimism, and creeping desperation. The rapport between Addie and Moses is phenomenal--and being father and daughter doesn't make that a ...

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Details

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: May 9, 1973
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2003
Runtime: 1hr 45min
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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