Paper Moon (film)

Paper Moon (film)

name = Paper Moon

imdb_id = 0070510
producer = Frank Marshall
Peter Bogdanovich
director = Peter Bogdanovich
writer = Joe David Brown (novel)
Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
starring = Ryan O'Neal
Tatum O'Neal
Madeline Kahn
Randy Quaid
cinematography = László Kovács
editing = Verna Fields
distributor = Paramount
released = May 9, 1973
runtime = 105 min.
language = English
amg_id = 1:37203

"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.


The story follows con man Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) and young Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal), an orphaned daughter of a prostitute. Because Moses had once had an affair with her mother, there is speculation that he is in fact Addie's father (which he denies). Moses is charged with bringing Addie to her aunt's home. Along the way, Moses manages to con the man who hit Addie's mother with his car into giving him two hundred dollars, claiming it's for Addie. Addie overhears this conversation and later demands the money from him. Because he spent the money, Moses is forced to keep Addie with him until he has raised two hundred dollars to give to her. Addie soon learns how Moses makes his money - he finds recently widowed women and visits them pretending to be a Bible salesman who recently sold a Bible to the deceased husband. The widows then pay him for the book. Addie joins in the scam, pretending to be his daughter, which makes the widows more willing to pay (as it makes Moses seem more legitimate). As time passes, Moses and Addie become a formidable team and seem to forget about Addie leaving for her aunt.

As they travel, Moses picks up a stripper named Miss Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn) and her downtrodden maid Imogene (P.J. Johnson). Although Addie becomes friends with Imogene, she becomes jealous of how Moses begins to focus more and more of his attention to Miss Trixie. When Addie discovers that Moses spent their money on a new car to impress Miss Trixie, she quickly devises a plan to get rid of her, which results in Moses catching Miss Trixie in bed with another man. Devastated, Moses leaves Miss Trixie behind.

At a hotel, Moses is able to find a bootlegger's store of whiskey, steals it, and sells it back to the bootlegger. Unfortunately, the bootlegger's brother is the sheriff, who quickly arrests Moses and Addie. Addie hides their money, steals back the key to their car, and the pair escape to Missouri, where the Kansas law can't follow them. The sheriff finds them in Missouri however, and unable to arrest Moses, he beats and robs him. Humiliated, Moses sends Addie to her aunt's house. Addie quickly misses Moses however and returns to him, reminding him that he still does owe her two hundred dollars.


The film project was originally associated with John Huston and was to star Paul Newman and his daughter, Nell Potts. However, when Huston left the project, the Newmans became dissociated from the film as well.Jeff Stafford, [ "Paper Moon"] , Turner Classic Movies article, October, 2006] Peter Bogdanovich had just completed What's Up Doc? and was looking for another project when his ex-wife and frequent collaborator Polly Platt recommended filming Joe David Brown's script for the novel "Addie Pray." Bogdanovich, a fan of period films, and having two young daughters of his own, found himself drawn to the story, and selected it as his next film.At the suggestion of Polly Platt, he approached eight-year-old Tatum O'Neal to audition for the role although she had no acting experience. Bogdanovich had recently worked with Tatum's father Ryan O'Neal on What's Up Doc?, and decided to cast them as the leads.

Various changes were made in adapting the book to film. Addie's age was reduced from twelve to nine to accommodate young Tatum, several events from the book were combined for pacing issues, and the last third of the novel was dropped. The location was also changed from the rural south to midwestern Kansas and Missouri.

Peter Bogdanovich also decided to change the name of the film. While selecting music for the film, he heard the song "It's Only a Paper Moon" (by Billy Rose, Yip Harburg, and Harold Arlen). Seeking advice from his close friend and mentor Orson Welles, Bogdanovich listed "Paper Moon" as a possible alternative. Welles responded — "That title is so good, you shouldn't even make the picture, you should just release the title!" Director of photography László Kovács used a red filter on the camera on Welles' advice. Bogdanovich also used deep focus cinematography and extended takes in the film.cite video
people = Bogdonavitch, Peter
title = Paper Moon (Special Features)
medium = DVD
publisher = Paramount Pictures
location = 1973
year2 =


Tatum O'Neal won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Addie. She is the youngest winner in the history of the Academy Awards. Madeline Kahn was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress but lost to Tatum that year. Since O'Neal's win, other child actors such as Haley Joel Osment, and Abigail Breslin have gone on to earn nominations, with some, like Anna Paquin, even winning the award.


*Ryan O'Neal .... Moses Pray
*Tatum O'Neal .... Addie Loggins
*Madeline Kahn .... Trixie Delight
*John Hillerman .... Deputy Hardin/Jess Hardin
*Burton Gilliam .... Floyd
*P.J. Johnson .... Imogene
*Jessie Lee Fulton .... Miss Ollie
*James N. Harrell .... The Minister (as Jim Harrell)
*Lila Waters .... The Minister's Wife
*Noble Willingham .... Mr. Robertson
*Bob Young .... Gas Station Attendant
*Jack Saunders .... Station Master
*Jody Wilbur .... Cafe Waitress
*Liz Ross .... The Widow Morgan (Pearl)
*Yvonne Harrison .... The Widow Bates (Marie)
*Dorothy Price .... Ribbon Saleslady
*Randy Quaid .... Leroy

Cultural references

References to "Paper Moon" have appeared in several different popular media. In "The Great Money Caper", an episode of "The Simpsons" that shares a similar plot to the movie, it is referenced by name when Homer Simpson and Bart Simpson try to trick Ned Flanders into receiving a fake Bible by saying that his deceased wife, Maude ordered it before she died. This prompts Ned to say after a few moments, "Wait a minute, this sounds like that movie "Paper Moon"...". In a parody in Mad Magazine, there is an introductory speech hypothetically delivered by Ryan O'Neal, expressing the magazine's opinion of the movie: that nepotism prompted O'Neal to cast his daughter.fact|date=May 2008The song lyrics for "Sitting on a Paper Moon" by The Pillows from their album White Incarnation are based on the movie.Paper Moon is often unacknowledged as a road film because of director Peter Bogdanovich's position as a "movie brat".fact|date=May 2008 This group of directors sought to create highly valued art films during a time when road films were thought to be lower class cinema. However, "Paper Moon" is a road movie, and thus falls into certain categories of the road genre. One of these categories is the father-child road film, specifically a father-daughter road film. [The Road Story and the Rebel: Moving Through Film, Fiction, and Television by Katie Mills]


External links

*imdb title | id=0070510 | title=Paper Moon

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