Paper Moon


1h 42m 1973
Paper Moon

Brief Synopsis

A fraudulent bible salesman reluctantly adopts a tough little girl who could be his daughter.

Cast & Crew

Peter Bogdanovich

Director

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
Jan 1973
Premiere Information
not available
Country
United States
Location
St. Joseph, Missouri, USA; Hays, Kansas, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

A bible salesman teams up with an orphan girl to form a money-making con team in Depression-era Kansas.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
Jan 1973
Premiere Information
not available
Country
United States
Location
St. Joseph, Missouri, USA; Hays, Kansas, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 42m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Award Wins

Best Supporting Actress

1973
Madeline Kahn

Best Supporting Actress

1973
Tatum O'Neal

Award Nominations

Best Sound

1973

Best Writing, Screenplay

1974

Articles

The Essentials - Paper Moon


SYNOPSIS

During the Depression era, a traveling salesman named Moses Pray makes his living in the mid-West conning widows into buying his Bibles. While attending the funeral of one of his former girlfriends, Moses discovers that the deceased left behind a nine-year-old daughter named Addie. He soon finds himself pressured into escorting the young orphan to relatives in St. Joseph, Missouri. However, Moses' new traveling companion is no angel (she smokes and curses) and she's a quick study in the art of the hustle. In record time, Moses enlists her as a partner in his deception of unsuspecting rubes.

Director/Producer: Peter Bogdanovich
Screenplay: Alvin Sargent, based on the novel by Joe David Brown
Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs
Editor: Verna Fields
Art Direction: Polly Platt
Cast: Ryan O'Neal (Moses Pray), Tatum O'Neal (Addie Loggins), Madeline Kahn (Trixie Delight), John Hillerman (Deputy Sheriff Hardin/Jess Hardin), P.J. Johnson (Imogene), Jessie Lee Fulton (Miss Ollie).
BW-103m. Letterboxed.

Why PAPER MOON is Essential

Based on the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, Paper Moon was Peter Bogdanovich's last popular success before a string of flops like Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975), and Nickelodeon (1976) made him box-office poison in the mid-seventies. It's hard to say why he went off the tracks on those subsequent productions but Paper Moon is a winner all the way, from its evocative black and white cinematography that perfectly captures the Midwest during the Depression to the vintage soundtrack which includes tunes performed by Ozzie Nelson, Hoagy Carmichael, and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.

Bogdanovich, who was a film critic before he became a filmmaker, was heavily influenced by the work of Howard Hawks and John Ford and you can see their influence throughout this film; the humor has the sharpness of Hawks' best comedies while the characters and settings recall the work of Ford and his affection for rural America. In fact, there is a homage to Ford in the scene where Moses and Addie are in a diner and across the street, the movie house is playing Ford's Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935).

Originally, Paul Newman and his daughter, Nell Potts, were to star in Paper Moon with John Huston as the director but the project fell through. Luckily, the assignment fell to Peter Bogdanovich who cast Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum. It was Tatum's first film role and, from most reports, she was difficult on the set. Bogdanovich said later that working with Tatum O'Neal was "one of the most miserable experiences of my life." Nevertheless, the end result won Tatum the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, making her the youngest actress to ever win that award. The other Academy Award nominations for Paper Moon were for Best Sound, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress Madeline Kahn who almost steals the movie with her sad-funny portrayal of Trixie Delight, a pathetic carnival stripper.

By Jeff Stafford
The Essentials - Paper Moon

The Essentials - Paper Moon

SYNOPSIS During the Depression era, a traveling salesman named Moses Pray makes his living in the mid-West conning widows into buying his Bibles. While attending the funeral of one of his former girlfriends, Moses discovers that the deceased left behind a nine-year-old daughter named Addie. He soon finds himself pressured into escorting the young orphan to relatives in St. Joseph, Missouri. However, Moses' new traveling companion is no angel (she smokes and curses) and she's a quick study in the art of the hustle. In record time, Moses enlists her as a partner in his deception of unsuspecting rubes. Director/Producer: Peter Bogdanovich Screenplay: Alvin Sargent, based on the novel by Joe David Brown Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs Editor: Verna Fields Art Direction: Polly Platt Cast: Ryan O'Neal (Moses Pray), Tatum O'Neal (Addie Loggins), Madeline Kahn (Trixie Delight), John Hillerman (Deputy Sheriff Hardin/Jess Hardin), P.J. Johnson (Imogene), Jessie Lee Fulton (Miss Ollie). BW-103m. Letterboxed. Why PAPER MOON is Essential Based on the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, Paper Moon was Peter Bogdanovich's last popular success before a string of flops like Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975), and Nickelodeon (1976) made him box-office poison in the mid-seventies. It's hard to say why he went off the tracks on those subsequent productions but Paper Moon is a winner all the way, from its evocative black and white cinematography that perfectly captures the Midwest during the Depression to the vintage soundtrack which includes tunes performed by Ozzie Nelson, Hoagy Carmichael, and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. Bogdanovich, who was a film critic before he became a filmmaker, was heavily influenced by the work of Howard Hawks and John Ford and you can see their influence throughout this film; the humor has the sharpness of Hawks' best comedies while the characters and settings recall the work of Ford and his affection for rural America. In fact, there is a homage to Ford in the scene where Moses and Addie are in a diner and across the street, the movie house is playing Ford's Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935). Originally, Paul Newman and his daughter, Nell Potts, were to star in Paper Moon with John Huston as the director but the project fell through. Luckily, the assignment fell to Peter Bogdanovich who cast Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum. It was Tatum's first film role and, from most reports, she was difficult on the set. Bogdanovich said later that working with Tatum O'Neal was "one of the most miserable experiences of my life." Nevertheless, the end result won Tatum the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, making her the youngest actress to ever win that award. The other Academy Award nominations for Paper Moon were for Best Sound, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress Madeline Kahn who almost steals the movie with her sad-funny portrayal of Trixie Delight, a pathetic carnival stripper. By Jeff Stafford

Pop Culture 101 - Paper Moon


Ryan O'Neal said that he hoped that Paper Moon would exonerate him from the overwhelming success of Love Story (1970), a film he found hard to live down and which threatened to typecast him as an Ivy League yuppie.

Paper Moon became an unsuccessful, short-lived television series in 1974, starring Christopher Connelly and future two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster.

The soundtrack is a crucial piece of the film's captivating milieu. The music in the background and on the radio was culled from the record collection of Rudi Fehr. Included are such Depression era standards as "A Picture of Me Without You," "Mississippi Mud," "About a Quarter To Nine," "Georgia On My Mind." "After You've Gone," and "The Music Goes Round and Round."

One important aspect of Paper Moon is Laszlo Kovacs' celebrated black and white cinematography. This was director Peter Bogdanovich's second film photographed in black and white, the first being The Last Picture Show (1971). Bogdanovich was quoted as saying, "I have more affection, more affinity for the past. Since I am more interested in it, it comes easier for me."

By Scott McGee

Pop Culture 101 - Paper Moon

Ryan O'Neal said that he hoped that Paper Moon would exonerate him from the overwhelming success of Love Story (1970), a film he found hard to live down and which threatened to typecast him as an Ivy League yuppie. Paper Moon became an unsuccessful, short-lived television series in 1974, starring Christopher Connelly and future two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster. The soundtrack is a crucial piece of the film's captivating milieu. The music in the background and on the radio was culled from the record collection of Rudi Fehr. Included are such Depression era standards as "A Picture of Me Without You," "Mississippi Mud," "About a Quarter To Nine," "Georgia On My Mind." "After You've Gone," and "The Music Goes Round and Round." One important aspect of Paper Moon is Laszlo Kovacs' celebrated black and white cinematography. This was director Peter Bogdanovich's second film photographed in black and white, the first being The Last Picture Show (1971). Bogdanovich was quoted as saying, "I have more affection, more affinity for the past. Since I am more interested in it, it comes easier for me." By Scott McGee

Trivia - Paper Moon - Trivia & Fun Facts About PAPER MOON


Polly Platt, the production designer on Paper Moon, is Peter Bogdanovich's ex-wife.

At the age of 10 years and 148 days, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest person ever to have won an Academy Award in a competitive category; she was four years younger than her rival nominee, Linda Blair, in The Exorcist (1973)-

The versatile comedy actress, Madeline Kahn, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Paper Moon. She was also nominated the next year for her hilarious supporting role in Blazing Saddles (1974) in which she parodied Marlene Dietrich's character in Destry Rides Again (1939). Sadly, Kahn died of cancer in 1999. Her final screen appearance was in Judy Berlin (1999), a critically acclaimed independent film by Eric Mendelsohn in which she played a mentally unstable housewife.

Keep a sharp lookout for a young Randy Quaid in the role of Leroy, a rural hick who challenges Ryan O'Neal to a wrestling match near the end of the picture. Quaid, brother of Dennis, was discovered by director Peter Bogdanovich while he was still a drama student. He made his screen debut in the director's 1971 masterpiece, The Last Picture Show. The same year he appeared in Paper Moon, Quaid was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in The Last Detail (1973). His most recent film is Not Another Teen Movie (2001), a satire on the entire high school movie genre.

FAMOUS QUOTES FROM PAPER MOON

Trixie Delight: I just don't understand it, Daddy. This little baby has to winky-tinky all the time.

Trixie Delight: One of these days you're gonna be just as pretty as Mademoiselle, maybe prettier. You already got bone structure. When I was your age, I didn't have no bone structure. Took me years to get bone structure. And don't think bone structure's not important. Nobody started to call me Mademoiselle until I was seventeen and getting a little bone structure."

Moses Pray: Just because a woman meets a man in a barroom doesn't mean he's your pa. Addie: Well, then, if you ain't my pa, I want my $200.

Trixie Delight: Times are hard...Now, if you fool around on the hill up here, then you don't get nothin', I don't get nothin', he don't get nothin'. So, how about it, honey? Just for a little while. Let old Trixie sit up front with her big tits.

Compiled by Scott McGee

Trivia - Paper Moon - Trivia & Fun Facts About PAPER MOON

Polly Platt, the production designer on Paper Moon, is Peter Bogdanovich's ex-wife. At the age of 10 years and 148 days, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest person ever to have won an Academy Award in a competitive category; she was four years younger than her rival nominee, Linda Blair, in The Exorcist (1973)- The versatile comedy actress, Madeline Kahn, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Paper Moon. She was also nominated the next year for her hilarious supporting role in Blazing Saddles (1974) in which she parodied Marlene Dietrich's character in Destry Rides Again (1939). Sadly, Kahn died of cancer in 1999. Her final screen appearance was in Judy Berlin (1999), a critically acclaimed independent film by Eric Mendelsohn in which she played a mentally unstable housewife. Keep a sharp lookout for a young Randy Quaid in the role of Leroy, a rural hick who challenges Ryan O'Neal to a wrestling match near the end of the picture. Quaid, brother of Dennis, was discovered by director Peter Bogdanovich while he was still a drama student. He made his screen debut in the director's 1971 masterpiece, The Last Picture Show. The same year he appeared in Paper Moon, Quaid was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in The Last Detail (1973). His most recent film is Not Another Teen Movie (2001), a satire on the entire high school movie genre. FAMOUS QUOTES FROM PAPER MOON Trixie Delight: I just don't understand it, Daddy. This little baby has to winky-tinky all the time. Trixie Delight: One of these days you're gonna be just as pretty as Mademoiselle, maybe prettier. You already got bone structure. When I was your age, I didn't have no bone structure. Took me years to get bone structure. And don't think bone structure's not important. Nobody started to call me Mademoiselle until I was seventeen and getting a little bone structure." Moses Pray: Just because a woman meets a man in a barroom doesn't mean he's your pa. Addie: Well, then, if you ain't my pa, I want my $200. Trixie Delight: Times are hard...Now, if you fool around on the hill up here, then you don't get nothin', I don't get nothin', he don't get nothin'. So, how about it, honey? Just for a little while. Let old Trixie sit up front with her big tits. Compiled by Scott McGee

The Big Idea - Paper Moon


Paper Moon is based on a book by Joe David Brown called Addie Pray. The film was originally slated for John Huston to direct, with Paul Newman and Newman's daughter, Nell Potts, in the lead roles, but the deal fell apart when Huston passed on the project due to prior commitments.

Paper Moon was Peter Bogdanovich's first film for the Directors Company, a production company formed by Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, and Francis Ford Coppola. At first, Bogdanovich had no real interest in filming what was then known as Addie Pray. He had been trying to get a Western made at Warner Brothers written by Larry McMurtry, a script that would eventually become Lonesome Dove. Bogdanovich was set on James Stewart, John Wayne, and Henry Fonda as the leads in his new Western. Unfortunately, Bogdanovich's dream project never reached fruition.

By Scott McGee

The Big Idea - Paper Moon

Paper Moon is based on a book by Joe David Brown called Addie Pray. The film was originally slated for John Huston to direct, with Paul Newman and Newman's daughter, Nell Potts, in the lead roles, but the deal fell apart when Huston passed on the project due to prior commitments. Paper Moon was Peter Bogdanovich's first film for the Directors Company, a production company formed by Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, and Francis Ford Coppola. At first, Bogdanovich had no real interest in filming what was then known as Addie Pray. He had been trying to get a Western made at Warner Brothers written by Larry McMurtry, a script that would eventually become Lonesome Dove. Bogdanovich was set on James Stewart, John Wayne, and Henry Fonda as the leads in his new Western. Unfortunately, Bogdanovich's dream project never reached fruition. By Scott McGee

Behind the Camera - Paper Moon


Peter Bogdanovich wound up making Paper Moon, despite his initial resistance, mainly because his estranged wife, Polly Platt, felt he was ideally suited to the material, both on a pictorial and narrative level. It was also Platt who suggested pairing Tatum O'Neal with father Ryan O'Neal. Bogdanovich wanted Platt to serve as the film's production designer, but she refused at first, because of her husband's open affair with Hollywood starlet Cybil Shepherd, whom he directed in The Last Picture Show (1971). Platt acquiesced on the condition that Shepherd not be allowed to visit the Paper Moon set.

Some Hollywood insiders suspected that Tatum O'Neal's performance in Paper Moon was "manufactured" by Peter Bogdanovich. It was revealed that the director had gone to great lengths, sometimes requiring as many as fifty takes of some of her scenes, in order to capture the "effortless" natural quality for which Tatum was critically praised. Either way, Bogdanovich maintained later that working with the young actress was "one of the most miserable experiences" of his life.

In a May 20, 1973, article in the New York Times, Ryan O'Neal spoke at length about his professional and personal relationship with daughter Tatum on Paper Moon: "I wouldn't have done the picture without (Tatum). The whole concept was such an interesting connection for Tatum and me. No father and daughter can connect with the intensity of a movie, and in a way, the story is a parallel of our lives." Ryan also reassured readers that Tatum would not become addicted to cigarettes, despite having smoked them in numerous scenes. Reportedly, they made her extremely nauseous.

Ryan O'Neal and director Peter Bogdanovich had plans after Paper Moon to film a project based on a Joseph Conrad novel, but it did not pan out. They also had plans to team up for a Cole Porter musical, co-starring Cybil Shepherd, which did get produced as At Long Last Love (1975), but with Burt Reynolds in the role intended for O'Neal. Said O'Neal in a 1973 article, "I'd do anything for Peter. He thinks I'm funny. He likes to play with me, to mold me. He knows he can do anything with me. I trust him totally, with my life and my daughter's life."

The actress playing Imogene was a 15-year-old Houston, Texas schoolgirl named P.J. Johnson. Before becoming something of a local movie celebrity in Houston following the film's release, Johnson had gone to Dallas and auditioned for director Peter Bogdanovich. The director told Johnson she got the part because she said he was handsome.

By Scott McGee

Behind the Camera - Paper Moon

Peter Bogdanovich wound up making Paper Moon, despite his initial resistance, mainly because his estranged wife, Polly Platt, felt he was ideally suited to the material, both on a pictorial and narrative level. It was also Platt who suggested pairing Tatum O'Neal with father Ryan O'Neal. Bogdanovich wanted Platt to serve as the film's production designer, but she refused at first, because of her husband's open affair with Hollywood starlet Cybil Shepherd, whom he directed in The Last Picture Show (1971). Platt acquiesced on the condition that Shepherd not be allowed to visit the Paper Moon set. Some Hollywood insiders suspected that Tatum O'Neal's performance in Paper Moon was "manufactured" by Peter Bogdanovich. It was revealed that the director had gone to great lengths, sometimes requiring as many as fifty takes of some of her scenes, in order to capture the "effortless" natural quality for which Tatum was critically praised. Either way, Bogdanovich maintained later that working with the young actress was "one of the most miserable experiences" of his life. In a May 20, 1973, article in the New York Times, Ryan O'Neal spoke at length about his professional and personal relationship with daughter Tatum on Paper Moon: "I wouldn't have done the picture without (Tatum). The whole concept was such an interesting connection for Tatum and me. No father and daughter can connect with the intensity of a movie, and in a way, the story is a parallel of our lives." Ryan also reassured readers that Tatum would not become addicted to cigarettes, despite having smoked them in numerous scenes. Reportedly, they made her extremely nauseous. Ryan O'Neal and director Peter Bogdanovich had plans after Paper Moon to film a project based on a Joseph Conrad novel, but it did not pan out. They also had plans to team up for a Cole Porter musical, co-starring Cybil Shepherd, which did get produced as At Long Last Love (1975), but with Burt Reynolds in the role intended for O'Neal. Said O'Neal in a 1973 article, "I'd do anything for Peter. He thinks I'm funny. He likes to play with me, to mold me. He knows he can do anything with me. I trust him totally, with my life and my daughter's life." The actress playing Imogene was a 15-year-old Houston, Texas schoolgirl named P.J. Johnson. Before becoming something of a local movie celebrity in Houston following the film's release, Johnson had gone to Dallas and auditioned for director Peter Bogdanovich. The director told Johnson she got the part because she said he was handsome. By Scott McGee

Paper Moon


A key film in the 'road movie' genre, Paper Moon (1973) introduces us to a traveling salesman named Moses Pray who cons widows into buying his Bibles. While attending the funeral of one of his former girlfriends, Moses discovers that the deceased left behind a nine-year-old daughter named Addie. He soon finds himself pressured into escorting the young orphan to relatives in St. Joseph, Missouri. However, Moses' new traveling companion is no angel (she smokes and curses) and she's a quick study in the art of the hustle. In record time, Moses enlists her as a partner in his deception of unsuspecting rubes.

Based on the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, Paper Moon was Peter Bogdanovich's last popular success before a string of flops like Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975), and Nickelodeon (1976) made him box-office poison in the mid-seventies. It's hard to say why he went off the tracks on those subsequent productions but Paper Moon is a winner all the way, from its evocative black and white cinematography that perfectly captures the Midwest during the Depression to the vintage soundtrack which includes tunes performed by Ozzie Nelson, Hoagy Carmichael, and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra.

Bogdanovich, who was a film critic before he became a filmmaker, was heavily influenced by the work of Howard Hawks and John Ford and you can see their influence throughout this film; the humor has the sharpness of Hawks' best comedies while the characters and settings recall the work of Ford and his affection for rural America. In fact, there is a homage to Ford in the scene where Moses and Addie are in a diner and across the street, the movie house is playing Ford's Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935).

Originally, Paul Newman and his daughter, Nell Potts, were to star in Paper Moon with John Huston as the director but the project fell through. Luckily, the assignment fell to Peter Bogdanovich who cast Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum. It was Tatum's first film role and, from most reports, she was difficult on the set. Bogdanovich said later that working with Tatum O'Neal was "one of the most miserable experiences of my life." Nevertheless, the end result won Tatum the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, making her the youngest actress to ever win that award. The other Academy Award nominations for Paper Moon were for Best Sound, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress Madeline Kahn who almost steals the movie with her sad-funny portrayal of Trixie Delight, a pathetic carnival stripper.

Director/Producer: Peter Bogdanovich
Screenplay: Alvin Sargent, based on the novel by Joe David Brown
Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs
Editor: Verna Fields
Art Direction: Polly Platt
Cast: Ryan O'Neal (Moses Pray), Tatum O'Neal (Addie Loggins), Madeline Kahn (Trixie Delight), John Hillerman (Deputy Sheriff Hardin/Jess Hardin), P.J. Johnson (Imogene), Jessie Lee Fulton (Miss Ollie).
BW-103m. Letterboxed.

by Jeff Stafford

Paper Moon

A key film in the 'road movie' genre, Paper Moon (1973) introduces us to a traveling salesman named Moses Pray who cons widows into buying his Bibles. While attending the funeral of one of his former girlfriends, Moses discovers that the deceased left behind a nine-year-old daughter named Addie. He soon finds himself pressured into escorting the young orphan to relatives in St. Joseph, Missouri. However, Moses' new traveling companion is no angel (she smokes and curses) and she's a quick study in the art of the hustle. In record time, Moses enlists her as a partner in his deception of unsuspecting rubes. Based on the novel Addie Pray by Joe David Brown, Paper Moon was Peter Bogdanovich's last popular success before a string of flops like Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975), and Nickelodeon (1976) made him box-office poison in the mid-seventies. It's hard to say why he went off the tracks on those subsequent productions but Paper Moon is a winner all the way, from its evocative black and white cinematography that perfectly captures the Midwest during the Depression to the vintage soundtrack which includes tunes performed by Ozzie Nelson, Hoagy Carmichael, and Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. Bogdanovich, who was a film critic before he became a filmmaker, was heavily influenced by the work of Howard Hawks and John Ford and you can see their influence throughout this film; the humor has the sharpness of Hawks' best comedies while the characters and settings recall the work of Ford and his affection for rural America. In fact, there is a homage to Ford in the scene where Moses and Addie are in a diner and across the street, the movie house is playing Ford's Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935). Originally, Paul Newman and his daughter, Nell Potts, were to star in Paper Moon with John Huston as the director but the project fell through. Luckily, the assignment fell to Peter Bogdanovich who cast Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum. It was Tatum's first film role and, from most reports, she was difficult on the set. Bogdanovich said later that working with Tatum O'Neal was "one of the most miserable experiences of my life." Nevertheless, the end result won Tatum the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, making her the youngest actress to ever win that award. The other Academy Award nominations for Paper Moon were for Best Sound, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress Madeline Kahn who almost steals the movie with her sad-funny portrayal of Trixie Delight, a pathetic carnival stripper. Director/Producer: Peter Bogdanovich Screenplay: Alvin Sargent, based on the novel by Joe David Brown Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs Editor: Verna Fields Art Direction: Polly Platt Cast: Ryan O'Neal (Moses Pray), Tatum O'Neal (Addie Loggins), Madeline Kahn (Trixie Delight), John Hillerman (Deputy Sheriff Hardin/Jess Hardin), P.J. Johnson (Imogene), Jessie Lee Fulton (Miss Ollie). BW-103m. Letterboxed. by Jeff Stafford

Critics' Corner - Paper Moon


AWARDS & HONORS

Paper Moon opened in New York City on May 16, 1973, to rave reviews and crowds at the box office; it made $16.5 million in rentals. It was director Peter Bogdanovich's third hit film in a row - it would also be his last commercial success for many years. Following Paper Moon, his reputation suffered a major decline due to a string of flops - Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975) and Nickelodeon (1976). The talented director would never again achieve the heights of commercial and critical success he enjoyed with Paper Moon, although he did enjoy a brief comback in 1985 with the acclaimed drama, Mask starring Cher.

Paper Moon fared quite well at the 1974 Academy Awards ceremony. While Tatum O'Neal walked off with the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress, Madeline Kahn (also a Best Supporting Actress nominee), Alvin Sargent (Best Adapted Screenplay), and Les Fresholtz and Richard Portman (Best Sound) had to settle for the honor of being nominated.

The Golden Globes recognized the merits of Paper Moon when the film was nominated for Best Director, Best Musical/Comedy, Best Actor (Ryan O'Neal), Best Actress (Tatum O'Neal), and Best Supporting Actress (Madeline Kahn). The film won a single Golden Globe, for Most Promising Newcomer - Female (Tatum O'Neal).

The Critics' Corner: PAPER MOON

The filmmaking industry bible, Variety, wrote: "Paper Moon is a film for families, teenagers, young adults and older generations. Its heart-warming aspects are conveyed without treacle, and its grittier suggestions of vagabond living are transmitted without vulgarity or tastelessness. Bogdanovich once again has revived another film form, without patronizing and minus pandering, but with innovative original work based upon respectful admiration of the screen's past."

Peter Buckley of Films and Filming praised the film in appropriate fashion when he assumed the voice of a 1930s-era carnival hawker: "I was tellin you'all to bring in the whole family an' have a good time. I ain't had such a good time myself since the last Preston Sturges film. Come to think of it, this is the last Preston Sturges film."

Influential critic and author John Baxter wrote Paper Moon is "one of the shapeliest comedies of the seventies, trading on nostalgia but undercutting it with sly character playing and dead wit," with the two O'Neals achieving a "stylish ensemble performance."

In his book A Biographical Dictionary of Film, British critic David Thomson called Paper Moon "perilously slight and charming, but sustained by its re-creation of 1930s John Ford and by its affectionate recollection of rural America." Thomson also thought that Bogdanovich's "boyish love for cinema" permeates the picture, as evidenced by the scene where the two leads are in a diner while, across the street, director John Ford's Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935) can be seen on the marquee at the local movie house.

Film critic John Simon was not enchanted with Paper Moon either, according to his June 11th, 1973 review. He begins his scathing editorial by calling the film another opportunity for Peter Bogdanovich to retreat into "the past of trashy old movies that he religiously lapped up as a buff and now proudly regurgitates as a director." Simon deemed the film "claptrap," mostly because "(Addie) is much too clever for her age, and (Moses) is rather too dumb for a man supposedly living by his wits."

Compiled by Scott McGee

Critics' Corner - Paper Moon

AWARDS & HONORS Paper Moon opened in New York City on May 16, 1973, to rave reviews and crowds at the box office; it made $16.5 million in rentals. It was director Peter Bogdanovich's third hit film in a row - it would also be his last commercial success for many years. Following Paper Moon, his reputation suffered a major decline due to a string of flops - Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975) and Nickelodeon (1976). The talented director would never again achieve the heights of commercial and critical success he enjoyed with Paper Moon, although he did enjoy a brief comback in 1985 with the acclaimed drama, Mask starring Cher. Paper Moon fared quite well at the 1974 Academy Awards ceremony. While Tatum O'Neal walked off with the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress, Madeline Kahn (also a Best Supporting Actress nominee), Alvin Sargent (Best Adapted Screenplay), and Les Fresholtz and Richard Portman (Best Sound) had to settle for the honor of being nominated. The Golden Globes recognized the merits of Paper Moon when the film was nominated for Best Director, Best Musical/Comedy, Best Actor (Ryan O'Neal), Best Actress (Tatum O'Neal), and Best Supporting Actress (Madeline Kahn). The film won a single Golden Globe, for Most Promising Newcomer - Female (Tatum O'Neal). The Critics' Corner: PAPER MOON The filmmaking industry bible, Variety, wrote: "Paper Moon is a film for families, teenagers, young adults and older generations. Its heart-warming aspects are conveyed without treacle, and its grittier suggestions of vagabond living are transmitted without vulgarity or tastelessness. Bogdanovich once again has revived another film form, without patronizing and minus pandering, but with innovative original work based upon respectful admiration of the screen's past." Peter Buckley of Films and Filming praised the film in appropriate fashion when he assumed the voice of a 1930s-era carnival hawker: "I was tellin you'all to bring in the whole family an' have a good time. I ain't had such a good time myself since the last Preston Sturges film. Come to think of it, this is the last Preston Sturges film." Influential critic and author John Baxter wrote Paper Moon is "one of the shapeliest comedies of the seventies, trading on nostalgia but undercutting it with sly character playing and dead wit," with the two O'Neals achieving a "stylish ensemble performance." In his book A Biographical Dictionary of Film, British critic David Thomson called Paper Moon "perilously slight and charming, but sustained by its re-creation of 1930s John Ford and by its affectionate recollection of rural America." Thomson also thought that Bogdanovich's "boyish love for cinema" permeates the picture, as evidenced by the scene where the two leads are in a diner while, across the street, director John Ford's Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935) can be seen on the marquee at the local movie house. Film critic John Simon was not enchanted with Paper Moon either, according to his June 11th, 1973 review. He begins his scathing editorial by calling the film another opportunity for Peter Bogdanovich to retreat into "the past of trashy old movies that he religiously lapped up as a buff and now proudly regurgitates as a director." Simon deemed the film "claptrap," mostly because "(Addie) is much too clever for her age, and (Moses) is rather too dumb for a man supposedly living by his wits." Compiled by Scott McGee

Noble Willingham (1931-2004)


Noble Willingham, the gruffly voiced character actor best known for his role as saloon owner C.D. Parker on Chuck Norris' long-running series Walker, Texas Ranger, died of natural causes on January 17th at his Palm Springs home. He was 72.

Born on August 31, 1931 in Mineola, Texas, Willingham was educated at North Texas State University where he earned a degree in Economics. He later taught government and economics at a high school in Houston, leaving his life-long dreams of becoming an actor on hold until the opportunity presented itself. Such an opportunity happened when in late 1970, Peter Bogdonovich was doing some on-location shooting in south Texas for The Last Picture Show (1971); at the urging of some friends, he audition and won a small role in the picture. From there, Willingham slowly began to find work in some prominent films, including Bogdonovich's Paper Moon (1973), and Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974). Around this time, Willingham kept busy with many guest appearances on a variety of popular shows: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Waltons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Rockford Files and several others.

Critics didn't take notice of his acting abilities until he landed the role of Leroy Mason, the soulless plant manager who stares down Sally Field in Norma Rae (1979). Few could forget him screaming at her, "Lady, I want you off the premises now!" with unapologetic malice. It may have not been a likable character, but after this stint, better roles came along, most notably the corrupt Dr. Fenster in Robert Redford's prison drama Brubaker (1980); and the evil sheriff in the thriller The Howling (1981).

By the late '80s, Willingham was an in-demand character actor, and he scored in three hit films: a border patrol sergeant - a great straight man to Cheech Marin - in the ethnic comedy Born in East L.A.; his wonderfully avuncular performance as General Taylor, the military brass who was sympathetic to an unorthodox disc jockey in Saigon, played by Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam (both 1987); and his good 'ole boy villainy in the Rutger Hauer action flick Blind Fury (1988). His performances in these films proved that if nothing else, Willingham was a solid backup player who was adept at both comedy and drama.

His best remembered role will no doubt be his six year run as the genial barkeep C.D. Parker opposite Chuck Norris in the popular adventure series Walker, Texas Ranger (1993-99). However, film reviewers raved over his tortured performance as a foul-mouthed, bigoted boat salesman who suffers a traffic downfall in the little seen, but searing indie drama The Corndog Man (1998); the role earned Willingham a nomination for Best Actor at the Independent Spirit Awards and it showed that this ably supporting performer had enough charisma and talent to hold his own in a lead role.

In 2000, Willingham tried his hand at politics when he unsuccessfully tried to unseat Democrat Max Dandlin in a congressional campaign in east Texas. After the experience, Willingham returned to acting filming Blind Horizon with Val Kilmer in 2003. The movie is to be released later this year. Willingham is survived by his wife, Patti Ross Willingham; a son, John Ross McGlohen; two daughters, Stari Willingham and Meghan McGlohen; and a grandson.

by Michael T. Toole

Noble Willingham (1931-2004)

Noble Willingham, the gruffly voiced character actor best known for his role as saloon owner C.D. Parker on Chuck Norris' long-running series Walker, Texas Ranger, died of natural causes on January 17th at his Palm Springs home. He was 72. Born on August 31, 1931 in Mineola, Texas, Willingham was educated at North Texas State University where he earned a degree in Economics. He later taught government and economics at a high school in Houston, leaving his life-long dreams of becoming an actor on hold until the opportunity presented itself. Such an opportunity happened when in late 1970, Peter Bogdonovich was doing some on-location shooting in south Texas for The Last Picture Show (1971); at the urging of some friends, he audition and won a small role in the picture. From there, Willingham slowly began to find work in some prominent films, including Bogdonovich's Paper Moon (1973), and Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974). Around this time, Willingham kept busy with many guest appearances on a variety of popular shows: Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Waltons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Rockford Files and several others. Critics didn't take notice of his acting abilities until he landed the role of Leroy Mason, the soulless plant manager who stares down Sally Field in Norma Rae (1979). Few could forget him screaming at her, "Lady, I want you off the premises now!" with unapologetic malice. It may have not been a likable character, but after this stint, better roles came along, most notably the corrupt Dr. Fenster in Robert Redford's prison drama Brubaker (1980); and the evil sheriff in the thriller The Howling (1981). By the late '80s, Willingham was an in-demand character actor, and he scored in three hit films: a border patrol sergeant - a great straight man to Cheech Marin - in the ethnic comedy Born in East L.A.; his wonderfully avuncular performance as General Taylor, the military brass who was sympathetic to an unorthodox disc jockey in Saigon, played by Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam (both 1987); and his good 'ole boy villainy in the Rutger Hauer action flick Blind Fury (1988). His performances in these films proved that if nothing else, Willingham was a solid backup player who was adept at both comedy and drama. His best remembered role will no doubt be his six year run as the genial barkeep C.D. Parker opposite Chuck Norris in the popular adventure series Walker, Texas Ranger (1993-99). However, film reviewers raved over his tortured performance as a foul-mouthed, bigoted boat salesman who suffers a traffic downfall in the little seen, but searing indie drama The Corndog Man (1998); the role earned Willingham a nomination for Best Actor at the Independent Spirit Awards and it showed that this ably supporting performer had enough charisma and talent to hold his own in a lead role. In 2000, Willingham tried his hand at politics when he unsuccessfully tried to unseat Democrat Max Dandlin in a congressional campaign in east Texas. After the experience, Willingham returned to acting filming Blind Horizon with Val Kilmer in 2003. The movie is to be released later this year. Willingham is survived by his wife, Patti Ross Willingham; a son, John Ross McGlohen; two daughters, Stari Willingham and Meghan McGlohen; and a grandson. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

I don't have your two-hundred dollars no more and you know it.
- Moses Pray
Then get it!
- Addie Loggins
I got scruples too, you know. You know what that is? Scruples?
- Moses Pray
No, I don't know what it is, but if you got 'em, it's a sure bet they belong to somebody else!
- Addie Loggins
I need to go to the shithouse.
- Addie Loggins
She always has to go to the bathroom. She must have a bladder the size of a peanut.
- Addie Loggins
I want one child's price ticket.
- Moses Pray
That will be $11.45.
- Station Master
I want you to send this here telegram to Miss Billie Roy Griggs of Cosmo Road, St. Joseph: "Train arriving 9:52 AM and bringing love, affection, and $20 cash." Oh, make that "$25 cash", and sign it just "Addie Loggins".
- Moses Pray
10 words, that will be eighty-five cents more, that will be $12 and 30.
- Station Master
$12 and 30, huh? You better say in that message there "Love, affection, and $20 cash."
- Moses Pray

Trivia

Originally starred 'Newman, Paul' and daughter Nell Potts, but this changed when original director 'Huston, John' bowed out and was replaced by Peter Bogdanovich.

The character of Addie is one of only two Oscar-winning roles played by two Oscar-winning performers: Tatum O'Neal in the theatrical film and Jodie Foster in the Paramount/ABC TV series. The other such role is Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Robert De Niro in Godfather: Part II, The (1974).

When Addie is going to meet Moses and a businessman on the corner (near the end of the film) she walks out of the hotel and does a little skip before hitting the street. According to Bogdanovich, Tatum O'Neal was very proud of this little skip - she thought of it on her own.

Bogdanovich has said that the long, one-take sequence where Addie and Moze fight in the car about running out of Bibles took 2 days and 39 takes to get right. It was shot on a one-mile stretch of road just before hitting a very modern portion of the town, so each time a line was flubbed, they would have to turn everything around and drive back.

Miscellaneous Notes

Re-released in United States on Video June 20, 1995

Based on the Joe David Brown novel "Addie Pray" (Boston, 1971).

Feature film debut for Tatum O'Neal.

Released in United States Spring April 1973

Re-released in United States on Video June 20, 1995

Released in United States Spring April 1973