The romantic films of the 1930s and '40s influenced director Peter Bogdanovich (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, MASK) in PAPER MOON, a masterpiece influenced by the filmmaking of those periods --a classic comedy drama that resembles the films of John Ford or Sam Wood.
Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) is a happy-go-lucky con man traveling throughout the Midwest during the Great Depression, conning widows into buying Bibles. Stopping in a small town for a friend's funeral, he is persuaded to deliver the deceased's precocious 10-year-old daughter, Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal, Ryan's real-life daughter), to her aunt's home. The resemblance between Moses and Addie--who never knew her father--is uncanny, and the two are soon acting like father and daughter as they travel the back roads of heartland America. Despite his initial misgivings, Moses is delighted to find that Addie is a boon to business, catching on
quickly and adding her own twists to his favorite cons. Madeline Kahn stars as
Trixie Delight, a ladyfriend Moses meets along the way--a situation that brings out
Addie's possessive side. Bogdanovich convincingly recreates the feel and look of the 1930s with his nostalgic look at life on the open road. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay; both Kahn and the 11-year-old O'Neal were nominated for Best Supporting Actress, which O'Neal won.
1973 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actress Winner
Peter Bogdanovich - Film Critic/Film Director
Polly Platt - Designer/Producer/Writer
P. J. Johnson - Supporting Actress
Ryan O'Neal - American Actor, LOVE STORY (1970)
Patrick Ryan O'Neal - American Actor, LOVE STORY (1970)
Madeline Kahn - American actress, PAPER MOON, BLAZING SADDLES
Madeline Gail Wolfson - American actress, PAPER MOON, BLAZING SADDLES
Jessie Lee Fulton
Tatum O'Neal - Oscar Winning Actress, PAPER MOON
James N. Harrell - Actor
John Hillerman - American Actor
Alvin Sargent - American screenwriter, PAPER MOON/ANYWHERE BUT HERE
Lazlo Kovacs - Hungarian-born director of photography
Laszlo Kovacs - Hungarian-born director of photography
Randy Quaid - American Actor, THE LAST DETAIL
Burton Gilliam - American Supporting Actor
Noble Willingham - Supporting Actor
Verna Fields - American Editor
A con man and his precocious daughter (Ryan and Tatum O'Neal) grift their way across the heartland of depression-era America in this nostalgic look at the 1930s Midwest. The two try desperately to scrounge up enough money to live on, and are willing to employ any means necessary, and their father/daughter relationship becomes a business partnership as the pair find they truly need each other for survival. Madeline Kahn also stars in this film from Peter Bogdanovich.
Theatrical Release: May 9, 1973 Filmed in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, and California. Actress Tatum O'Neal's film debut also won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She turned 11 while shooting the film. Director Peter Bogdanovich shot the film in black-and-white because he felt the actors looked too healthy in color. The film's music includes old recordings from the collection of Warner Bros. editor Rudi Fehr.
"...The O'Neals' beguiling father-daughter act...plays out against stunning dust-bowl tableaux..." -- Rating: B+ - 06/30/1995 Entertainment Weekly, p.109