Paper Moon

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Released 1973

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Movie Summary

Director:
Peter Bogdanovich
Released:
1973
Rating:
PG
Paper Moon is a 1973 Depression drama starring real-life father and daughter, Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, as con artists trying to survive the poverty and desperation of the time. Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) arrives at the funeral of the mother of nine-year old Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal in an Oscar-winning performance). Moses promises to deliver Addie to relatives, but seems more concerned about the $200 payment than the well-being of the girl who just might be his daughter. As the drive through the Midwest, Moses sells Bibles to bereaved widows and cheats waitresses out of change. Addie soon shows herself to be a better grifter than Moses, and tries to stay with him. Along the way, they meet Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn), a loose woman who wants to seduce Moses, which inspires Addie to befriend Trixie's maid, Imogene (P. J. Johnson), to help her break up the couple. Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show") directs this black-and-white ode to desperate times and people.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Tatum O'Neal creates a character out of thin air, makes us watch her every moment and literally makes the movie work.

  • 80

    Time Out

    Modern cynicism and efficient acting hold the potential mushiness at bay, and the pair's picaresque odyssey through the Kansas dustbowl, during which they vie for control over thei...

  • 70

    Variety

    Ryan O'Neal stars as a likeable con artist in the Depression midwest, and his real-life daughter, Tatum O'Neal, is outstanding as his nine-year-old partner in flim-flam.

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Themes

Historical, Dark Comedy, Family Dramas