The Paper Chase

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Released 1973

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Movie Summary

Director:
James Bridges
Released:
1973
Rating:
PG
The Paper Chase is an American film from 1973 based on John Jay Osborn, Jr’s novel of the same name. Timothy Bottoms plays James T. Hart, a first-year student at Harvard Law. His professor, Charles Kingsfield, the part that earned an Oscar for actor John Houseman, is an incredibly demanding contracts attorney. Hart is in awe Kingsfield, and works himself into the ground to impress him, but to no avail. The situation is complicated when Hart realizes he’s been dating the Professor’s daughter (Lindsey Wagner). The Paper Chase is known for capturing perfectly the stresses of Law School. In fact, upon watching, many law students have been sent into panic attacks. The Paper Chase, however stressful, is all about finding your passion and not taking everything too seriously. And, don’t pay too much attention to Charles Kingsfield when he says: "You teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come in here with a skull full of mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer."moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What's best about the movie is that it considers interesting adults--young and old--in an intelligent manner. After it's over we almost feel relief; there are so many movies about ...

  • 80

    Variety

    The Paper Chase has some great performances, literate screenwriting, sensitive direction and handsome production. Timothy Bottoms is excellent as the puzzled law student, Lindsay W...

  • 60

    Time Out

    A muddled and slick youth film. Excellent sequences of his quarrelsome study group tearing one another apart under fierce competitive strain - and a fine performance by Houseman as...

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Comedy, Drama

Themes

Legal, Coming of Age