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The Essentials: Paper Moon (1973)

During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.
(PG, 102 min.)

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

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Monday, August 23, 2021

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The Essentials: New Hollywood
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Real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal team up as slick con-artists Moses Pray and Addie Loggins in 1930s Kansas. When "Moze" is unexpectedly saddled with getting the 9-year-old Addie to relatives in Missouri after the death of her mother, his attempt to dupe her out of her money backfires, and he's forced to take her on as a partner. Swindling their way through farm country, the pair is nearly done in by a burlesque dancer (Madeline Kahn) and an angry bootlegger.
[Rotten Tomatoes]

Starring: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Drama

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"Tatum O'Neal makes a sensational screen debut."

— Variety

"It's everything a road picture is supposed to be, a life-changing personal journey, a quest, a bit old-fashioned and a hoot."

— Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

"Bogdanovich's warmest film, featuring charming performances from real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal."

— TV Guide

"The images (by Laszlo Kovacs) have a lovely dusty openness -- a realistic view of the Midwestern flatlands fading into a romantic memory."

— Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

"I wonder how many moviegoers will be prepared for the astonishing confidence and depth that Tatum brings to what's really the starring role."

— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Snappy patter reigns again, but by letting the story develop in open spaces rather than through tight edits, Bogdanovich fosters an atmosphere of freedom and promise."

— Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

"Shot in black and white by the versatile cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, this has a mix of folksiness and precise craft that anticipates the Coen brothers, aiming to charm and succeeding."

— Jake Wilson, The Age (Australia)

"Part of an incredible 1970s career run for the director Peter Bogdanovich, Paper Moon remains a high point, not just for the talent involved behind the scenes and in front of the camera, but also for Hollywood."

— Wendy Ide, Times (UK)