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Peter Bogdanovich's 1973 movie "Paper Moon" was based on Joe David Brown's Depression Era novel "Addie Pray". Bogdanovich disliked the book title and on seeing sheet music to "It's Only A Paper Moon" by Harold Arlen from 1933 - decided to retitle the film and even add a scene where a Paper Moon is including (the carnival set).

Set in 1935 – it's essentially a Depression Era road movie where Tatum O'Neal (then only 10 years old) plays "Addie" Loggins/Pray - while her very famous dad Ryan (hot from "Love Story" and "What's Up Doc?") plays the bible-selling hustler Moses "Pray" who takes on this mouthy but winning orphan after her hooker mum has passed away.

Relocating the story from the South to the Mid West (the flat treeless landscape of Kansas was used for filming) and featuring a wonderfully evocative Soundtrack of Dust Bowl Ballads and Chorus Songs - the movie's father/daughter relationship and old-timey nostalgia appeal tapped into "The Sting" audience and rewarded the irrepressible Tatum O’Neal with an Oscar nomination for best Supporting Role (the youngest actress to ever receive such an accolade - which she won). It also received three other nominations - Madeline Khan as best Supporting Actress, Best adapted screenplay by Alvin Sargent and Best Sound. The soundtrack even troubled the lower regions of the American charts in August 1973 and has become a celebrated piece ever since (see my review for the 2009 Cherry Red/El Records Expanded CD which adds on 11 Bonus Tracks). Which brings us to the BLU RAY reissue...

This "Masters Of Cinema" title on Eureka Entertainment boasts a lovely and faithfully restored print - all of it topped off with genuinely informative extras (overseen by the film's maker). Filmed using red filters (a tip to the cinematographer by Orson Wells) – the picture as I said is in Black and White – but don’t expect perfection from the clean up and restoration. There is much new clarity in so many sequences - but there is also a lot of natural grain and some shimmering. But as you watch this time around – the cinematography of Laszlo Kovacs and the stunning costumes of Polly Platt (Ryan O’Neal wears George Raft’s suits) start to jump out at you as never before. The BLU RAY also allows you to play the Movie in Standard Mode or with SDH subtitles for the Hard of Hearing.

The EXTRAS are:
1. Play The Movie with SDH
2. 2003 Commentary by Director and Producer Peter Bogdanovich
3. The Next Picture Show – a featurette on the movie with Peter Bogdanovich discussing its beginnings, it’s casting, making and the actors and crew involved. It includes outtakes and contributions from his wife of the time and Costume Designer Polly Platt
4. Asking For The Moon – a featurette discussing the actors Tatum and Ryan O’Neal, Madeline Khan as the big-chested love interest Trixie Delight, John Hillerman as both Deputy Hardin and his brother Jess, Randy Quaid as the hillbilly Leroy and PJ Johnson as the Black Maid Imogene.
5. Getting The Moon – a featurette on how they arrived at the make-shift ending and includes outtakes

The Extras are superb and come with a surprising number of outtakes and clapperboard beginnings – and even though there are no present day interviews with either of the O’Neals – it’s a detailed and well thought out set of featurettes.

A great movie, a quality print and half decent extras - if you’ve any love for "Paper Moon" the Movie – then the Eureka Entertainment BLU RAY is the one to get...
0Comment10 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 February 2009
Depression America, mid-west. A small time conman delivers the ten-year-old daughter he's never met to her aunt in another state. Mishaps and adventures along the way, with suspicion and anger turning to genuine respect and mutual understanding.

A cracker of a film that no-one seems to have heard of. Tatum and Ryan O'Neal banter like you've never seen (check out the five minute continuous take in the car) and a brilliant turn from Madeleine Khan as 'Miss Trixie Delight'. Sumptious Black-and-white photography, and an attention to detail of the tired, worn and cashstrapped mid-west that is quite delightful. Tatum got the oscar for her performance as Addie Loggins, and deservedly so.
11 comment21 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This still works great 40 years later. Shot in gorgeous black and white, it's a film full of smiles and laughs,
a lot of heart, but very little sticky sweetness.

A low level grifter (Ryan O'Neal) gets stuck with taking a tough as nails orphaned 9 year old (O'Neal's real '
life daughter Tatum, in an astonishing performance for a kid that age - she really deserved the Oscar she
won) home to relatives. Along the way they get into all sorts of misadventures, and meet numerous characters,
including a wonderfully funny Madeline Kahn as an exotic dancer named "Trixie Delight", and John Hillerman
doing his usual excellent low key work in a double role as a bootlegger and his sheriff brother.

Bogdanovich gets to the essence of what was best about 30s comedies, without being a slave to it. He moves
the camera, plays scenes in very long single takes, and isn't afraid to mix the best of more modern film making
along with the best of the old.

One of those comedies you can watch over and over again.
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 February 2004
I watched this film origionally without knowing anything about it and was blown away! It has the incredible actress (Tatum) in the daughter of the lead actor (ryan o'neil). You would be mistaken of her age by the quality of her performance for which she became the youngest oscar winner, at the age of 10.
Set in depression hit 1930 mid-west america, it is a tale about a con-artist and an orphan who turns out to better at it than him. Team up to fund a journey and an improved lifestyle. A tale Brimming with wit, a fullfilling watch that stays with you.
Enjoy
0Comment35 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 March 2010
How can you resist the charm, humour, warmth and cheek of this rare gem?
Ryan O'Neal is a loveable rogue, swindling his way across Middle America in the Depression, aided and abetted by his accomplice 'daughter' - an oscar-winning performance from Tatum o'Neal. Their relationship and bantering form the backbone to the story which keeps you entertained from beginning to end.Tatum has more spark and personality than any child you ever met!
0Comment13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 February 2015
This is a touching and superb film that does not patronise the viewer. The comedy arises from the interplay of the characters rather than being forced upon them by a writer desperate for 'gags'. Things just 'happen' and the viewer interprets these events as indicating how the characters are evolving - having said the film does not patronise the viewer I really don't want to point out these instances.

In addition to these subtleties there are two set-pieces (which are also subtle but a bit more direct) that both involve Tatum O'Neill. In one silent scene she stands before the mirror putting on make-up, and the changing expressions on her face are just beautiful and touching. In another scene, Madeline Kahn begins by haranguing and finally begging Tatum to allow her to continue having an affair with her father. The scene does not 'play to the gallery' it unfolds naturally and it is funny and then very sad. - Yes, the child that Tatum plays is very knowing about adult matters which is evidence of the film having been made in a different era.

The image of the 'video box' that is on the Amazon page misrepresents the film as it makes Tatum look like a conventional slightly 'cute' child actress. She is anything but, her character and her performance are nuanced and it is a wonder she did not win the Academy Award for best actress rather than supporting actress.

There is a slight glitch in the film (at least over the internet through streaming video) but this appears to be damage in the original, a few seconds of film are lost but it is not that significant.

Peter Bogdanovich directed the film and he has made other fine films but none so fine as 'Paper Moon'. This film is on the level of a very different film, 'Chinatown', as both have in common the willingness of a director to make a film where the significance of details is not highlighted to the audience at every point as if there is a fear that the viewers will not understand or grasp their significance. Think of 'The Godfather' where in the first scene the power of Don Vito is established through the people who visit him - this is very fine but then there is a jarring note when either Robert Duvall or Al Pacino have to explain that a godfather cannot refuse any request on the day of his daughter's wedding. This does not ruin the film by any means but it does mean the director does not fully trust the audience. In contrast 'Paper Moon' places a great deal of faith in the viewer and amply repays the effort.

Effort? did I say effort? It is a little under 2 hours of cinematic pleasure and anything but hard work.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 February 2014
Utterly delightful. Father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neil, under Peter Bogdanovich's superlative direction, produce one of the most affectingly warm and cunningly sly movies of the 1970s. Set in depression era America and beautifully photographed in pristine monochrome by Laszlo Kovacs, it's a period piece that refuses to get old, such is the deft imagery and sharpness of the screenplay.

Story essentially comes down to conman Moses Pray (R. O'Neil) hooking up with orphan Addie Loggins (T. O'Neil), who may or may not be his actual daughter. Addie proves to be a precocious live wire, not easily fooled and she smokes, cusses and is more than capable of pulling a con herself. After initial indignation, Moses comes to court Addie's strengths and they form a dynamic partnership as they travel through Kansas, pulling cons left right and centre and piling the money up. But can it last forever?

The chemistry between father and daughter is obviously set in stone, with young Tatum an absolute revelation. The screenplay gives them both ample opportunities to enchant and amuse the viewer as they get up to all sorts of tricks and scrapes. Yet there's always that feeling hanging in the dusty air that something has to give, that we are treading firmly in bittersweet territory, the crafty couple having earned our complete investment in their well being keeping us concerned even as we laugh out loud.

Delightful. 9/10
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This still works great 40 years later. Shot in gorgeous black and white, it's a film full of smiles and laughs,
a lot of heart, but very little sticky sweetness.

A low level grifter (Ryan O'Neal) gets stuck with taking a tough as nails orphaned 9 year old (O'Neal's real '
life daughter Tatum, in an astonishing performance for a kid that age - she really deserved the Oscar she
won) home to relatives. Along the way they get into all sorts of misadventures, and meet numerous characters,
including a wonderfully funny Madeline Kahn as an exotic dancer named "Trixie Delight", and John Hillerman
doing his usual excellent low key work in a double role as a bootlegger and his sheriff brother.

Bogdanovich gets to the essence of what was best about 30s comedies, without being a slave to it. He moves
the camera, plays scenes in very long single takes, and isn't afraid to mix the best of more modern film making
along with the best of the old.

One of those comedies you can watch over and over again, the region 1 DVD has a solid and well detailed picture.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 March 2011
This movie is so good, you'll watch over and over. I found myself focusing on each character in turn with every repeat viewing. And then when I was through with the characters, this same obsession was directed at studying the settings, the cars, the wardrobe, the roads and streets, the buildings, and even the skies in this black&white-shot epic. And then came the charming 1930s music!

Yes, this is a very special film. The plot takes the viewer back to 'depression America', hooking you from start to finish, with the pause button remaining untouched throughout. Father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal act out mega powerful and highly believable roles in tremendously demanding and emotional scenes as a team of well-meaning con artists. Tatum O'Neal, who went on to grow up and get married to, and divorced from, tennis superstar John McEnroe, gives the best child-actor performance I have ever seen.

Nothing like it. Worth every second and every penny.
0Comment12 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 February 2016
+++ WARNING: This is what the free software of the "world-leading translation software company"(!!!) translated my original German review from amazon.de into (sic!!!) - This is what I got, for being too lazy, too translate it myself. I almost collapsed, while reading it. Hilarious, so have fun! ++++
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------sic!!!
that's how irresistible little Addie aka Tatum O'Neal comforts her "dad" after he was knocked down.
Only one of many scenes without being cheesy at all...

+++++++++++++++++++++ Beware! followed spoiler light ++++++++++++++++++

Therefore Papa + Tatum O'Neal play here as unequal duo aversion to the heart, because they both lie and cheat though, to enrich themselves - however, the little crooks intern shows Addie the first slick Moze, after a short time what a rake is. Because she brings her childishly sweet innocence as a weapon to credulous fellows to even more dollars to ease as the experienced Moze. Of course, this stinks, to be presented by the little smart-aleck brat.
But together they move on through the Midwest, fall out and argue to too tearing their back together.
Move both learn the wonderful "Madeleine Kahn" know that also in the following Bogdanovich-blockbuster film "What's up doc?" in a larger role on the boat is. Moze will naturally enjoy the pampered Frauenzimmer what powerful is the small but Addie against the grain. But the small hatches flight from a master plan to solve this problem. Herrlich as dry Tatum O'Neal playing.

The most memorable scene is probably the one in the restaurant, in which both formally engaged in a icy showdown.
1. Watch
2. "Iwannmytwohundollars..."
3. rewind
4. go to 1

From the end I want to give anything away, only so much. Director Bogdanovich had until the end of the shooting is still found no satisfactory end. The finally selected end is snugly.

All in all a wonderful timeless film with exceptional camera and memorable performers.
Tatum O'Neal is of course due to its nature, the star.

My review would be rating at 90%, since 5 stars are much too coarse grid.

cheers, >>>>> the notwister

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