Paper Moon Movie Poster 

hese vampy voiced lyrics drifting through the opening art-deco credits set up an aura of innocence that this film's main characters rarely exhibit...

...."I never feel a thing is real whan I'm away from you. Out of your embrace, the world's a temporary parking place. Mmmmm, a bubble for a minute. Your smile, the bubble has a rainbow in it. Say it's only a paper moon sailing over a cardboard sea, but it wouldn't be make believe if you believed in me. Without your love, it's a honky-tonk parade. Without your love it's a melody played in a penny arcade. It's a Barnum and Bailey world, just as phony as it can be. But it wouldn't be make believe if you believed in me."

Not to inply that this film is entirely devoid of righteousness; in fact, the characters in this 1930's farce demonstrate a personage of ethics not entirely unadmirable. A hybrid mix of valient Robin Hood and the savvy Bonnie and Clyde, "Paper Moon"'s Moses Pray and Addie Loggins illicitly maneuver opportunities their way through feline stealth, decisive aspiration, and good-old-fashioned charm.

This Oscar-winning Peter Bogdanovich comedy begins on a somber note. It is the funeral of Essie May Loggins, a woman who's negligent brother took her for a drive while he was three sheets to the wind too drunk, crashing their automobile and inevitably killing Essie. Attending her funeral are a small handful of rural acquaintances, one of whome is her now orphened unintentionally-androgynous nine year old daughter, Addie (Tatum O'Neal). Another is the comely conman Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal), a former friend-maybe-lover of the late Ms. Loggins.

Because she notes a coincedental likeness between the towheaded pair, Addie's temporary caregiver feels it would be in the best interest of both of them if Moses becomes the adoptive guardian of the inconspicuous child. Moses readily disagrees, but vows that he will send the young girl to be with her biological aunt and uncle in St. Joseph Missouri.

But alas, Moses's not-so-good intentions come to a screeching halt when the vindictively precocious Addie discovers that he has obtained and spent $200 which justifiably belongs to her. Fruitless endeavors to appease her with NIHI's and Coney Island's fail, and the obstinate and unforgiving Addie profusely refuses to return to St. Joe until every last penny of that two hundred dollars is returned to her diminutive little hands.

MOSES: I don't have your two-hundred dollars no more and you know it.
ADDIE: Then get it!

Moses, feeling indisposed but guilty, is coerced by Abbie to make some dough and make it fast. So how does he do it?:By conning widowers into buying engraved bibles that their late husbands supposedly "ordered" for them.

Addie feels Moses's way of handling business is inhumane, however, knowing how much he despises her cigarette-smoking, Jack Benny-listening mannerisms, she decides to cooperate with his schemes, as long as they're done her way.

Moze (Addie's nickname for him) teaches Addie the trade: including how to befuddle someone into giving you an extra ten dollars, and having them return $20 that your "Aunt Helen" gave you for your tenth birthday (wink wink, nod nod).

Sardonically, Addie finds herself becoming smitten with her partner-in-crime tutor and tries to the best of her ability to act, look, and smell like an attractive young lady, even posing for a photograph on a paper moon (another reason for the title) as a present for Moze.

Circumstances concerning Moze and her money are generally running in Addie's favor, until a whilrwind of bawdy petulance by the name of Miss Trixie Delight (Madeline Kahn) forces herself between the moneymaking duo.

TRIXIE: Now you see, with me it's just a matter of time. I don't know why but somehow I just don't manage to hold on real long. So if you wait it out a little, it'll be over, y'know?

Although Miss Trixie puts on a pathetic display of commiseration, Addie unsympathetically talks Trixie's servant Imogene (P.J. Johnson) into assisting her with a plan which involves Miss Trixie, a gentleman sutor, and $25 (you get the picture). Moze, appalled and somewhat hurt upon finding Trixie in a compromising position, takes Addie back out on the road, leaving Trixie with her male caller at the sleazy hotel.

Meanwhile, Moze has incessently tried to get rid of the ever-troublesome but clever Addie, who still insists she "aint" leaving until she receives her two-hundred dollars. So once again, their smuggler quest commences and leads them into one of the most profitable but dangerous heists they've ever encountered:They steal and resale a bootlegger his own whiskey; a bootlegger who's brother just happens to be a sheriff.

Close-calls and bloody brawl ensue for the hapless pair, until it seems only a reunification between Addie and her Aunt will clear the air, but will the pertinacious Addie take no for an answer?

"You still owe me two hundred dollars!"

Don't forget that Paper Moon is now available to order on Widescreen DVD using our special 70s search device... [See DVD section or click here for more details]
Written By: Bridgette Marie [Contact]

Paper Moon is clever without being over-complicated; Tatum O'Neal is precocious without being annoying;and the direction of this film is so fantastic that it authentically appears to be many decades older then it actually is.

Great farce/acting/screenplay, it is not surprising at all that this film was a big winner at the Oscars, more films with this sort or originallity and authenticity should be made nowadays.

Rewind Factor: 9.3

On September 19,1972 actors Ryan and Tatum O'Neal and director Peter Bogdanovich arrived in Hays Kansas to begin filming of the movie "Paper Moon".

Tatum O'Neal turned 11 years old while shooting this film.

The youngest actress to win a standard Oscar was Tatum O'Neal, who was 11 years old when she won the best Supporting Actress award for "Paper Moon" in 1974. She also won a Golden Globe that year for Most Promising Female Newcomer.

Dressed in a tiny tuxedo and accompanied by her grandparents (her dad was shooting "Barry Lyndon" in London UK) Tatum bounded on stage and solemnly thanked her father and director Peter Bogdanovich for their support. Later that evening she called Ryan in London, reaching him at dawn. "Daddy, daddy", she shrieked over the phone. "You did it!", Ryan said, adding that the statuette was "pure gold", "No", Tatum deadpanned, "I think it's bronze."

The higly effective musical backdrop for the picture is a procession of period tunes from the record collection of Warner Bros editor Rudi Fehr.

Peter Bogdanovich chose to do the 1930's inspired Paper Moon because "I have more affection, more affinity for the past. Since I am more interested in it, it comes easier for me."

Some critics were not so kind about Tatum's performance. They remarked about how her young competitor for the Oscar, Linda Blair, had to scream the F-word and spew green slop in The Exorcist, while all tatum had to do was say "winky tinky" and smoke cigarettes.

Paper Moon was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Screenplay.

Peter Bogdanovich later remarked that working with Tatum O'Neal in this film provided "one of the worst experiances of my life."

In 1976, Tatum O'Neal starred in a film called "Nickelodean" in which she played a 12-year-old silent film scenerist, a character based on Anita Loos. This film reunited her with her Paper Moon costar/father Ryan O'Neal and director Peter Bogdanovich. It represented Tatum's best work, but few filmgoers went to see it.

Tatum O'Neal was Michael Jackson's first girlfriend when they were in their teens in the 70's.

Paper Moon was filmed in black and white by Lazlokovacs, and made largely in Hayes Kansas and St. Joseph Missouri. Director Peter Bogdanovich colorfully recalled the experiance in his 1972 book of essays "Pieces Of Time."

Originally starred Paul Newman and daughter Nel Potts, but this changed when original director John Huston bowed out and was replaced by Peter Bogdanovich.

The character of Addie is only one of two oscar-winning roles played by two oscar-winnig performers: Tatum O'Neal in the theatrical film and Jodie Foster in the Paramount/ABC tv series. The other such role is Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Robert Deniro in Godfather Part 2.

The writer of the novel Addie Pray (which Paper Moon is based on)has a great-grandchild named Addie Pray after the character in her great-grandfathers novel.

The novel Paper Moon has recently been put back in print with an accompanying introduction which provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the making of this film.

Director Peter Bogdanovich shot the film in black and white because he felt the actors looked too healthy in color.

After spending several years with her mother (who was battling addictions to amphetamins and alcohol), Tatum O'Neal chose to live with her father Ryan. Ironically, as she got a little older tatum became involved with drugs.

Following her screen success with Paper Moon, a still very young Tatum O'Neal was often seen at screenings and nightclubs with her father, seductively dressed and heavily made-up.

Tatum O'Neal, at age 16, was Michael Jackson's date at the July 1979 party in Beverly Hills for "Jackson Day", an official holiday declared by Los Angeles's mayor Tom Bradley in honor of the Jackson's Platinum achievements.

The song "It's Only A Paper Moon" was written in 1933 for the theater play "The Great Magoo" and was originally titled "If You Believed In Me". It was sung for the first time with it's new title in the 1933 Hollywood musical "Take A Chance" by June Knight and Charles "Buddy" Rogers.

During the scene where Ryan & Tatum are eating in the diner, watch the "Straw" in Tatum's Bottle, it keeps changing position from scene to scene and I also think the level of the Soda changes some. [Thanks to Ron Raines]

Do you know some Paper Moon trivia that we could add? [Please send it in]

The hotel used in the film was McCracken Hotel in McCracken, Kansas that was owned and operated by Harriett "Hattie" Nash. She is the Great Great Aunt of my husband. [Thanks to Elizabeth Blackham]

In the story, Ryan and Tatum O'Neal's characters experience car trouble while crossing a Missouri River bridge from Kansas into St. Joseph, Mo. The bridge used for the scene is actually the narrow U.S. 159 bridge on the Missouri River at Rulo, Nebraska, which is 45 miles northwest of St. Joseph. [Thanks to Rick Brown]

1610 ELM ST, Hays, KS, 67601 was used. [Thanks to Andrea]

The series was filmed at Hays in 1974, some at Victoria High School (10 miles east of Hays) in 1973 Another movie location was Gorham, KS, just a few miles east of Victoria.

Hays is planning a Paper Moon 30th Anniversary celebration scheduled for October 25, 2003. I'm sure there is plenty of available information locally about the Movie in the archives. [Thanks to Sunell Koerner]

Can you help? Do you know any of the Hays, Kansas (or any other) filming locations used for Paper Moon? [Please send them in]

Paper Moon DVD  Paper Moon on DVD?
DVD Help / More info
[USA or Region 1 DVD]
[Letterbox -NOT 16:9 Enhanced][STEREO or SURROUND]Trailer, Commentary, Featurette
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[UK / Europe or Region 2 DVD]
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Paper Moon Soundtrack

There was never a c.d. soundtrack to Paper Moon put out, however there was an LP soundtrack released in 1973 which was completely comprised of the 1930's classic radio tunes showcased throughout the movie.

Why the soundtrack has not been converted into CD format is beyond me because it is so wonderful and is, after all, the soundtrack to an Oscar winning movie.

Although this LP is extremely rare, it is possible to get a hold of it with a lot of searching and patience. It would definitely be worth the search because this soundtrack is marvelous. Use our search device to start your quest!

The track listing is as follows:

1. It's Only A Paper Moon--Paul Whiteman
2. About A Quarter To Nine--Ozzie Nelson
3. (It Will Have To Do)Until The Real Thing Comes Along--Leo Resiman with Larry Stewart
4. Flirtation Walk--Dick Powell
5. Just One MOre Chance--Bing Crosby
6. One Hour With You--Jimmie Grier with Donald Novis
7. I Found A Million Dollar Baby--Victor YOung with The Boswell Sisters
8. The Object Of My Affection--Jimmie Grier with Pinky Tomlin
9. Georgia On My Mind--Hoagy Carmichael
10. A Picture Of Me Without You--Paul Whiteman with Ken Darby and Ramona
11. On The Banks Of The Ohio--The Blue Sky Boys
12. My Mary--Jimmy Favis
13. After You've Gone--Tommy Dorsey
14. Let's Have Another Cup Of Coffee--Enric Madgriguera and His Hotel Biltmore Orchestra
15. Sunnyside Up--Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders with Frank Luther

Soundtrack Available: Used Vinyl LP / Tape


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Paper Moon Movie Details
Paramount Studios
Peter Bogdanovich
Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, P.J. Johnson, John Hillerman, Jessie Lee Fulton, Randy Quaid, Burton Gilliam
great black-white film, wonderful actors, excellent script, great directing and great music. All around A+++ film.
hmmm, none I can think of.

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IMDb page for Paper MoonThe IMDb page for Paper Moon
Trailer for Paper MoonTrailer for Paper Moon

Tatum O'Neal
great site dedicated to this wonderful star


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Paper Moon and all movie images are 1973 Paramount Studios.
All original content is 1999, 2007 Fast Rewind WebSites. Page Written By: Bridgette Marie