A sweet and subtle gem of a movie. Newly orphaned Addie (Tatum O'Neal) falls into the care of small-time con artist Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal, Tatum's real-life father) and turns out to be better at grifting than he is. Set in Depression-era Kansas, Paper Moon is a miracle of unity. The set design and cinematography combine to give both the flavor of documentary photos and the visual quality of movies from the period, and every performance meshes with the overall tone of sincerity, earnest optimism, and creeping desperation. The rapport between Addie and Moses is phenomenal--and being father and daughter doesn't make that a sure thing. Ryan O'Neal gives a truly great performance (perhaps the only one of his career) and Tatum won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (she's the youngest winner in history). Madeline Kahn was also nominated for her wonderfully funny and sad turn as an exotic dancer named Trixie Delight. Paper Moon has a miraculous combination of outrageous sentimentality and pragmatic cynicism; the result is genuinely touching. One of director Peter Bogdanovich's best films, and kind of a comic companion piece to The Last Picture Show. --Bret Fetzer
I want one child's price ticket.
I want you to send this here telegram to Miss Billie Roy Griggs of Cosmo Road, St. Joseph: "Train arriving 9:52 AM and bringing love, affection, and $20 cash." Oh, make that "$25 cash", and sign it just "Addie Loggins".
$12 and 30, huh? You better say in that message there "Love, affection, and $20 cash."