Paper Moon

  • PG
  • Peter Bogdanovich (1973)
  • US
  • 98 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

The wandering star of Peter Bogdanovich's directorial talent brilliantly lights up this cynical charmer of a story - set during the Depression - about a Bible-toting conman (Ryan O'Neal) forming a bizarre partnership with a brattish nine-year-old (real-life daughter Tatum O'Neal) who may or may not be his child. Laszlo Kovacs's outstanding monochromatic photography lends an affectionate sheen to their journey through the Kansas dust bowl in which the girl gradually becomes mother to the man. With this, Targets, and The Last Picture Show, Bogdanovich looked set to be one of Hollywood's finest but, sadly, he hasn't quite managed to repeat the excellence of these three movies.

Plot Summary

A Depression-era conman meets a canny nine-year-old orphan, whom he realises could be his daughter, and agrees to take her to her aunt. Along the way, he discovers the little girl is just as cunning as he is, and they form a successful criminal partnership. Drama, starring Ryan O'Neal alongside real-life daughter Tatum. With Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman and Randy Quaid.

Cast and crew


Moses Pray
Ryan O'Neal
Addie Loggins
Tatum O'Neal
Trixie Delight
Madeline Kahn
Sheriff Hardin / Jess Hardin
John Hillerman
P J Johnson
Floyd, desk clerk
Gilliam Burton
Randy Quaid
Miss Ollie
Jessie Lee Fulton
James N Harrell
Minister's wife
Lila Water
Mr Robertson
Noble Willingham


Peter Bogdanovich

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
C.I.C. (UK)
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD
Certificate PG
Paramount Home Entertainment (UK)