The Paper Moon, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and with the excellent Tatum O’Neal
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Paper Moon is a wonderful film.
Tatum O’Neal, who plays the role of Addie Loggins, has become the youngest winner of an Academy Award.
Alas, after this very early recognition, the actress who was ten when she received the biggest prize in the profession could not perform at the same level later.
In the film, he could be, but we are not sure, the daughter of Moses Pray, who comes to her mother’s funeral.
He is played by the actor who is the real father of Tatum and the man who was not very nice to colleagues and the producer, after the filming of Love Story.
That is according to what Robert Evans says in his book The Kid Stays in the Picture that describes events witnessed by the producer, actor and head of Paramount Pictures.
- “These aren't everyday people and this is no ordinary movie”
This is a tagline for the film and it is accurate.
After Moses arrives late for the burial of Addie’s mother, he soon shows his true colors when he talks to a relative:
- Moses Pray: Now, don't think that poor child ain't entitled, 'cause she is. Now, I was thinkin' a couple a thousand dollars will be acceptable.
- Mr. Robertson: A couple of thou'? I'll give you two hundred.
- Moses Pray: Two hundred dollars?
- Mr. Robertson: Two hundred dollars.
- Moses Pray: It's a deal.
After pretending that Addie is entitled to the money, the cheating Moses does not have any intention to give the money to the girl.
But she is the real heroine of this film, even if the Oscar was for a supporting role, the girl is a Wonder.
Addie is clever, brave, industrious, with a stupendous intuition, ready to organize a trap when it is necessary.
It is very probable that she is the daughter of Moses, who takes her along only when there is no option left.
Except to give her the two hundred dollars that she knows she owns, for she listened to the conversation quoted above.
Moses Pray is a con man and one of his schemes to make money involves selling bibles that he pretends a dead man ordered.
He knows the deceased’s name as well as his widow’s from the newspaper and comes to the door saying he had an order and an advance from the late husband.
It could be trouble and Addie saves him when he encountered a sheriff in the house of a would be victim.
Furthermore, the girl has her father’s genes and a surplus of flair and knows when to ask for huge sums.
She is also the one who decides to give a bible away, when the father tries to con a really poor family with many children.
A climax is reached when Moses gets involved with a woman that Addie dislikes and understands soon that she needs to get out of the picture:
- Addie Loggins: How come she had to leave that job back there?
- Imogene: Cause the boss-man tried to make her put out for his friends, and she don't believe in puttin' out for free!
- Addie Loggins: She put out much?
- Imogene: Just like a gum machine. You drop some in and she'll put some out.
- Addie Loggins: How much she charge?
- Imogene: Most she can get. But, she always asks for five dollars.
This is the conversation that Addie has with Imogene, the girl who works for the immoral woman and after this a brilliant plan is elaborated by this Wonder Child…
- Addie Loggins: Imogene, what do you suppose Miss Trixie'd do if somebody offered her $25 to put out?
- Imogene: Ooo Wee! You crazy? For that much money, that woman'd drop her pants down in the middle of the road!
A fabulous comedy and brilliant actress.
Tatum O’Neal won an Academy Award that she deserved Better than many adult winners of the same prestigious award.