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      The Paper Chase

      PG Released Oct 16, 1973 1 hr. 51 min. Comedy Drama List
      81% 31 Reviews Tomatometer 72% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score As a first-year law student at Harvard, James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) knows he's got his work cut out for him. But things get harder than he anticipated when he runs afoul of the school's dreaded contracts professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. (John Houseman). Wry and imposing, Kingsfield drives many of the lesser students to drop out, but James endures and, as if begging for more trouble, begins dating the professor's daughter, Susan (Lindsay Wagner). Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Sep 21 Buy Now

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      Audience Reviews

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      steve m I remember this from my college days, didn't think it was all that then, still don't. The guy does everything he can to get a good grade, then realizes it's not that important. So what is important? Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Another "product of its time" movie that I might have enjoyed viewing when I was 20 in 1973, but it seems pretty pointless now. Critics lauded Houseman's performance and he cashed in on it for at least a decade after - KaChing! Somewhat interesting to see the portrayals of how people lived and behaved half a century ago - the daughter of a Harvard Law School professor driving a Chevy Vega, a perennial candidate for "Worst Detroit Product Evah!" Overall, pretty slow moving especially the scene where our protagonist loiters in the empty lecture hall; poor editing IMO. Rather implausible ending and I don't just mean at the credits; the hotel scene is utterly ludicrous. I watched it only b/c I hadn't seen it Back in the Day and everybody raved about it then. Now, it's strictly a time-filler. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Follows a class at HLS and the dynamics within. I love this film. The narrative is totally relatable (bar the HLS bit - I am not so smart), and the character growth is good and who can't relate to grade anxiety. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member Well written & acted Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Required viewing in law school, with some accurate portrayals and important points made. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review dave s Early in The Paper Chase, Professor Kingsfield (John Houseman) tells his first-year law students that "you come here with a skull full of mush and you leave here thinking like a lawyer." Using the Socratic Method of teaching, he terrorizes, educates, and molds the malleable minds of his students. First year law student Hart (Timothy Bottoms) first sees Kingsfield as his nemesis before coming to understand the value of the professor's approach. Lindsay Wagner plays Susan, Hart's girlfriend, and serves as a sounding board for the frustrated and stressed Hart. Their relationship eventually becomes a distraction and unnecessary plot point when it is revealed that Susan is Kingsfield's daughter. Despite this, The Paper Chase is a smart film with engaging characters, highlighted by Houseman's Oscar-winning performance. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

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      Pauline Kael New Yorker The Paper Chase isn't a terrible movie, but its preconceptions are all wrong: it's about an un-situation and un-people. Sep 19, 2023 Full Review Variety Staff Variety The Paper Chase has some great performances, literate screenwriting, sensitive direction and handsome production. Jul 24, 2008 Full Review Time Out A muddled and slick 'youth' film. Feb 9, 2006 Full Review Rob Aldam Backseat Mafia An impressive American drama which delves into the competitive and stressful world of academia. Jun 13, 2022 Full Review John Simon Esquire Magazine Back in 1926, Virginia Woolf wrote that at the movies, "as smoke pours from Vesuvius, we should be able to see thought in its wildness, in its beauty, in its oddity..." The Paper Chase fails to make thought visible. Jul 23, 2020 Full Review Dick Lochte Los Angeles Free Press The love-hate relationship between student and teacher are all captured with splendid accuracy. Dec 31, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis As a first-year law student at Harvard, James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) knows he's got his work cut out for him. But things get harder than he anticipated when he runs afoul of the school's dreaded contracts professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. (John Houseman). Wry and imposing, Kingsfield drives many of the lesser students to drop out, but James endures and, as if begging for more trouble, begins dating the professor's daughter, Susan (Lindsay Wagner).
      Director
      James Bridges
      Distributor
      20th Century Fox
      Production Co
      Twentieth Century Fox
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 16, 1973, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 1, 2013
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