The Paper Chase

The Paper Chase
Drama
, Comedy
1973

Director: James Bridges Cast: Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, John Houseman, Graham Beckel, James Naughton, Edward Herrmann, Craig Richard Nelson, Robert Lydiard, Lenny Baker, David Clennon, Regina Baff, Irma Hurley, Bill Moher, Blair Brown, Richard Whelan, Alan Kwinter, Nicholas Olah, David B. Johns

Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John Houseman)

Also Nominated For: Best Adapted Screenplay (James Bridges); Best Sound

I First Saw In: 2015

Synopsis: A first-year law student at Harvard Law School struggles with balancing his coursework and his relationship with the daughter of his sternest professor.

Quotables: KINGSFIELD: Mr. Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.
HART: You… are a sonofabitch, Kingsfield!
KINGSFIELD: Mr. Hart! That is the most intelligent thing you’ve said today. You may take your seat.

And now a Word from the Guise:
If you thought that a film about contractual law would be as boring as it sounds, then you’re absolutely right! The Paper Chase is tedious and mind-numbingly dull. John Houseman gives a good performance, but the wizened, curmudgeonly professor is nothing new. I don’t consider it an Oscar-worthy performance. I believe that his tenure as a producer played a major role in his victory, especially considering this was his first credited role. As he had been producing films since the late 1930’s, however, he already had built a rapport with Academy members. Had this been his Hollywood debut, I doubt very much that he would have even received a nomination for such a nondescript performance in such a forgettable film.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233