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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Paper Moon (1973)



Reviews and Comments

Peter Bogdanovich made this Depression-era drama about a con artist and a girl who just might be his daughter. He teaches her how to swindle, and now you are probably guessing at the kind of complicated tangle of con games that David Mamet likes to write. It's not really that kind of movie. The con games, though entertaining on their own, are more about character than story. Interestingly, the two characters are played by real-life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal, the latter turning in a revelatory performance for her first film.

The look of the movie is gorgeous: black and white panoramas of sprawling American landscapes. They are just right for establishing these characters as lost in the world. Sometimes they don't much like each other, but you know why they stick together. Who else have they got?