The romantic films of the 1930s and '40s influenced director Peter Bogdanovich (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, MASK) in PAPER MOON, a masterpiece influenced by the filmmaking of those periods --a classic comedy drama that resembles the films of John Ford or Sam Wood.
Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) is a happy-go-lucky con man traveling throughout the Midwest during the Great Depression, conning widows into buying Bibles. Stopping in a small town for a friend's funeral, he is persuaded to deliver the deceased's precocious 10-year-old daughter, Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal, Ryan's real-life daughter), to her aunt's home. The resemblance between Moses and Addie--who never knew her father--is uncanny, and the two are soon acting like father and daughter as they travel the back roads of heartland America. Despite his initial misgivings, Moses is delighted to find that Addie is a boon to business, catching on
quickly and adding her own twists to his favorite cons. Madeline Kahn stars as
Trixie Delight, a ladyfriend Moses meets along the way--a situation that brings out
Addie's possessive side. Bogdanovich convincingly recreates the feel and look of the 1930s with his nostalgic look at life on the open road. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay; both Kahn and the 11-year-old O'Neal were nominated for Best Supporting Actress, which O'Neal won.
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 1973 Tatum O'Neal Oscar Winning Actress, PAPER MOON