Paper Moon

Synopsis: Adapted from the novel, "Addie Pray" (1971) by Joe David Brown, PAPER MOON is the story of Moses Pray and Addie Loggins. With scenery reminiscent of "The Grapes of Wrath," the film is set in the depression-era Midwestern region of the United States. As the movie opens, we see a small group of mourners clustered at a graveside. Among the mourners is Addie, the dead woman's small daughter. Moses Pray -- ostensibly of the "Kansas Bible Company" -- approaches the group, as the service concludes, and two of the elderly women remark that the child bears some resemblance to him and asks if he might be related. "If ever a child needed kin, it's now," one lady says. With no knowledge of who her father is, Addie's only haven is her Aunt's home in St. Joseph, Missouri. Having identified himself as a "traveling man spreading the Lord's gospel in these troubled times," "Mose" is prevailed upon to deliver the helpless child to her Aunt since he's going that way, anyway. Addie, wise beyond her years,
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Peter Bogdanovich
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
102 min


(WOMAN) # Say it's only a paper moon

# Sailing over a cardboard sea

# But it wouldn't be make-believe

if you believed in me

# Yes, it's only a canvas sky

# Hanging over a cotton tree

# But it wouldn't be make-believe

if you believed in me

# With all your love

it's a honky-tonk parade

# Without your love, it's a melody

played in a penny arcade

# lt's a Barnum and Bailey world

# Just as hollow as it can be

# But it wouldn't be make-believe

if you believed in me #

# Rock of ages cIeft for me

# Let me hide myseIf in thee

# Let the water and the bIood

- # From thy wounded side which fIowed


# Be of sin the doubIe cure

# Save from wrath

# And make me pure #

(MINISTER) ''Judge me, O Lord,

for I have waIked in mine integrity.

''I have trusted aIso in the Lord,

''therefore I shaII not sIide.

''Examine me, O Lord, and prove me.

''Try my reins and my heart.

''For thy Ioving kindness

is before mine eyes

''and I have waIked in thy truth.

''I have not sat with eviI persons,

''neither wiII I go in with dissembIers.

''I wiII wash mine hands in innocency.

''So wiII I compass thine aItar, O Lord.

''That I may pubIish

with the voice of thanksgiving

''and teII of aII thy wondrous works...''

- Loggins' funeraI?

- Yes, ma'am.

- Ain't reIated, are you?

- ReIated?

We're Iooking for the chiId's kin.

Thought I saw some resembIance.

No kin?

None we know of, except in Missouri.

Seems you got the chiId's jaw.

No, just a friend of her mama.

If ever a chiId needed a friend...

''...wiII I bIess the Lord.

- ''Amen.''

- Amen.

Amen, Essie Mae.

I just know your ass is stiII warm.

WouId you Iike some water, Addie?

We'II get the chiId some water.

BIess you, chiId. I wanted

to pay my respects to your mama.

- I have to go. It's a Iong way to St Louis.

- St Louis, Missouri?

Yes, ma'am. I seII the Good Book.

Just spreading the Lord's good news.

Addie, don't you have your Aunt BiIIie

Iiving in St Joseph, Missouri?

Her poor mother's sister.

- Her onIy known reIative.

- That so?

If you're driving your chariot to Missouri,

you couId take her.

- I wouIdn't caII it a chariot, Reverend.

- I'II write the woman a Ietter tonight.

I have to think upon this. I may

have to make a few stops aIong the way.

- I never traveIIed with no chiId before.

- The chiId's got no pIace to go! the eyes of the Lord,

I have no choice.


- God works in mysterious ways.

- Don't He?

Come on, Addie, better get your things.

This nice man's taking you to your aunt.


- How come you're taking me?

- Huh?

- How come you're taking me?

- 'Cause I'm going that way, honey.

AIthough I do want to make just one stop

before we Ieave town.

- Got a IittIe business to do.

- You know my mama reaI good?

Oh, pretty good.

You just stay out here.

Don't you say a word unIess I ask you to.

- Mr Robertson?

- That's right.

- I'd Iike a minute of your time.

- Not buying today.

- Just want you to meet somebody.

- So what?

- TeII him your name, honey.

- Addie. Addie Loggins.

You done reaI fine. I'II be out in a minute.

- Ain't she a sweet chiId?

- No, she ain't.

Maybe not now, because she's sad,

with her mama dead and

your drunken brother hitting that tree.

What are you trying to puII? Get out!

- l'm going, l'll tell you where,

- l don't care!

To see J T Faraday,

You know who he is?

One of the biggest Iawyers in Kansas.

He don't favour the man with the money.

Know what's going to happen

to your brother? A Iawsuit against him.

Everything's going to be tied up in knots.

His money, his house, aII he owns!

IncIuding haIf this pIant.

Don't think that poor chiId ain't entitIed,

'cause she is.

Now, I was thinking,

$2,000 wouId be acceptabIe.

I'II give you 200.

- $200?

- $200.

It's a deaI.

There you are.

That'II be $67.54.

- You sure these tyres are new?

- $67.54.

Now, we'II have you to St Jo in no time.

- When's the next train to St Joseph?

- St Joseph? Let's see.

That'II be the 4.1 4. Change trains in

Kansas City and into St Jo at 9.52 a.m.

One chiId's price ticket.

$1 1 .45.

Send a teIegram to Mrs BiIIie Roy Griggs,

Cosmo Row, St Joseph.

''Train arriving 9.52 a.m. and bringing

Iove, affection and $20 cash.''

Make that $25 cash

and sign it just Addie Loggins.

Ten words, that wiII be 85 cents more.

That wiII be $1 2.30.

$1 2.30?

You'd better say in that message,

''Love, affection and $20 cash.''

''Love, affection and $20 cash.''

Here's your ticket,

and $20 for your Aunt BiIIie.

We got tiII 4.1 5.

I don't suppose you can wait here

by yourseIf, can you?

You hungry? Want a Nehi

and a Coney IsIand?


- Ain't you eating?

- I ain't hungry.

You worried about going on the train?

You'II Iike it.

You'II soon be at your aunt's

and aII your troubIes over. So, eat up.

- She don't know me.

- She wiII.

- She ain't going to want me.

- She ain't seen you yet.

Never even cared for my mama.

And she was her sister.

- Your mama was fine.

- Everybody says she weren't!

- Everybody don't know your mama.

- How good you know her?

Enough to know you can be proud

of the happiness she gave.

Eat your Coney IsIand.

You meet her in a bar-room?

- Where wouId you get that question?

- I hear taIk, wondering if you was my pa.

WeII, don't the worId

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Alvin Sargent

Alvin Sargent (born April 12, 1927) is an American screenwriter. He has won two Academy Awards in 1978 and 1981 for his screenplays of Julia and Ordinary People. His most popular contribution has been being involved in the writing of most of the films in Sony's Spider-Man film series (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first exception to this). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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