The Paper Chase
The Paper Chase (1973)

This filmization of John Jay Osborn Jr.'s novel Paper Chase ended up one of the surprise hits of the 1973-74 movie season. Timothy Bottoms stars as the Minnesotan Hart, a brilliant but naive first-year student at the Harvard Law School.… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1973
DVD Release Date: June 2, 2003
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

The Paper Chase has some great performances, literate screenwriting, sensitive direction and handsome production.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Houseman is able to project subtleties of character even while appearing stiff and unrelenting; it's a performance of Academy Award quality, and resulted in an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

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S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

The love of learning is tops in classic law school tale.

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Time Out

A muddled and slick 'youth' film.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

James Bridges manages to do a fair job with the semihokey material.

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TV Guide

Essentially, this is a military school plot with a change of venue.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

By the end it has melted into a blob of clichés.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...a fairly routine drama that never feels as though it's building to anything significant or even interesting...

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Christopher Null

Houseman owns you whenever he's on camera.

More reviews for The Paper Chase

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
A Harvard law student dates his imperious professor's daughter. I've thought about <i>The Paper Chase</i> a lot. One of my colleagues did… More
Randy Tippy
Better than I remembered it to be (perhaps that's because I was 11 years old the first time?). Dated only by its score and its sense of fashion,… More
Ken Stachnik
Great little film about being a first year law student at Harvard. Great Gordon Willis cinematography to boot!
jay nixon
The story had an interesting aspect but execution was wanting. Unappealing characters and choppy, disjointed presentation keeps viewer at a distance.
Cassie Hill
A funny & very odd movie. This movie had a really odd ending.
Lanning : )
Kingsfield: Mr. Hart, here is a dime. Call your mother. Tell her there is serious doubt about your becoming lawyer. <p> Hart: You . . . are a son of a… More