Paper Moon

Peter Bogdonavich’s Paper Moon is the story of two con artists, Moses Pray (Ryan O’Neal) and Addie Loggins (Tatum O’Neal).  The former calls himself a travelling bible salesman, but he is more of a grifter than anything, and the latter is a newly orphaned 9-year old  troublemaker with a natural knack for using her apparent innocence to take advantage of anyone who crosses her path.
The movie is overwhelmingly heartwarming … that is if you forget the part about them scamming money from widows, and the whole extorting money from Addie’s only living relative subplot. So, I guess in reality the story really goes more like terrible man meets terrible girl in terrible time, together they do terrible things, and find some sort of happiness in it.  But that isn’t such a bad story, especially when coupled with great directing, compelling acting, and excellent writing.

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