• The Paper Chase (2001)

The Paper Chase

Release Date: December 21st, 2001

DVD Release Date: June 3rd, 2003

PG |1 hr 51 min

Plot Summary

As a first-year law student at Harvard, James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) knows he's got his work cut out for him. But things get harder than he anticipated when he runs afoul of the school's dreaded contracts professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. (John Houseman). Wry and imposing, Kingsfield drives many of the lesser students to drop out, but James endures and, as if begging for more trouble, begins dating the professor's daughter, Susan (Lindsay Wagner).

Cast: Timothy Bottoms, John Houseman, Lindsay Wagner, Graham Beckel, Edward Herrmann, Bob Lydiard, Craig Richard Nelson, James Naughton

Director: James Bridges

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox

Keywords: Love , Daughter , Growing up , 1970s , Girlfriend , Hotel , Engaging ,

Ratings & Reviews

  • 60
    Time Out

    A muddled and slick youth film. Excellent sequences of his quarrelsome study group tearing one another apart under fierce competitive strain - and a fine performance by Houseman as their olympian, sadistic professor - make the film watchable. show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    What's best about the movie is that it considers interesting adults--young and old--in an intelligent manner. After it's over we almost feel relief; there are so many movies about clods reacting moronically to romantic and/or violent situations. But we hardly ever get movies about people who seem engaging enough to spend half an hour talking with (what would you say to Charles Bronson?). Here's one that works. show more

  • 80

    The Paper Chase has some great performances, literate screenwriting, sensitive direction and handsome production. Timothy Bottoms is excellent as the puzzled law student, Lindsay Wagner is very good as his girl, and John Houseman, the veteran legit and film producer-director-writer, is outstanding as a hard-nosed but urbane law professor. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Sound
Winner Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominated Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Winner Actor in a Supporting Role