$14.99 1.85:1(16:9) MONO PARAMOUNT

PARAMOUNT has released yet another classic from their vaults, deserving inclusion in any serious film lover’s dvd collection.  Say what one will about Ryan O’ Neal’s acting talent, but in “PAPER MOON”, both he and his daughter shine. Tatum actually took home an Oscar for her performance. This reviewer is definitely “not” a fan of Director Peter Bogdanovich, but “PAPER MOON” is a great film!  Based upon a novel by Joe David Brown, “PAPER MOON” tells the tale of Moses and Addie, a team trekking through Kansas, in the midst of the depression, conning grieving widows into buying bibles at exorbitant prices, after telling them their recently departed spouse ordered it for them.

In spite of the film’s “con” atmosphere, there’s actually a genuine sweetness that overrides everything else here. And, it’s impossible not to root for Addie, an orphan trying to take on the role of an adult and child when necessary, all during a time when adults have good reasons to fear extra responsibility.

PARAMOUNT has preserved the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement.  It’s an incredible transfer. Bogdanovich shot the film in black&white, and unlike so many filmmakers to follow, his reasoning was aesthetic, not simply because it “seemed different”!

The black&white cinematography helps create the perfect tone for the film’s time period, as well as the style of film being sought.  The blacks and grays look terrific here, and the detail is remarkable.  This is one of the best b&w transfers so far!

PARAMOUNT has retained and presented the original monaural mix here.  While it’s a bit surprising it wasn’t remixed for 5.1, as so many older films are these days, the monaural mix is fine.  Fidelity is limited, but dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

PARAMOUNT has supplied a commentary with Bogdanovich, and while his low, mumbling can be annoying at times, there’s a lot of insight expressed. Any fan of the film should check it out.
There are also three featurettes, none of which are terrific, but all add a little more fanfare for viewers who can’t get enough of this great film.