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.