Take 3: The Paper Chase Review + 45 Follower Thank You

In my review of Return from Witch Mountain, I mentioned that I would publish my 45 follower thank you review very soon. Because I, recently, watched a film that was released in 1973, now is the time for me to talk about that film. For this post, I have chosen The Paper Chase. Before seeing this movie, the only film about law school I had ever seen was Legally Blonde. So, I was interested in seeing this particular concept from a different perspective. I am aware that this movie was based on a pre-existing novel. However, because I have never read this book, I’m only reviewing The Paper Chase as a film, not a book-to-film adaptation. How good or bad is the ninth film for this specific review series? Check out my review of The Paper Chase to find out!

The Paper Chase poster
The Paper Chase poster created by 20th Century Fox. Image found at http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/86193/The-Paper-Chase/#.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: All of the character portrayals in this movie were very good! Everyone appeared so believable, it seemed like I was watching real-life people dealing with real-life situations. Willis Bell, to me, was a very unlikable character. However, Craig Richard Nelson did a good job portraying that sense of unlikability which came across very effectively on-screen. Before watching The Paper Chase, I had seen Lindsay Wagner’s performances in Eat, Play, Love and Mingle All the Way. But, this was my first time watching Lindsay’s performance in a project not affiliated with Hallmark. I think she did a really good job portraying Susan Fields in this movie, giving an acting performance that appeared very natural and versatile.


The cinematography: While watching The Paper Chase, I noticed some really creative cinematography. One example of this was the reflection of the textbook in James T. Hart’s glasses. This stressed the importance of academics and how far James was willing to go to succeed. Another really cool use of cinematography in The Paper Chase was whenever someone was walking on the glass library floor. The way the camera focused on the floor, as if looking upward, was really interesting. Seeing the unique ways that cinematography was used in this film was such a pleasant surprise!


The music: Even though music was only found at certain moments in the film, I really enjoyed the music that was featured within the movie. To me, the best song was during the scene where James and Susan are on the frozen pond. This instrumental music was such a pretty score that beautifully complemented the wintery beauty in that scene. I was surprised when I found out John Williams created the music for The Paper Chase because I’ve been used to hearing his iconic scores from well-known blockbuster films. The music that was incorporated into this film was a great thing to find!

Paper airplane image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/paper-plane-in-cartoon-style_766478.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/paper”>Paper vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

What I didn’t like about the film:

A slow pace: The pace in The Paper Chase was slow. It was slow enough to the point of making the movie feel drawn out and longer than it might have been intended.


Lack of plot: Before watching The Paper Chase, I had expected the movie to have a substantial plot, with a conflict, climax, and some rising action. Unfortunately, the movie did not have any of those things. The Paper Chase is a story that’s very “slice of life”, showing a year in the life of the characters. While this story wasn’t bad, I, personally, was expecting more from the plot.


Too dialogue heavy: The Paper Chase is very dialogue heavy. The majority of the film consists of the characters talking, either to or at each other. Dialogue is a necessary component to any film. However, there has to be more to a movie than simply dialogue.

Law school textbooks image created by Peter Skadberg at freeimages.com. “FreeImages.com/Peter Skadberg.”

My overall impression:

Overall, I thought The Paper Chase was ok. There were things within the film that I liked, but I was expecting more from the movie. If given the choice, I would pick Legally Blonde over The Paper Chase because, in my opinion, Legally Blonde has a stronger plot. But, I’m glad I chose The Paper Chase for my 45 follower thank you review, as I might not have watched it if it weren’t for my 45 followers! A very special thanks to all of my readers and followers, as you are the reason why these special movie reviews are even possible! When I started my blog back in February, I never imagined I would receive almost 50 followers by the end of the year. Seeing 18 Cinema Lane prosper really does show how important and special movie blogs are in the world of blogging.


Overall score: 6 out of 10


Which movie from my blog follower thank you series is your favorite? Are you looking forward to which movie I’ll review for my 50 follower thank you post? Let me know in the comment section!


Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

6 thoughts on “Take 3: The Paper Chase Review + 45 Follower Thank You

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Athena! Technically, I have 60 followers because I’m following my own blog. But, in reality, I currently have 59 followers. I’m almost there! By the way, I took your advice and started following your blog. Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Becky

        I know this is an old post but I just discovered your blog. I do think there is a need for reviews of Hallmark movies, as some are so much better than others, and one doesn’t know which ones to seek out. So good for you. However I have seen The Paperchase, and I agree with your review except perhaps I would have given it 7 out of ten, because it is the source material for the TV show. The show is one of the best television shows I have ever seen, much better than the film. Just wanted to suggest that you check it out, the cast, the music, the plots all unfold in a superb way. The era is one I like for fashion and hair, but you learn about how law school works, the students become a team, they are very frank with each other but they also bond. We learn interesting details about the law in practice and things lawyers deal with and go through and pretty much no one ever shows this slice of life. It is vastly better than the movie, I watched at least the first 2 seasons and I highly recommend it. I saw the book after, and felt it was a classic, and exciting enough because they tried to show you could make such a story interesting. I agree it’s flawed but it was still worth watching. It’s just more special if you’very seen the show, it probably follows what the author intended more. For example, the main hero is named Hart, and he has the biggest heart of any of them. Check it out if you can, I believe it is rare, magical and classy. I will continue to explore your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for visiting my blog, Becky! I found out about the TV show after I saw the movie. Looking back on it, I believe the story of ‘The Paper Chase’ would work better as a television show. I’ll try to make time to check out the show. Thanks for the recommendation!


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