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Paper Chase, The (Bilingual)


Price: CDN$ 80.66
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, John Houseman, Graham Beckel
  • Format: NTSC, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, Anamorphic, Import
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 3 2003
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008UALL

Product Description

Expecting only the basic pressures of attending Harvard Law School, a serious, hard-working student (Timothy Bottoms) finds himself the fearful adversary of the school's most imperious, sarcastic professor (John Houseman). Their relationship grows even more complex when the boy discovers that the girl he's in love with is the professor's daughter (Lindsay Wagner). Edward Herrmann and James Naughton co-star in this moving, intelligent drama.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AntiochAndy on May 7 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The closest I ever got to Harvard Law School was a graduate class in education law at UC Berkeley. The class was taught by a silver-haired Jesuit, who stood ramrod straight behind his podium at the front of the class and proceded in a manner not unlike John Houseman's Professor Kingsfield. It was only a pale shadow of what is depicted in "The Paper Chase", but it was very enlightening. The way this movie vividly brings back my student days, both the fun and the hard work, is one of the reasons I like it so much. It also shows what people can accomplish.
The plot involves a love affair between Hart, a student who idolizes Kingsfield, and Kingsfield's daughter. It has its funny moments, but is somewhat predictable. What elevates this movie is the psychological study of how the different students respond to their situation, some finding it within themselves to persevere while others fall by the wayside. The film also benefits from strong acting, particularly by John Houseman, who is the quintessential Professor Kingsfield. He is outstanding.
This is an excellent flick. It delivers a dramatic portrayal of an intense academic experience, while delivering some very funny moments along the way. Sort of like real life, sometimes. The TV series spawned by this movie was also quite good, and it's too bad it didn't last longer on its major network. Anyway, both college students and former college students will find a lot to relate to here. Those whose background isn't academic, though, will also find "The Paper Chase" quite entertaining. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 21 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I always warned students at the beginning of each year that I had screened "The Paper Chase" once again and was interested in using the Socratic method to spin the little tumblers of their minds. Certainly this was the film that made me want to curb my innate desire to stand up in the classroom and pontificate on every subject under the sun.
Ostensibly the film is about the pressures of first year students at Harvard Law School, but since most of us do not want to become lawyers, know any lawyers, have any dealings with lawyers or even watch television programs with lawyers, "The Paper Chase" ultimately succeeds as a film about wanting to learn and learning to think. At the heart of the film is James Hart (Timothy Bottoms), come from Minnesota to learn at the feet of the great Professor Charles Kingsfield. Despite some painful moments of confrontation in the classroom with his would be mentor-my favorite: "Mr. Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer"-Hart finds he can play the game and play it well. Having given his mind over to Kingsfield, the question then becomes whether his heart and soul will follow as well. The other members of his study group (which includes Edward Herrmann and James Naughton), make different choices and take different paths in order to survive the year. By the end of the film Hart is more alone than he was at the beginning.
As Kingsfield, John Houseman is the powerful center of the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "flintoid" on March 2 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The amazing thing about this movie is that every single character reminds you of a student in your 1L class, no matter where you went to law school. There's always one guy who is a rote genius but can't hack it as an analyst. There's always some guy who writes a 200-page outline. There's always some guy who thinks his study group is too special to let academic pedestrians get a free ride. And then there's you in the middle. I'm in law school, but I don't think I would know that without this movie.
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Format: DVD
Yeah, great film, holds up well over the years. But no Harvard law student would have thrown his unopened grades into the ocean. Particularly one that was as dedicated and competitive as Hart. It would be like a lawyer trying a case and leaving the courtroom before hearing the verdict. One can understand and, in a mercenary way, perhaps admire Hart if he pretended not to care about the grades for the sake of impressing his erratic, anti-establishment/anti-hippy girlfriend. She doesn't make much sense, but she is cute and alluring. But to actually throw the grades into the sea? No.
Apart from that, the scenes of the workings of law school are pretty terrific. The characters of the study group are, for good and bad, very similar to people you actually find at law school. Particularly Bell. (By the way, did anyone notice that Hart's 3rd year advisor was Thirtysomething's Miles Drentell? He is exactly the type that would say, "Grades matter.") Yet, like lawyers themselves, they're not on the whole really awful people. Ford, the quintessential Harvard prepster, bails out James Naughton's character in class and even goes so far as to say that the subject is very difficult to understand. Hart himself is obviously very decent. And Kingsfield is meant to be feared, but moreover respected and admired.
So the romance is a bit unrealistic, but nothing approaching Ally McBeal silliness. That aside, it's a solid film worth seeing more than once.
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