Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This filmization of John Jay Osborn Jr.'s novel Paper Chase ended up one of the surprise hits of the 1973-74 movie season. Timothy Bottoms stars as the Minnesotan Hart, a brilliant but naive first-year student at the Harvard Law School. Like most of his fellow aspiring attorneys, Hart is in fearful awe of his demanding, ego-deflating instructor, Professor Kingsfield (John Houseman). He is not so much intimidated by Kingsfield, however, as to resist falling in love with the professor's pretty daughter (Lindsay Wagner). An eminent theatrical and film producer, John Houseman won an Oscar for his first important film role (no, it wasn't his first film role ever; he'd played an unbilled cameo in 1964's Seven Days in May), launching Houseman on a latter-day acting career wherein he spent most of his time playing variations of Kingsfield. Houseman also recreated the role for a Paper Chase TV series, which first ran on CBS, then on public television, then on the Showtime pay cable service.
law-student, professor, law-school, coming-of-age, freshman, girlfriend, daughter