John Baumgartner


PAPER MOON (1973, Bogdanovich)

Nothing beats, in terms of performance & overall impact, this amazing single shot from Paper Moon.  It’s a simple thing — on the surface — but took Bogdanovich a grueling day and half to get this short scene.

The little girl, Tatum O’Neil (daughter of Ryan, screen right) gives a stellar performance, especially considering she’s 9. Thing is, if she’d go up on a line, the whole parade — the tow vehicle, the picture car, any crew vehicles — had to be turned around and reset — an arduous process that would only allow for a limited number of takes before they lost the daylight.

Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon Persistence

They didn’t get it the first day! Bogdanovich had to fend off incredulous and desperate producers who wanted him to move on but he knew he was on the verge of something special, and the final result is magnificent on all levels.  Coverage of this scene would have lessened the verisimilitude and impact.

You can check out the scene in this youtube video:


  • May 14, 2011
    J. Carlos

    I’ve never seen this film. I’ll have to netflix it now. very cool John.

  • June 5, 2011

    Wow! Peter Bogdanovich is insufferable and when he’s self-satisfied is movies are impossible to sit through, but when he lets his talent and craft serve story and character instead of his own ego there are few better.


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