One of my favorite movie lines – “No, I don’t know what [scruples] is, but if you got ’em it’s a sure bet they belong to someone else.” – came up in conversation recently. It was then that I realized it had far too long since I’d seen Paper Moon. I considered putting it on our Netflix queue, but Phillip requested that I put it on hold at the library instead.

It arrived at the library last Thursday. I watched it Friday night. I’ve watched all of the DVD extras, including Peter Bogdanovich’s commentary, this weekend. I had forgotten what a masterpiece this film is.

Paper Moon contains those long, steady shots I don’t see in movies anymore. There are shots so long and continuous that the composition and the acting are all that matter. I found it amazing that 8-year-old Tatum O’Neal (still the youngest person to win an Oscar) was able to deliver her lines in scenes lasting several minutes with out cuts.

The black-and-white photography is gorgeous.

Paper Moon is filmed against the wide-open landscapes of Kansas, underneath enormous skies. I think that’s why it kept reminding me of a classic American western. It is a road picture, and it is a very funny comedy.

Phillip and I watched Looper tonight. It was a pretty good movie – rather slow at first, but it picked up eventually. It came from of Netflix queue.

We’re paying a monthly fee for Netflix – no matter how many films we rent. I’m finding that the side-effect of that is that I tend to get reckless. As soon a movie pops into my head – like Paper Moon – I want to immediately put it one the queue.

I still miss our neighborhood video store.

5 thoughts on “Scruples

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