Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Paper Chase (1973)

Director: James Bridges. Cast: Timothy Bottoms, John Houseman, Lindsay Wagner. 113 min. Rated PG. Drama.

Before R. Lee Ermey, before J.K. Simmons, there was the late John Houseman, playing the feared Harvard law professor. Ermey and Simmons demolished their recruits/pupils by screaming in their faces; Houseman would just stare them down, and achieve the same effect. Yeah, there's a plot here about a struggling law student who becomes romantically involved with the professor's daughter (Wagner, who later played "The Bionic Woman"). But still, throughout the film, you're waiting for Houseman's next scene. Interestingly, Houseman, Ermey and Simmons all won Best Supporting Actor Oscars, because their respective movies would be impotent without them.

PS: The movie was the inspiration for the not-so-successful TV series of the same name, with Houseman playing the same character.

PPS: Streaming on Netflix.

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