(On Cable TV, December 2019) Considering writer-director Peter Bogdanovich’s fondness for Hollywood history, it really shouldn’t be a surprise how the opening moments of Paper Moon almost perfectly recreate depression-era filmmaking, down to the black and while flat cinematography and acting styles. Of course, this being an early-1970s film, this façade slowly crumbles as the film goes on, as it features a con artist and his daughter merrily scamming their way through the Midwest. Ryan O’Neill here holds one of his best roles, opposite his own daughter Tatum O’Neil. The tone is a semi-comic one with a big sentimental ending—although you have to be indulgent as our heroes scam widows and sell illegal booze back to their owners. The episodic structure of the film works relatively well as characters enter and exit the story—Madeline Khan is a welcome sight as an avowed gold-digger with no perceptible loyalty. It also builds to an emotional climax, as the film gradually makes its way from tragedy to comedy to drama. The interplay between father and daughter is quite nice, and Tatum may be more impressive than her father (who, should it be noted, rarely made an impression as an actor) in an Oscar-winning role. I’m not so sure that Paper Moon deserves its presence on the various best-of lists that I’ve seen, but then again, I’ve had worse movie-watching experiences.