The Paper Chase (1973) poster

The Paper Chase (1973)

1h 01 min

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James T. Hart is just entering his first year as a Harvard law student. Being a Midwesterner from Minnesota already makes him atypical from the Harvard stereotype. But typical of many of his fellow first year classmates, he is asked to join a study group, which ends up being six disparate individuals who may not be compatible beyond the fact that they are all aiming for success in their law studies which they equate with success in their future professional life. Although given a head's up by a colleague back in Minnesota, Hart is nonetheless ill-prepared for the reality that is the Contract Law class taught by the irascible and demanding Professor Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr. Beyond being academically bright, Hart also demonstrates that he has some level of street smarts in the deduction he makes in how to add a little extra insurance in how to obtain that elusive good grade in Kingsfield's class, if only there are enough hours in the day to obtain that continued level of insurance. Those hours are decreased when Hart embarks in a relationship with Susan Fields, a young woman he meets in town in an unusual circumstance. What ends up being their roller coaster of a relationship is largely directed by her unique perspective of what he is going through with law school in general, and Kingsfield's class in particular. As the year progresses, Hart comes to a changing perspective of Kingsfield, where Hart no longer just wants to get a good grade in the class, but also wants Kingsfield's admiration as he begins truly to admire Kingsfield.