April 25, 2008

The Paper Chase

The movie The Paper Chase has a real 70s movie style and feel to it but it's got some themes that go beyond the coming-of-age mold. I've been reading and interviewing a lot recently about Senator Chiles' last years in the U.S. Senate and I am continually reminded of a quote from the movie. Paraphrasing since I don't have a full transcript:

Hart, the protagonist, freaks out about his contractors professor Kingsfield.

(His Girlfriend) Susan: I don't know how else to tell you but you've gotta stop being so soft and so easily manipulated. It's very dangerous for one's intelligence.

At the end of the movie, Hart finally takes a hint and instead of panicking as he opens the letter containing his 1L exam grades, he folds the envelope into a paper airplane and throws it onto the rocks off Susan's Cape Cod villa.

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