Phi Alpha Theta celebrates the 50th anniversary of ‘Paper Moon’


Anjali Tamang

Addie Loggins, actress Tatum O’Neal, and Moses Pray, actor Ryan O’Neal, in their adventures of swindling people and selling Bibles. Paper Moon’s black and white cinematography evoked the nostalgia of the Great Depression.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the film “Paper Moon,” Tom Prasch, professor and chair of history, held a historical movie night Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. in Henderson 112.

Paper Moon is a film set in Kansas in the 1930s during the Great Depression and depicts the journey of conman Moses “Moze” Pray and his nine-year-old partner, Addie Loggins.

“This film tells something about history and tells us a kind of double-story about both 1930s and 1970s when it was being made,” Prasch said.

The film’s black and white cinematography evokes the nostalgia of the Great Depression.

Moze and Addie’s odd friendship begins when his attempt to con her fails and he is tasked with returning Addie to her relative’s home in Missouri following her mother’s death. The plot revolves around the duo’s adventures as they travel around Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, selling the Bible and committing various scams together.

“I wanted the audience to feel some sense of a different way of thinking about depression and some appreciation of the film as well,” Prasch said.

The audience praised Moze and Addie’s characters, their chemistry, and the period-appropriate visuals. Marcia Cebulska, Prasch’s wife, was also present in the audience and provided insight into the film.

“Addie was the center of the movie. And the memorable part was towards the end, when she comes running towards Moze and we are not sure what’s going to happen at that point,” said Cebulska.

The film carried light drama and comedy tones, a blend that some might consider endearing.

The progression of the characters in “Paper Moon” was organic and realistic, which provides a more genuine and heartfelt approach to telling a story set during the Great Depression.

Prasch also talked about his upcoming event that will be a movie night in April sometime and that everyone is invited.


Edited by LeSha’ Davis and Glorianna Noland