Blu-Ray Review: The Paper Chase

Hart sat in the lecture theatre

Mankind has always thirsted for knowledge. There are those of us who are driven to learn. Striving to attend the most prodigious schools and universities. To be taught by the most eminent figures in their respective fields. Exercising the competitive urge to prove that they’re the best. To be seen and respected. As the saying goes, you should never meet your heroes. In academia, that is usually true. In The Paper Chase, one freshman is desperate for recognition.

James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) is a young man from Minnesota who arrives at Harvard Law School eager to learn. After being humiliated by the frightening Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. (John Houseman) on his first day, he’s determined to prove him wrong; becoming obsessed with getting inside the irritable man’s head. This rapidly turns into an obsession. Even refusing to let a romance with a young woman (Lindsay Wagner) distract from his goal.

The Paper Chase is an impressive American drama which delves into the competitive and stressful world of academia. James Bridges’ film works thanks to an impressive cast and the number of obstacles that threaten to derail Hart from his path. Part scholastic thriller, part fractious romance, The Paper Chase is the kind of film you rarely see nowadays. One which will hold a lot of appeal to a certain demographic.  

The Paper Chase is released on Blu-ray by Signal One on 13 June.

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