Paper Lion

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"The Paper Lion is about to get creamed!"
  • G
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 6.2  (1,231)

In the movie Paper Lion, Alan Alda portrays George Plimpton, an American journalist and writer who wants to experience the life of a professional football player firsthand. Based on Plimpton's autobiographical book of the same name, the movie follows his journey as he trains with the Detroit Lions and tries to make the team. Initially, Plimpton is greeted with skepticism and amusement by the players and coaches. They view him as a novelty, a journalist who wants to play football for a few weeks before returning to his desk job. However, Plimpton is determined to prove them wrong. He throws himself into the grueling training regimen, enduring painful practices and physical exertion. As he progresses, he gains the respect of his teammates and even the coaches, who begin to see him as a serious contender for the team.

Throughout his journey, Plimpton turns to his friend and confidant, Jane (played by Lauren Hutton), for support. Jane is a glamorous and sophisticated socialite who is intrigued by Plimpton's adventure. Despite her initial doubts about his ability to play football, she becomes one of his biggest supporters and helps him through the ups and downs of his training.

One of the most compelling aspects of the movie is the juxtaposition of Plimpton's intellectual and literary sensibilities with the rough-and-tumble world of professional football. He struggles to reconcile his love of literature with the violence and brutality of the sport. He also grapples with the idea of identity - does he want to be remembered as a writer or as a football player?

As the movie progresses, Plimpton's skills on the field improve, and he starts to feel confident in his ability to make the team. However, he is ultimately faced with a difficult decision - should he continue his pursuit of a professional football career, or return to his life as a writer? The movie ends with Plimpton contemplating his future and the impact that his experiences with the Lions will have on his life.

The movie is a poignant and often humorous exploration of the human spirit and the pursuit of one's dreams. Alan Alda gives a standout performance as Plimpton, bringing nuance and depth to a complex character. Lauren Hutton is captivating as Jane, providing a perfect foil to Plimpton's introspective and intellectual nature. Joe Schmidt, who was the actual coach of the Detroit Lions at the time, adds a sense of authenticity to the movie, lending his expertise and experience to the football scenes.

Overall, Paper Lion is a must-watch for fans of sports movies, literary adaptations, and character studies. It offers an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to pursue one's passions and take risks in life.

Paper Lion
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (1,231)