Catching ‘The Paper Chase’

When Professor Kingsfield addressed the hapless 1L: “Mr. Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about your ever becoming a lawyer,” the class went deadly silent.

Recently, Kingsfield, the professor in the movie based on the iconic book by John Jay Osborn Jr. ’70, had a very different effect on a Harvard Law crowd. During a late-night outdoor screening of “The Paper Chase,” a raucous audience of HLS students and faculty called out the lines “Rocky Horror Picture Show”-style. That evening, the story seemed to have a leavening effect.

Dean John Manning ’85 was among those in the audience during the screening, which was part of the HLS in the Arts festival. The experience of watching the movie under the stars with the HLS community, he said, will stay with him well beyond the bicentennial year.