The 1973 FilmOfTheBook by John Jay Osborn, adapted and directed by James Bridges. A first-year student at Harvard Law School, James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) struggles to balance his course load and a covert romance with the daughter (Lindsay Wagner) of his most rigorous professor (John Houseman).

There was also a TV series from 1978-79 (CBS) and 1983-86 (Showtime). Houseman reprised his role, while Hart was played by James Stephens.

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!!''The Paper Chase'' features examples of:

* BlessedWithSuck: Kevin has a photographic memory, which is absolutely useless for analyzing matters of law.
* CallingTheOldManOut: "You... are a son of a ''bitch'', Kingsfield!"
* CharacterTic: If Hart is particularly pleased with himself and there's a wood surface within reach, he knocks on it twice.
* ComingOfAgeStory
* {{Fanservice}}: Two group shower scenes, one solo shower scene, and a handful of scenes featuring a Speedo-clad Hart at the pool or beach.
* FreudianTrio: A short but blatant moment that overlaps with the Shoulder Devil/Shoulder Angel trope. A little after the 26-minute mark, Hart is in a communal shower, standing in the middle of two students. The student on his right warns him against his new relationship, advocating chastity; the student on his left warns him against chastity, advocating that "you grab onto her boobs and you don't let go."
* ImprobablyHighIQ: Ford casually tries to impress Hart by citing his IQ of 190. He fails, because Hart's genius undergrad roommate couldn't pass the LSAT.
* JohnWilliams: Composed the original music.
* RankedByIQ: When James Hart first meets him, Franklin Ford III boasts of having an I.Q. of 190 as a sign of his superiority.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Hart idolizes Professor Kingsfield, who doesn't even admit to recognizing him at the end of the school year.