A beautiful 1973 black and white movie based on Joe David Brown's 1971 book Addie Pray. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich (Mask, Looking for Natalie Wood), the screenplay was written by Alvin Sargent (The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, Spider Man 2). Later made into a television series, starring Jodie Foster as Addie. Set in the United States in the 1930s, this movie follows the lives of Addie Loggins (Tatum O'Neal) and Moses Pray (Ryan O'Neal) after the death of Addie's mother (Miss Essie Mae Loggins). Moses Pray shows up at the end of Addie's mother's funeral, claiming to be "an old friend." Although at first glance "Mose" seems to make an honest living (as a bible salesman), he is, in short, a con man. His main income comes from looking up death notices, and then going to the bereaved's homes and selling them bibles, claiming that the recently deceased ordered the bible for the bereaved shortly before his or her death. Most of the time, he also engraves the bereaved's name in the bible... a detail that lends credibility to his claim.

Because he is headed in that direction, Mose is coerced into delivering Addie to her aunt's home in Missouri. Her aunt's home is her only hope, as she is orphaned at her mother's passing. The trip is a wild one. Addie is older than her years, and soon she is aiding Mose in fooling people to no end.

Tatum O'Neal won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, against Linda Blair who was nominated for her part in The Exorcist, and her own co-star, Madeline Kahn, nominated for her role as Miss Trixie Delight, an exotic dancer Mose and Addie pick up along the way. She was nine years old, the youngest person to ever receive an Academy Award; this was her acting debut. She went on to act in many other movies, including one of my personal favorites, Little Darlings.

To find out how it ends, you'll have to watch it for yourself!

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