The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
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The Tables Down at Ernie's 

Kingsfield's character and background are further developed in this episode: his own days as a student at the law school, hanging out at Ernie's in the 1930's, and his friendship, then, ... See full summary »


Philip Leacock


John Jay Osborn Jr. (based on the novel by), James Bridges (developed for television by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Houseman ... Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.
James Stephens ... James T. Hart
Tom Fitzsimmons ... Franklin Ford III
Robert Ginty ... Thomas Craig Anderson
James Keane ... Willis Bell
Francine Tacker Francine Tacker ... Elizabeth Logan
Eduard Franz ... Ernie, Sr.
Harry Davis Harry Davis ... Ludwig
Helen Kleeb ... Mrs. Kornbluh
Jan Arvan ... Mr. Kornbluh
Charles Hallahan ... Ernie
Betty Harford Betty Harford ... Mrs. Nottingham
Carole Goldman ... Carol
Jack Manning Jack Manning ... Dean Rutherford
Virginia Baker Virginia Baker ... Andrea


Kingsfield's character and background are further developed in this episode: his own days as a student at the law school, hanging out at Ernie's in the 1930's, and his friendship, then, with Ernie Sr. However, now Ernie's is threatened with closure. The entire block, owned by the university, is to be razed to enable construction of a new gym and a parking lot. Ernie can't afford to hire a lawyer to fight the university and Hart takes on the job -- only to learn that his adversary is Kingsfield, representing the university. Bravely, Hart confronts Kingsfield and appeals to him, only to be rebuffed by his professor. But Kingsfield's nostalgic memories are sparked by the encounter and he visits Ernie's, there encountering Ernie Sr., who's visiting his son. While they talk, Kingsfield discovers something that might save the bar from being torn down. Later, Kingsfield craftily drops suggestive hints to Hart without revealing that his aim is to guide Hart into making the same discovery. At ... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

27 March 1979 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Further proof that Kingsfield might just be human after all....maybe.
2 May 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

There were two inexplicable things about "The Paper Chase" that bothered me--does Hart actually EVER work when he's at Ernie's and is Professor Kingsfield human? Well, the second is actually addressed here a bit, though once again you can assume Ernie pays Hart though it can't possibly have anything to do with waiting tables, as once again Hart is too busy with stuff to work.

The show begins with Hart and the gang learning that Ernie's Tavern is being closed in order for the school to build a parking lot. Hart, as usual, decides to go off on a crusade and makes it his sacred duty to stop the march of progress. He soon learns that Kingsfield is actually on the same committee that is pushing for the parking lot! And, when he appeals to Kingsfield, the meeting seems to be for naught. However, later, when he is off work, Kingsfield VERY UNCHARACTERISTICALLY goes to Ernie's to reminisce about the good 'ol days--proving, or at least hinting, that he is actually human! But, he cannot relent in being who he is and Hart insists he cannot relent in trying to find some legal basis for stopping the demolition. What's to become of the problem? Aside from learning that Kingsfield might be an old softy (underneath a bazillion layers of iron), this seemed like a rather weak episode. It wasn't entirely logical and Hart's campaign seemed a bit obsessive to say the least--making you wonder how he could be one of the brightest and best law students (when does he find time?!).

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