This film is based on John Jay Osborn Jr.'s 1971 novel The Paper Chase.
Harvard University only allowed this production three days of filming on their campus. As such, most of the campus scenes were shot at the University of Toronto.
Actors James Mason, Gregory Peck, Melvyn Douglas, Sir John Gielgud, Paul Scofield and Edward G. Robinson, were considered and offered the role to play Professor Kingsfield by director James Bridges. In the end, John Houseman was cast.
John Houseman went from virtually a novice to a veteran actor as a result of this one single appearance, which garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.
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