Remember when Peter Bogdanovich was mentioned as one of the hot, new filmmakers -- like Martin Scorcese and Steven Spielberg? He was a hot, new filmmaker. Just look at The Last Picture Show, Oscar nominee for Best Picture of 1971, and What's Up, Doc?, his wonderful 1972 salute to 1930s/40s screwball comedies. His triple play came with Paper Moon. Young Tatum O'Neal took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress of of 1973. She played Addie, a motherless 9-year old in America's heartland hit hard by the Great Depression. She becomes the unlikely sidekick to a not-too-slick con man who may or may not be her biological father. He was played by Tatum's real-life dad, Ryan O'Neal. Also nominated for Best Supporting Actress was the late Madeline Kahn for her golden performance in Paper Moon. She's the traveling sideshow hootchie-koo dancer who shows us that the con man can be had. She's terrific as Trixie Delight. Keeping right up her Kahn and adding her own bright light as one of the most subversive black maids in Hollywood movie history is young PJ Johnson as Imogene. Pronounced Eye-mogene.
Apparently, PJ Johnson didn't pursue much film work after Paper Moon. She did only one more film. I don't know anything about this actress but I sure wish she had done more films with that personality. She could've followed in a great tradition of wisecracking supporting players like Thelma Ritter, Eve Arden, Mary Wickes and Oscar Levant. PJ Johnson had the right stuff. She is fabulously funny as the long-suffering maid. Her role in Paper Moon isn't a big one like Tatum's, but she makes it stand out. She complements Madeline Kahn's Oscar-nominated performance with a comic light all her own.