The Paper Chase (1978–1986)
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Plague of Locusts 

The annual influx of law firm recruiters invades the campus, and Ford's father seems to be leading the charge. Ford Senior's tactics cause Junior to re-evaluate his opinion of his father, ... See full summary »


Joseph Pevney


John Jay Osborn Jr. (based on the novel by), James Bridges (developed for television by) | 1 more credit »


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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
James Keane ... Willis Bell
Jane Kaczmarek ... Connie Lehman
Michael Tucci ... Gerald Golden
Betty Harford Betty Harford ... Mrs. Nottingham
Wortham Krimmer Wortham Krimmer ... Martin Zeiss
Paul Burke ... Mr. Ford
John Randolph ... Rice
Charles Robinson ... (as Charles Knox Robinson)
John Christy Ewing John Christy Ewing
Betty A. Bridges Betty A. Bridges ... (as Betty Bridges)
Gregory Braendel Gregory Braendel
J.P. Bumstead J.P. Bumstead


The annual influx of law firm recruiters invades the campus, and Ford's father seems to be leading the charge. Ford Senior's tactics cause Junior to re-evaluate his opinion of his father, and whether he wants to work for the firm. At the end, Kingsfield and Nottingham are glad when the "manta rays" depart. Written by JEFJR

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Release Date:

15 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mr. Ford Sr.'s list of 2-L students begins with James Hart, but also includes members of the filming crew including second assistant director Babs Subramaniam and cinematographer Gene Talvin. See more »


Mr. Ford Sr. has a sheet listing students' grades. At the top of the list is James Hart with a 3.9. However, later in a bit of dialogue, Ford says that Hart has a 3.8. See more »

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User Reviews

Real life sucks, huh, Ford?
27 June 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Plague of Locusts" is a very good episode of "The Paper Chase". It's well written and some nice guest appearances by John Randolph (in a small role) and Paul Burke as Mr. Ford.

The show begins with Professor Kingsfield showing his distaste for the recruiting season. It seems that law firms are descending on the campus to woo second year students away with fantastic summer jobs. It really isn't this that bothers him, but that some of them offer the students perks and as a result, students are more concerned with getting stuff as opposed to being good lawyers. Of these students, Hart is among the most actively pursued. Much of this is because he's on 'Law Review'--but one firm (headed by Ford's father) knows that Hart has the highest GPA in his class. This is a problem because the grades are NOT given out and it's obvious he's done some underhanded work to get someone in the records office to show them the grades. The high-minded Ford is struck by the sudden realization his father is a shifty character. At the same time, Hart's head is HUGE and he must pick among the many offers--and remember who he is and not be swayed by these locusts!

I really liked this episode. It gave Hart a chance to stretch his character, it was well-written and the guest stars were quite nice. All in all, one of the better episodes of season two.

By the way, at the end of the show, Hart talks about how close San Francisco is from Yosimite National Park. It's about four hours--not exactly a short distance away for most folks.

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