6.9/10
1,553
25 user 27 critic

The Front Page (1931)

TV-PG | | Comedy | 4 April 1931 (USA)
An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.

Director:

Writers:

(by), (by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the Post-World War II, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military that has married the German Bettina Mallison. The naive ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Claire Bloom, Hildegard Knef
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall
Cimarron (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A newspaper editor settles in an Oklahoma boom town with his reluctant wife at the end of the nineteenth century.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Bad Girl (1931)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: James Dunn, Sally Eilers, Minna Gombell
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An unhappily married couple try to come between a happy one.

Directors: Ernst Lubitsch, George Cukor
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin
The Lodger (1944)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A landlady suspects her new lodger is Jack the Ripper.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Laird Cregar, Merle Oberon, George Sanders
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Murphy (as Walter L. Catlett)
...
...
Molly
...
Pincus
...
Kruger
...
Clarence Wilson ...
Sheriff Hartman (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Fred Howard ...
Schwartz (as Freddie Howard)
Phil Tead ...
Wilson
Eugene Strong ...
Endicott (as Gene Strong)
Spencer Charters ...
Woodenshoes
Edit

Storyline

Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job. The court press room is full of lame reporters who invent stories as much as write them. All are waiting to cover the hanging of Earl Williams. When Williams escapes from the inept Sheriff, Hildy seizes the opportunity by using his $260 honeymoon money to payoff an insider and get the scoop on the escape. However, Walter Burns, the Post's editor, is slow to repay Hildy back, hoping that he will stay on the story. Getting a major scoop looks possible when Hildy stumbles onto the bewildered escapee and hides him in a roll-top desk in the press room. Burns shows up to help. Can they keep Williams' whereabouts secret long enough to get the scoop, especially with the Sheriff and other reporters hovering around? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Primeira Página  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The journalists are all based on actual reporters who were Chicago colleagues of authors Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, with most working alongside them at the courthouse. The real names were only slightly changed: Hildy Johnson was based on the real-life reporter Hildebrand Johnson, Walter Burns was based on the editor Walter Howey, and Mac McCue was based on reporter Buddy McHugh. See more »

Goofs

At approximately 69 minutes, Hildy types furiously at a typewriter, however, with his right hand he only uses his index finger and pushes the same key over and over again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: This story is laid in a mythical kingdom.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits consist of Walter and Hildy above a big 'THE END,' covering a large question mark, while the sound of the train is heard and music plays. There is also laughter, presumably coming from Walter Burns. See more »

Connections

Version of The Front Page (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

By the Light of the Silvery Moon
(1909) (uncredited)
Music by Gus Edwards
Played on banjo early in the film
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very good
23 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Newspaperman Hildy Johnson (Pat O'Brien) is quitting the business and getting married to Peggy (Mary Brian). But his unscrupulous boss Walter Burns(Adolphe Menjou) doesn't want him to quit. Also an innocent man is about to be hanged and Burns will do anything to make sure Johnson works on that story.

Fast and funny--the first cinematic version of this story. It shows its age at times and some of it is wildly overacted but O'Brien and Menjou are both just great in their roles. Also director Lewis Milestone uses some very unusual camera tricks to keep the story moving and there's lots of action and running around which is unusual for an early talkie.

This was remade in 1940 with a sex change making Johnson a woman. That was "His Girl Friday" with Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant. That one is better than this but this is better than the 1974 version (that had Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) and 1988 remake called "Switching Channels" (with Kathleen Turner and Burt Reynolds). They're all good to varying degrees but this one came first. Worth seeing.


17 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?