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The Front Page (1931)

 -  Comedy  -  4 April 1931 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,177 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 13 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Walter Catlett ...
Murphy (as Walter L. Catlett)
...
...
Molly
...
Pincus
Matt Moore ...
Kruger
Frank McHugh ...
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 »
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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  »
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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

In 1927, the year before the original stage play was produced, electrocution replaced hanging as the official method of execution in Illinois. Earl Williams is nonetheless sentenced to hang, not only in the play but also in the 1931 film and its later remakes. 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 His Girl Friday (1940) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Superior to Lemmon-Matthau version and "His Girl Friday"
11 December 2001 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

This picture, of astronomical quality compared to other films of its era, represents, by and large, a photographic, if sanitized, record of the Hecht-MacArthur classic Broadway hit depicting yellow journalism, the "Red Anarchist Scare", and political corruption in 1928 Chicago. Being intimately familiar with the original stage production, this picture represents the play more faithfully than any subsequent remake (except for the rampant profanity in the original stage work); "His Girl Friday" being an inverted rework of the original, and the 1974 version merely a caricature of the original concept - with superfluous "madcap" elements added. Let's hope an intact negative can soon be found and restored - The viewing public and the memory of the artists and makers of this film deserve as much.


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