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The Front Page (1931)

TV-PG | | Comedy | 4 April 1931 (USA)
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 overview, first billed only:
Murphy (as Walter L. Catlett)
Clarence Wilson ...
Sheriff Hartman (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Fred Howard ...
Schwartz (as Freddie Howard)
Phil Tead ...
Eugene Strong ...
Endicott (as Gene Strong)
Spencer Charters ...


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




TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 April 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Primeira Página  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After the film fell into public domain, all the distributed prints were made from the lower quality international negative. The preferred US negative fell into obscurity. In 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences premiered a newly restored copy of the original US negative, which had not seen general distribution for several decades. The picture and sound quality of this restored print is far superior to most previously available versions of the film. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Version of The Front Page (1948) See more »


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

Great Acting, Noble Motives but Who's the Girl?
11 March 2005 | by (Pocahontas, Tennessee) – See all my reviews

While the staging was limited, the acting was believable and the camera work was great for the technology available. After watching "Front Page" again after watching "Girl Friday", I was struck by the original's emphasis on the role of the newspaper in revealing political corruption. But, the question remains, who's the girl? Not the actress but the girl in the picture hanging on the wall in back of Adolph Menjou's head during the final scenes... Since the movie was released in 1931, it can't be Jane Russell. She's to busty to be Katherine Hepburn (Howard Hughes' friend). The only reason I noticed it was that she appears nude and Howard Hughes probably put it there to see if the 'censors' would notice.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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