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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?


The play "The Front Page" opened at the Times Square Theater on August 14, 1929, and ran for 276 performances. 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 »


Referenced in The Night Strangler (1973) 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

A+ A visionary masterpiece!!!
25 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The camera-work on this underrated beauty is breathtaking - one of the panning shots in the newsroom precedes Woody Allen's restaurant pan shot in Hannah and Her Sisters by over half a century! It is so organic, yet so breezy and alive. Don't miss the clever panning action with the gun sequence, and the mirrored room with the man getting off the elevator, which is also a throw-away gem. The actors are some of the finest character and bit players ever assembled on screen and the lightning dialog and clever editing is really quite modern in its speed and ingenuity.

I too am a devoted fan of His Girl Friday, but these are two very different films. Front Page is a masterpiece of old school ensemble character acting, and without it to break new ground, I don't believe His Girl Friday would have had nearly the breakneck pacing and out of the bottle genius that it is rightfully remembered for. The Front Page should take an esteemed place in film history for being the fertile breeding ground of screwball comedy in general and many of its masterpieces, including His Girl Friday, in particular. A must see for 1930's film buffs and screwball comedy fanatics!

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