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The Front Page
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The Front Page (1931) More at IMDbPro »

The Front Page -- A newspaper reporter holds an escape hostage in order to get a good story and money.


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6.9/10   1,335 votes »
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Down 39% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ben Hecht (by) and
Charles MacArthur (by) ...
View company contact information for The Front Page on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 April 1931 (USA) See more »
Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Way ahead of its time See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Adolphe Menjou ... Walter Burns

Pat O'Brien ... Hildy Johnson

Mary Brian ... Peggy Grant

Edward Everett Horton ... Bensinger
Walter Catlett ... Murphy (as Walter L. Catlett)

George E. Stone ... Earl Williams

Mae Clarke ... Molly

Slim Summerville ... Pincus
Matt Moore ... Kruger

Frank McHugh ... McCue
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
Maurice Black ... Diamond Louie
Effie Ellsler ... Mrs. Grant
Dorothea Wolbert ... Jenny
James Gordon ... The Mayor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Alexander ... Jacobi (uncredited)
James Donlan ... Reporter (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Carl - a Detective (uncredited)

Clark Gable ... Reporter with hat at table in the prison. (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Sol Gorss ... Policeman (uncredited)
Herman J. Mankiewicz ... Bit (uncredited)
Lewis Milestone ... Bit (uncredited)
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Professor Max J. Engelhoffer (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis Milestone 
Writing credits
Ben Hecht (by) and
Charles MacArthur (by)

Bartlett Cormack (adaptation)

Charles Lederer (additional dialogue)

Produced by
Howard Hughes .... producer (uncredited)
Lewis Milestone .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Glen MacWilliams (photography)
Tony Gaudio (uncredited)
Hal Mohr (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Duncan Mansfield (film editor) (as W. Duncan Mansfield)
Set Decoration by
Richard Day (settings)
Production Management
Charles Stallings .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nate Watt .... assistant director
Sound Department
Frank Grenzback .... sound engineer (as Frank Grenzbach)
Other crew
Jed Harris .... from the play produced by
Howard Hughes .... presenter
George Gerhard .... press representative (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
101 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Canada:PA (Ontario) | Spain:T | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

The last line of the play had to be partly obliterated by the sound of a typewriter being accidentally struck because the censors (even of that day) wouldn't allow the phrase "son-of-a-bitch" to be used in a film.See more »
Miscellaneous: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Half Moon Street (1986)See more »
By the Light of the Silvery MoonSee more »


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29 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Way ahead of its time, 3 September 2005
Author: Matthew Dickson from Denton, TX

Way ahead of its time in both style and substance. The Front Page is a comic look at the underbelly of the newspaper business as well as a tough commentary on the times. In a press room outside the city jail, a group of newspaper reporters idly await the execution of a communist sympathizer accused of murder. Once the story heats up though, the press room becomes an absolute madhouse. The hilariously cynical script adapted from the play by Ben Hecht pulls no punches. Politics, the justice system, communist hysteria, love and marriage are all targets for the biting wit of the author. The script is complemented by a good ensemble cast. Pat O'Brien gives a good performance as Hildy Johnson, the star reporter for The Post, who is leaving his job for marriage. Adolphe Menjou steals the show, however, as Walter Burns, the conniving editor who will do anything to keep Johnson on the job. The rest of the news hounds are all expertly played, striking us as fun loving jokers one minute, but becoming downright violent the moment they smell a story. The movie also has a rare artistic style unequaled in most films. Though most of the movie takes place in the same location, the cinematography is done so well that we never feel we are watching a stage play. The cameras constantly move around the room, effectively putting us in the middle of the action. Pretty much everything about this film is done well. It is funny, edgy, artistic and thought provoking. Movies that can do all of that are few and far in between.

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