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

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Overview

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7.0/10   1,130 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Ben Hecht (by) and
Charles MacArthur (by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Front Page on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 April 1931 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(7 articles)
User Reviews:
The Granddaddy of all newspaper films See more (22 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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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
W. Duncan Mansfield (film editor)
 
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 .... producer: stage play
Howard Hughes .... presenter
George Gerhard .... press representative (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The play "The Front Page" opened at the Times Square Theater on August 14, 1929, and ran for 276 performances.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Runt Page (1932)See more »
Soundtrack:
By the Light of the Silvery MoonSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The Granddaddy of all newspaper films, 19 October 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Although Howard Hawks gave The Front Page a different twist by making Hildy Johnson a woman and giving her a romantic involvement with editor Walter Burns, The Front Page still holds up well today for its biting wit.

All the clichés about newspapers as portrayed on film originate with this work. Lewis Milestone assembled a great cast of character actors as the gang in the press room and the lines they toss back and forth at each other are priceless. Even better were some of the lines at the expense of the self important political and law enforcement figures they cover.

I suppose it's the nature of the job that makes newsmen cynical. But this group takes it to an exponential level. Frank Capra did something very similar in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. When newly appointed interim Senator James Stewart arrives in town and they make him out a buffoon, Stewart goes around punching out all of them he can find. When he does reach the Capitol Press Room, the whole group of them Thomas Mitchell, Jack Carson, Charles Lane, etc. bring him up quite short. That group of correspondents could easily have been in the press room in The Front Page. I have no doubt that Capra was inspired by Milestone's work in The Front Page.

The casting of the leads is quite a story. Pat O'Brien had played Walter Burns on stage and someone in the Howard Hughes organization got their wires crossed and signed him for Hildy Johnson. O'Brien made the switch effortlessly though.

Lewis Milestone originally wanted Louis Wolheim with whom he'd worked the year before in All Quiet on the Western Front. But then Wolheim died suddenly right before filming was to start. Adolphe Menjou was hurriedly substituted and he proved to be an inspired choice.

When The Front Page was done on the Broadway stage the roles of Johnson and Burns were played by Lee Tracy and Osgood Perkins. I could see either of them in their respective parts. Both got to Hollywood, but too late to do either part for the screen.

The two female roles of note were Johnson's fiancé Peggy and the streetwalker who had befriended convicted killer George E. Stone who's execution the reporters are covering. Mae Clarke as the prostitute is just fine. A tough year for Mae, she jumps through a window here and gets slugged with a grapefruit later on in Public Enemy.

Mary Brian is the fiancé and in an underwritten part, she's dull as dishwater. Not her fault because the film is about the guys. But seeing this, no wonder Howard Hawks got the inspired idea to eliminate her, create THE Ralph Bellamy part and make Hildy Johnson a woman for His Girl Friday.

Of course The Front Page has the look and feel of the era that birthed it. But the portrait of newspapermen is still fresh and the issues raised about crooked politicians running on "law and order" platforms is probably even more relevant today than back then.

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