During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
When Hildy Johnson, the top reporter of a Chicago newspaper announces that he is quitting to get married, his editor, Walter Burns desperately tries to change his mind. When denial, cursing, and luring don't work, Walter resorts to tricks. It's the day before a supposed communist is to be hanged, and all Chicago waits with baited breath. Meanwhile, each of the papers has a man on the story trying to get a scoop or angle for themselves. With a train to catch at midnight to join his fiancé, Hildy is at first not interested, but events and his own habits work against him as the day unfolds, and he can't help but get roped in, especially when the man to be executed escapes and then almost literally falls into his lap. Written by
Carol Burnett was extremely unhappy with her performance in this film, as were a lot of critics. The comedienne likes to tell the story of how she was a passenger on an airline that had The Front Page (1974) as its in-flight movie. At the film's conclusion, Burnett stood up and apologized to the passengers for what they'd just witnessed. See more »
Before Walter first meets Peggy at the movie theater, he tears a star off an old movie poster for "All Quiet On the Western Front" (1930), though this movie is set in 1929. See more »
I never said that I loved Earl Williams and was willing to marry him on the gallows. You made that up!
Oh, come on. You've been sucking around that cuckoo ever since he's been in the death house.
Everybody knows you're his soul-mate.
That's a lot of bunk! Like all that other stuff you been writing. Calling me an Angel of the Pavement and the Midnight Madonna. Who ya kiddin'? I'm a two-dollar whore from Division Street and you know it!
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A superb film with a brilliant script. Full of characters you can believe in. They all have superb characters, who act as you may well expect them to. Why some film critics rate it so low is strange to me - perhaps the film was too close to the mark? Wilder/Diamond did have the advantage of basing their film on an excellent stage play.
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