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The Front Page (1974)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 7,470 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 26 critic

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Sheriff
...
...
Kruger
...
...
Murphy
...
Schwartz (as Herbert Edelman)
...
...
The Mayor
...
Jacobi
...
McHugh
Jon Korkes ...
Rudy Keppler
Lou Frizzell ...
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Storyline

Hildy Johnson is the top reporter on a Chicago newspaper during the 1920s. Tired of the whole game he's determined to quit his job to get married. His scheming editor, Walter Burns, has other plans though. It's the day before guilty (but insane) murderer, Earl Williams, is due to go to the gallows and Burns tempts Johnson to stay and write the story. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the hottest story since the Chicago Fire... And they're sitting on it.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prima pagina  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 4,427,652 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cast member Austin Pendleton has said that Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Billy Wilder did not get along during filming, and said they would never work with each other again. However, seven years later, they worked together again on Buddy Buddy (1981). See more »

Goofs

When the blinds are pulled they are inside the window, after Earl crashes through the window the blinds are on the outside of the window. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer: Tell me, Mr. Williams, were you unhappy as a child?
Earl Williams: Not really. I had a perfectly normal childhood.
Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer: I see. You wanted to kill your father and sleep with you mother.
Earl Williams: [to Sheriff Hartman] If he's gonna talk dirty ...
Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer: When you were in grammar school, did you practice self-abuse?
Earl Williams: No, sir. I don't believe in it. I would never abuse myself or anybody else. I love people. I love all people.
'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: I suppose that cop committed suicide!
Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer: Let us get back to masturbation. Did your father ever catch you in the act?
Earl Williams:
Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer:
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Do You Think You Are?: Susan Sarandon (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Congratulate Me
Lyrics by Bob Rothberg
Music by Lou Handman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Unseen Power of the Press
31 December 2010 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

On 06 June 1929, in Chicago, the press is covering from the tribunal press room, the hanging of the anarchist Earl Williams (Austin Pendleton) that accidentally killed a cop and will happen on the next day. Hildy Johnson (Jack Lemmon), who is the best newspaperman of the Chicago Examiner, tells his boss Walter Burns (Walter Matthau) that he will marry the widow concert pianist Peggy Grant (Susan Sarandon) on the next day and quits his job, telling that he will move to Philadelphia and work in advertisement business. Walter unsuccessfully tries to use a scheme to force Hildy to stay in the Examiner and cover the execution on the gallows. Meanwhile, the corrupt Sheriff "Honest" Pete Hartman (Vincent Gardenia) interrogates Earl with the psychologist Dr. Eggelhofer (Martin Gabel) for the last check whether the prisoner is sane or not and the doctor proposes a simulation of the murder, but Earl shots Dr. Eggelhofer with the sheriff's revolver on the groin and escapes. Meanwhile, the governor's representative Plunkett (Paul Benedict) comes with a retreat on Earl, but the dirty Mayor (Harold Gould) and the Sheriff do not acknowledge the receipt of the document and send Plunkett to a brothel. When Hildy finds Earl hidden in the press room, his sense of journalist prevails and he calls Walter to protect Earl together with the unseen power of the press.

"The Front Page" is a witty comedy by Billy Wilder in one of his last works. I have never had the chance to see the original 1931 film, but this cynical remake is great, with top-notch performances of Walter Matthau in the role of a Machiavellian editor that has no ethics and presses his top journalist to stay in his newspaper. Jack Lemmon and Vincent Gardenia have also excellent performances. The ironic conclusion with the fate of each character is hilarious. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Primeira Página" ("The Front Page")


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