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
The Front Page is one of my favourite Billy Wilder films, and by definition, this would mean also one of my favourite comedies of all time. I definitely agree with the view held by some that this magnificent work deserves much wider recognition than it has received. And here's the news: I HAVE seen His Girl Friday, and I STILL consider Wilder's take to be superior, even if the master himself dismissed it as a botch. Sorry to disagree, Mr. Wilder, but I believe that in few films you got a chance as good as this one to demonstrate your spectacular sense of rhythm and comic timing, and get performances as astounding from everyone involved; the Lemmon-Matthau unbeatable duo works like a perfectly greased machine at full blast and I definitely prefer their vicious bickering to the flirty, romantically-intentioned banter of Grant and Russell; and all the rest of the cast I think is perfect too, for example Sarandon, who with just one look can convey her frustration and her resigned acceptance at her husband-to-be's inability to change... I'm sorry, but I just can't find the slightest defect. To me, this is a perfect ten.
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