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The Front Page (1974) Poster

Quotes

[last lines]

Walter Burns: That train that just left, what's the first stop?

Telegrapher: Gary, Indiana.

Walter Burns: All right. Send a message to the police chief at Gary, Indiana. Tell him to meet the midnight train to Philadelphia and arrest one Hildy Johnson.

Telegrapher: Hildy Johnson?

Walter Burns: Yeah. Son of a bitch stole my watch.

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Murphy: May the wind at your back never be your own.

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Roy Bensinger of the Tribune: [picks up his phone] This is Bensinger. Give me a rewrite man. Oh, Marty, is that you?

[reads from notes]

Roy Bensinger of the Tribune: "New lead on the Earl Williams Hanging"... Yes, the execution is still set for seven o'clock in the morning. "The authorities are prepared for a general uprising of radicals at that time".

Murphy: [picks up his phone while playing poker] Murphy here. Get me rewrite.

Roy Bensinger of the Tribune: "Extra guards have just been thrown around the jail, the municipal building, railroad terminals, elevated stations".

Murphy: Update on the Williams hanging: Sheriff Hartman's just put 200 more relatives on the payroll to protect the city against the Red Army, which is leaving Moscow in a couple of minutes. Bet a dime.

Roy Bensinger of the Tribune: "Now, this is what the condemned man ordered for his final meal: shrimp cocktail with Thousand Island dressing, rare roast beef, Brussels sprouts, apple pie à la mode, Ovaltine".

Murphy: For his last meal, Williams is getting a 95-cent Blue Plate Special from the greasy spoon across the street.

Roy Bensinger of the Tribune: "At nine o'clock tonight, Williams will be examined by still another psycholigist, Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer, at the request of The Friends of American Liberty"... Eggelhofer. Yes, he's from Vienna... It's in my story this morning! He wrote that book, "Self-Abuse and Anti-Social Behavior".

Murphy: Poor bastard's gonna swing in the morning, and this big brain from Vienna wants to ask him if he played with himself when he was five. More later.

[hangs up]

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Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Goodbye, Duffy. Watch the diabetes. Walter, it's been fun.

Duffy: What's he mean by that?

Walter Burns: He's leaving us. Getting married.

Duffy: Yeah? That hostess at the Hotsy-Totsy Club?

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: You're not even close. Why, this is a very classy dame. Philadephia. Studied to be a concert pianist.

Walter Burns: Where in the hell would you meet a concert pianist?

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Well, actually, she's a widow. Husband cracked up in a brand-new Packard. Only had 18 miles on it. So, to support herself, she's playing the organ at the Balaban & Katz Theater.

Walter Burns: The one in the Loop?

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Yeah. We've been dating three months.

Walter Burns: Jeez, Hildy. why didn't you tell me? Kid, I woulda thrown you a little farewell party...

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Oh, no, no, no! I know your farewell parties! When Ben Hecht was leaving for Hollywood, you slipped a micky in his gin fizz. It took four of us to get on the California Limited.

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Walter Burns: [after unsuccessfully posing as probation officer Otto Fishbein] Tell Hildy I wish him all the luck in the world, and I mean it, or my name isn't Otto Fishbein.

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Mollie Malloy: I never said that I loved Earl Williams and was willing to marry him on the gallows. You made that up!

Murphy: Oh, come on. You've been sucking around that cuckoo ever since he's been in the death house.

McHugh: Everybody knows you're his soul-mate.

Mollie Malloy: 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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'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: [walks into the press room to see the reporters drinking liquor] Ah, what's the idea, fellas? You know better than that. This is a government building!

Kruger: Uh, hi, sheriff.

Endicott: What'll ya have?

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: I got a good mind to have you all locked up!

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: The state's atterney wouldn't like it, because I bought that stuff from his brother.

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'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: [the sheriff is passing out tickets to the execution] Daily News. Examiner.

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Here you are, Rudy. The new man.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: Oh, what happened? They finally fire you?

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: I'm retiring to my country estate outside Philadelphia.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: Well, in that case, I will have a drink!

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: No, you won't. Not my liquor!

Rudy Keppler of the Chicago Examiner: What should I do with the second ticket?

Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson: Sell it to a scalper, like the sheriff does.

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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: Oh, my father was - was never home. He was a conductor on the Chicago-Northwestern.

Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer: Very significant. Your father wore a uniform, just like that policeman. And when he pulled out that gun, an obvious phallic symbol, you thought he was your father, and he was going to use it to hurt your mother.

Earl Williams: [to Sheriff Hartman] He's crazy.

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'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: Sorry to break in, Sheriff, but we've located Williams. This time, for real.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: Where?

Officer Jacobi: On North Wabash, at the offices of the Friends of American Liberty. One of our patrols spotted him in the alley.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: All right. Get every available man. Seal off the whole area. But remember, God damn it, I want him taken alive!

Officer Jacobi: Check.

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The Mayor: Pete, get the Governor on the phone.

Plunkett: Oh, you can't.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: What do you mean, we can't?

Plunkett: He's gone fishing. Just him, and an Indian guide, and a canoe. No phone, no nothin'.

The Mayor: He sure picked a hell of a time to go fishing.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: [phone rings] Excuse me.

[exits]

Plunkett: Uh, just between us, it's not really fishing, because that Indian guide is really a girl. She' isn't even Indian. She's from New Jersey.

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'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: [holding up his phone] He's waiting for instructions. What are we gonna do?

The Mayor: Tell him to shoot to kill.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: What?

The Mayor: Shoot to kill, I said.

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: I - I don't know, Herbie. What about that reprieve? I-if it ever comes out ...

The Mayor: Nobody reprieved that policeman he shot. There was no clemency, either. Do what I tell you!

'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: [on phone] Jacobi, you there? Listen. Shoot to kill! You heard me!

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Peggy Grant: You don't mind waiting, do you?

Cab Driver: What's there to mind? The night is young, the orchids are smelling, the meter is running.

[click]

Cab Driver: Just made another nickel.

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Earl Williams: You don't have to answer this, Mollie, but is it true what they said in the papers?

Mollie Malloy: Is what true?

Earl Williams: That you were going to marry me on the gallows.

Mollie Malloy: Well, if it's in the papers, it must be true. They wouldn't print a lie.

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Walter Burns: Get yer head back in there, you God Damned turtle!

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Dr. Max J. Eggelhofer: [after being wounded by Earl Williams] Fruitcake, Fruitcake!

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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