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The Front Page (1974) Poster

Trivia

Walter Burns' idea for Hildy Johnson to surreptitiously snap a death photo of Earl Williams' execution by strapping a camera to his ankle with the shutter release in his pocket actually happened. On January 12, 1928 (over 18 months before the Ben Hecht - Charles MacArthur play "The Front Page" opened), murderers Ruth Brown Snyder and her lover, Henry Judd Gray, were executed in New York's Sing Sing prison's electric chair for the murder of Ruth's husband, Albert Snyder, the previous year. At the moment of her electrocution Tom Howard, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, used a one-time-use camera strapped to his leg to snap a picture of her at the moment of her death. The picture later became notorious as an example of the lengths to which some reporters would to go get an exclusive. The camera used is now part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. In another film irony, the Snyder and Gray case was also used as the basis for a James M. Cain novel later made into a classic film, Double Indemnity (1944), also directed by Billy Wilder.
The third pairing out of ten movies of comic actors and great friends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.
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Billy Wilder felt that Chicago was the most exciting newspaper town in the country and as a result, this incarnation of "The Front Page" was the first to mention the city by name and use actual Chicago newspapers.
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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.
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In an early scene, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are arguing in Burns' office. Lemmon mentions having been out of town covering "the monkey trial." In 1999 Lemmon starred as Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1999), based on the 1925 trial of schoolteacher John Scopes, who who arrested and tried for violating a state law that forbade the teaching of evolution in schools. It became known as "the monkey trial".
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The only one of the four film adaptations of The Front Page to use the play's famous last line ("The son of a bitch stole my watch.")
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The stage version of The Front Page, on which this film is based, opened at the Times Square Theater on August 14, 1929 and ran for 276 performances.
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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).
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Allen Jenkins who appears as a telegrapher right at the end of the movie, appeared in the cast of the very first Broadway production of the show, way back in 1928, playing Post reporter Endicott.
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Final film of Allen Jenkins.
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According to a title card shown before the closing credits, Peggy Grant named one of her daughters Hildy. This is a sly reference to His Girl Friday (1940), in which Hildy Johnson was a woman.
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A handful of characters who are merely mentioned in the play actually appear in the movie, such as Duffy, Officer Jacobi, and Dr. Eggelhofer. On the other hand, there are some characters from the original play who were left out of this movie, including Peggy's disapproving mother, court guard Woodenshoes Eichorn, and former criminal Diamond Louis. In addition, Plunkett's name in the play was Irving Pincus (his name was also changed in "His Girl Friday" , this time to Joe Pettibone), and reporter newcomer Rudy Kepler did not exist in the original play.
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Final film of Noam Pitlik.
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In 1961, straight after completing " One, Two, Three" For Billy Wilder, it was announced that James Cagney would be appearing in a musical version on Broadway but it never materialised.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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