Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job. The court press room is full of lame reporters who invent stories as much as write them. All are waiting to cover the hanging of Earl Williams. When Williams escapes from the inept Sheriff, Hildy seizes the opportunity by using his $260 honeymoon money to payoff an insider and get the scoop on the escape. However, Walter Burns, the Post's editor, is slow to repay Hildy back, hoping that he will stay on the story. Getting a major scoop looks possible when Hildy stumbles onto the bewildered escapee and hides him in a roll-top desk in the press room. Burns shows up to help. Can they keep Williams' whereabouts secret long enough to get the scoop, especially with the Sheriff and other reporters hovering around?Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
Pat O'Brien had played Hildy Johnson in a stock company production of the play. He later titled his autobiography "Thank You Alexander Graham Bell" in reference to how excited he was to receive a phone call from producer Howard Hughes offering him the part. See more »
The visor Murphy's wearing changes between camera angles from level to cocked at a steep angle. Making it obvious some scenes were either shot out of order. Or had to be redone. See more »
This story is laid in a Mythical Kingdom.
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The end credits consist of Walter and Hildy above a big 'THE END,' covering a large question mark, while the sound of the train is heard and music plays. There is also laughter, presumably coming from Walter Burns. See more »
A bustling Chicago press-room is about to lose top "Examiner" writer Pat O'Brien (as Hildy Johnson), who wants to quit reporting after fifteen years, to marry Mary Brian (as Peggy Grant). But, managing editor Adolphe Menjou (as Walter Burns) wants Mr. O'Brien to stay, and cover stories like the execution by hanging of George E. Stone (as Earl Williams). The plot thickens when Mr. Williams escapes from jail, and tightens when O'Brien meets the convicted killer.
"The Front Page" was held in high regard for the way director Lewis Milestone made a staid, one-room stage play really MOVE on the big screen. There were "Academy Award" nominations for "Best Picture", "Best Director", and "Best Actor". The later went to Mr. Menjou, although O'Brien is arguably the film's leading actor. Menjou had taken over the role when Louis Wolheim died; either man would have been up for a "Supporting Actor" award, had they been given.
"This story is laid in a mythical kingdom," by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, the writers who deserved "The Front Page" award.
******* The Front Page (3/19/31) Lewis Milestone ~ Pat O'Brien, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Brian, Edward Everett Horton
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