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The Front Page (1931) Poster

Trivia

The last line of the play had to be partly obliterated by the sound of a typewriter being accidentally struck because the censors (even of that day) wouldn't allow the phrase "son-of-a-bitch" to be used in a film.
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The journalists are all based on actual reporters who were Chicago colleagues of authors Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, with most working alongside them at the courthouse. The real names were only slightly changed: Hildy Johnson was based on the real-life reporter Hildebrand Johnson, Walter Burns was based on the editor Walter Howey, and Mac McCue was based on reporter Buddy McHugh.
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The 2016 restoration of the long unseen original US release version was restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation.
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Continuing a practice common to the silent era, the film was shot with three cameras at the same time. This created three different negatives. The best negative was used for the US version. The second best was used for the UK version. And the final negative was used for the general international version. Additionally, some scenes were re-shot with different dialogue for the international markets.
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After the film fell into public domain, all the distributed prints were made from the lower quality international negative. The preferred US negative fell into obscurity. In 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences premiered a newly restored copy of the original US negative, which had not seen general distribution for several decades. The picture and sound quality of this restored print is far superior to most previously available versions of the film.
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"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 22, 1946 with Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien reprising their film roles.
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Look closely on the walls of the newspaper room and you'll see topless photographs of female models. Before the Production Code kicked in a few years later, films were able to get away with casual nudity like this.
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Louis Wolheim was originally cast to play Walter Burns, but Adolphe Menjou got the part when Wolheim died suddenly.
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The play "The Front Page" opened at the Times Square Theater on August 14, 1929, and ran for 276 performances.
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Features Adolphe Menjou's only Oscar nominated performance.
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In 2010, The Front Page (1931) was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Film Registry.
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This is an interesting film to view in the so-called era of "fake news" as many of the reporters are clearly making up stories as they go along. Both Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur had been journalists so one can only assume that there is an element of truth to this depiction of reporters.
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Mae Clarke, who plays a streetwalker in the film, named it as her favorite movie.
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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.
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Director of photography Tony Gaudio was replaced by Hal Mohr who in turn was replaced by Glen MacWilliams.
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Cinematographer Hal Mohr replaced Tony Gaudio.
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Osgood Perkins created the role of Walter Burns on the Broadway stage. His son Tony Perkins would later star in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Psycho."
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The 1928 Broadway hit was the second collaboration of the legendary team of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.
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The date on Peggy and Hildys marriage licsence reads 5th day of Sept. 1930. The film premiered on April 4,1931. Hildy is listed as 30 years of age while Peggy is listed as 20 yeatmr of age.
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In 1930, The $50 that walter burns offers to find hildy is equivalent to about $750 in 2019 dollars.
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Chester Morris was originally signed to the part of Hildy Johnson before Pat O'Brien took over the role.
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Louis Wolheim was originally cast as Walter Burns but died suddenly. He had been in rehearsals for six days before succumbing to stomach cancer.
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