Having been away for four months, Hildy Johnson walks into the offices of the New York City based The Morning Post, where she is a star reporter, to tell her boss, editor Walter Burns, that she is quitting. The reason for her absence was among other things to get a Reno divorce, from, of all people, Walter, who admits he was a bad husband. Hildy divorced Walter largely because she wanted more of a home life, whereas Walter saw her more as a driven hard-boiled reporter than subservient homemaker. Hildy has also come to tell Walter that she is taking the afternoon train to Albany, where she will be getting married tomorrow to staid straight-laced insurance agent, Bruce Baldwin, with whose mother they will live, at least for the first year. Walter doesn't want to lose Hildy, either as a reporter or a wife, and if he does, doesn't believe Bruce is worthy of her. Walter does whatever he can at least to delay Hildy and Bruce's trip, long enough to persuade Hildy to stay for good. His plan ...Written by
Howard Hawks pitched the idea of remaking "The Front Page" to Cary Grant in the lead while directing the star in Only Angels Have Wings (1939). At the time, Harry Cohn wanted to make the film with Grant as reporter Hildy Johnson and legendary newspaper columnist Walter Winchell as editor Walter Burns. See more »
When Walter goes to take Hildy and Bruce to lunch, his hat jumps from his right hand to his left hand between shots. See more »
Look, darling, this will bring us back together again. Just the way we used to be.
That's just what I'm afraid of! "Any time, any place, anywhere."
Don't mock me. This is bigger than anything that ever happened to us. Don't do it for me. Do it for the paper!
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Opening credits prologue: It all happened in the "Dark Ages" of the newspaper game--when to a reporter "Getting that story" justified anything short of murder.
Incidentally you will see in this picture no resemblance to the man and woman of the press today.
Slapstick comedy that moves faster than the speed of laughter...
This screen adaptation of the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play "The Front Page" was adapted for the talents of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell -- there is no such character as Hildy Johnson (Russell) in that play.
Director Howard Hawks wanted to show the whirlwind pace of the newsroom in the criminal courts system so he had his actors overlap their lines -- so much so that at times it seems as though everyone is talking at once; it even gets difficult to understand all that is going on.
He also had the cast move FAST so the film looks totally frenetic from scene to scene with no respite -- either from the laughs or from the action.
There are two really good "inside" jokes in the script: The first is where Walter Burns (Grant) is describing Hildy's fiancee and says that "he looks like that guy in the movies -- Bellamy," Well, it WAS Ralph Bellamy playing that part!
The other is when Burns says something about someone he once knew named "Archie Leach" which just happens to be Cary Grant's real name.
This is one of the true gems of Hollywood's most prolific era. It has incredible pacing, acting, photography and an authentic gritty feeling that would be associated with hard-boiled, "anything for a story" newspaper people.
It has long been one of my favorite films and deserves to be watched over and over again -- just for all the dialogue and great acting that may have gone by so fast you missed it the first time.
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