7.3/10
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53 user 45 critic

The Front Page (1974)

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Ben Hecht (play), Charles MacArthur (play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Hildy Johnson
Walter Matthau ... Walter Burns
Susan Sarandon ... Peggy Grant
Vincent Gardenia ... Sheriff
David Wayne ... Bensinger
Allen Garfield ... Kruger
Austin Pendleton ... Earl Williams
Charles Durning ... Murphy
Herb Edelman ... Schwartz (as Herbert Edelman)
Martin Gabel ... Dr. Eggelhofer
Harold Gould ... The Mayor
Cliff Osmond ... Jacobi
Dick O'Neill ... McHugh
Jon Korkes ... Rudy Keppler
Lou Frizzell Lou Frizzell ... Endicott
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Storyline

When Hildy Johnson, the top reporter of a Chicago newspaper announces that he is quitting to get married, his editor, Walter Burns desperately tries to change his mind. When denial, cursing, and luring don't work, Walter resorts to tricks. It's the day before a supposed communist is to be hanged, and all Chicago waits with baited breath. Meanwhile, each of the papers has a man on the story trying to get a scoop or angle for themselves. With a train to catch at midnight to join his fiancé, Hildy is at first not interested, but events and his own habits work against him as the day unfolds, and he can't help but get roped in, especially when the man to be executed escapes and then almost literally falls into his lap. Written by RCBP_Collection

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the hottest story since the Chicago Fire... And they're sitting on it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Extrablatt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,300,000, 15 December 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Durning and Harold Gould appeared in The Sting (1973) and Walter Matthau and Dick O'Neill appeared in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). Both films were co-starred by the late Robert Shaw. See more »

Goofs

Earl Williams is scheduled to be executed by hanging in June of 1929. Electrocution replaced hanging as the method of capital punishment in Illinois in 1928. See more »

Quotes

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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Switching Channels (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine
Lyrics by Irving Kahal, Willie Raskin
Music by Sammy Fain
Performed by Jack Lemmon, David Wayne, Allen Garfield, Charles Durning, Jon Korkes, Dick O'Neill and Herb Edelman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Criminally underrated
14 February 2001 | by el_monty_BCNSee all my reviews

MILD SPOILERS

The Front Page is one of my favourite Billy Wilder films, and by definition, this would mean also one of my favourite comedies of all time. I definitely agree with the view held by some that this magnificent work deserves much wider recognition than it has received. And here's the news: I HAVE seen His Girl Friday, and I STILL consider Wilder's take to be superior, even if the master himself dismissed it as a botch. Sorry to disagree, Mr. Wilder, but I believe that in few films you got a chance as good as this one to demonstrate your spectacular sense of rhythm and comic timing, and get performances as astounding from everyone involved; the Lemmon-Matthau unbeatable duo works like a perfectly greased machine at full blast and I definitely prefer their vicious bickering to the flirty, romantically-intentioned banter of Grant and Russell; and all the rest of the cast I think is perfect too, for example Sarandon, who with just one look can convey her frustration and her resigned acceptance at her husband-to-be's inability to change... I'm sorry, but I just can't find the slightest defect. To me, this is a perfect ten.


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