7.3/10
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54 user 48 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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,534 ( 1,967)
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)
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

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. See more »

Goofs

Walter Burns visits a Balaban-Katz theater while it is showing a Universal Newsreel. Universal distributed this film but the Balaban-Katz chain was controlled by Paramount and would have shown the Paramount Newsreel. In addition, at the time this film was set, Universal distributed Hearst's International Newsreel. The Universal Newsreel was first seen in August, 1929. 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 The Front Page (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing Low Sweet Chariot
(uncredited)
Written by Wallis Willis
Sung by unknown performer in gaol cell
See more »

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User Reviews

The best
2 March 1999 | by SinatraSee all my reviews

I also do not understand the critics on this one. It's fast-paced, magnificently cynical throughout, unabashedly edgy, and the one-liners come faster than zingers on your average sit-com. Plus it captures the world of urban newspapers better than other movies capture the world of almost anything they attempt.


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