7.3/10
12,247
57 user 51 critic

The Front Page (1974)

A ruthless editor tries to get his top reporter to cover one more crime story before retirement.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Ben Hecht (play), Charles MacArthur (play) | 2 more credits »
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 ... 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 bated breath. Meanwhile, each of the city's 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:

They'd do anything for a story...and do. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Wilson gripes, "When I think that right now my boss is throwing a costume party in San Simeon with Marion Davies and Ronald Colman and Vilma Bánky," it's a veiled reference to William Randolph Hearst. See more »

Goofs

Earl Williams is scheduled to be hanged in June 1929. In 1928, Illinois changed its executions from hanging to electrocution. See more »

Quotes

Jennie: [Jennie brings a bucket of ice into the newsroom, so drinks can be chilled or served 'on the rocks'] I snitched the ice from the morgue.
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Connections

Referenced in Mr. Deeds (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Congratulate Me
Lyrics by Bob Rothberg
Music by Lou Handman
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User Reviews

 
The Unseen Power of the Press
31 December 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

On 06 June 1929, in Chicago, the press is covering from the tribunal press room, the hanging of the anarchist Earl Williams (Austin Pendleton) that accidentally killed a cop and will happen on the next day. Hildy Johnson (Jack Lemmon), who is the best newspaperman of the Chicago Examiner, tells his boss Walter Burns (Walter Matthau) that he will marry the widow concert pianist Peggy Grant (Susan Sarandon) on the next day and quits his job, telling that he will move to Philadelphia and work in advertisement business. Walter unsuccessfully tries to use a scheme to force Hildy to stay in the Examiner and cover the execution on the gallows. Meanwhile, the corrupt Sheriff "Honest" Pete Hartman (Vincent Gardenia) interrogates Earl with the psychologist Dr. Eggelhofer (Martin Gabel) for the last check whether the prisoner is sane or not and the doctor proposes a simulation of the murder, but Earl shots Dr. Eggelhofer with the sheriff's revolver on the groin and escapes. Meanwhile, the governor's representative Plunkett (Paul Benedict) comes with a retreat on Earl, but the dirty Mayor (Harold Gould) and the Sheriff do not acknowledge the receipt of the document and send Plunkett to a brothel. When Hildy finds Earl hidden in the press room, his sense of journalist prevails and he calls Walter to protect Earl together with the unseen power of the press.

"The Front Page" is a witty comedy by Billy Wilder in one of his last works. I have never had the chance to see the original 1931 film, but this cynical remake is great, with top-notch performances of Walter Matthau in the role of a Machiavellian editor that has no ethics and presses his top journalist to stay in his newspaper. Jack Lemmon and Vincent Gardenia have also excellent performances. The ironic conclusion with the fate of each character is hilarious. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Primeira Página" ("The Front Page")


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1974 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Front Page 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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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