The Front Page

( 2 )

Overview

This third film version of the 1928 Ben Hecht/Charlie MacArthur Broadway hit The Front Page was the first one permitted to utilize all the salty profanities in the original play. Director Billy Wilder cast his two favorite leading men, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, as ace reporter Hildy Johnson and ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns, respectively. The plot of the Hecht/MacArthur play remains intact: Burns pulls every underhanded game in the book to prevent Johnson from leaving his Chicago paper to get ...
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Overview

This third film version of the 1928 Ben Hecht/Charlie MacArthur Broadway hit The Front Page was the first one permitted to utilize all the salty profanities in the original play. Director Billy Wilder cast his two favorite leading men, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, as ace reporter Hildy Johnson and ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns, respectively. The plot of the Hecht/MacArthur play remains intact: Burns pulls every underhanded game in the book to prevent Johnson from leaving his Chicago paper to get married, and in so doing the two journalists uncover a cesspool of political corruption, centered around the planned execution of anarchist Earl Williams Austin Pendleton. Carol Burnett has an extended cameo as Williams' tart girlfriend, Mollie Malloy. The Front Page was remade for a fourth time in 1988 as Switching Channels.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
By 1974, cinematic standards regarding profanity had relaxed enough that a dialogue-faithful version of the famous play The Front Page could finally hit the screen. Legendary director Billy Wilder, with his quick wit, impeccable sense of timing, and masterful blend of cynicism and romance, seemed the natural choice for the assignment of bringing this classic to the screen, and he certainly made wise casting decisions for most of the roles. But what seemed like a perfect picture on paper somehow ended up somewhat disappointing. The end result is a good and entertaining picture, but not the one-of-a-kind experience it should have been. Wilder deserves most of the blame, for the picture rarely achieves the consistent comic madness it calls out for. Jack Lemmon's performance is also somewhat problematic; he's good, but a trifle too restrained, especially in comparison with Walter Matthau's dead-on, memorably over-the-top interpretation. Matthau is better matched by Austin Pendleton's excellent revolutionary with a fondness for putting "Free Sacco and Vanzetti" messages inside of fortune cookies. Vincent Gardenia and Martin Gabel are also very entertaining, but Carol Burnett is badly miscast as a two-dollar whore with the reliable heart of gold. Although not up to the efforts of Wilder's peak period, The Front Page still has moments of the director's magic touch.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/31/2005
  • UPC: 025192732928
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:45:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 26,770

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Lemmon Hildy Johnson
Walter Matthau Walter Burns
Carol Burnett Mollie Malloy
Susan Sarandon Peggy Grant
Vincent Gardenia Sheriff
David Wayne Bensinger
Paul Benedict Plunkett
Leonard Bremen Butch
Barbara Peterson Davis Myrtle
Charles Durning Murphy
Herb Edelman Schwartz
Biff Elliot Police Dispatcher
Lou Frizzell Endicott
John Furlong Duffy
Martin Gabel Dr. Eggelhofer
Allen Garfield Kruger
Harold Gould Mayor
Allen Jenkins Telegrapher
Jon Korkes Keppler
Doro Merande Jennie
Dick O'Neill McHugh
Cliff Osmond Jacobi
Austin Pendleton Earl Williams
Noam Pitlik Wilson
Joshua Shelley Cab Driver
Technical Credits
Billy Wilder Director, Screenwriter
Henry Bumstead Art Director
Jordan S. Cronenweth Cinematographer
Buddy G. DeSylva Songwriter
I.A.L. Diamond Screenwriter
Ray Henderson Songwriter
Howard Kazanjian Asst. Director
Jennings Lang Producer
Robert Martin Sound/Sound Designer
Billy May Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Burton Miller Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Monash Producer
James W. Payne Set Decoration/Design
Jesse Wayne Stunts
Ralph Winters Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Sentenced to Hang (Main Titles) [7:20]
2. No Hard Feelings [7:03]
3. On Probation [6:57]
4. Gentlemen of the Press [5:33]
5. Law & Order [7:54]
6. Prisoner Escape [7:00]
7. Suspect Statement [4:27]
8. An Exclusive [5:38]
9. Shoot to Kill [4:28]
10. I've Got Him! [3:57]
11. Breaking News! [9:04]
12. Leap of Love [6:35]
13. Give Me Everything You Got [8:12]
14. Aiding and Abetting [5:59]
15. Take Them Away [4:06]
16. All in a Night's Work [4:59]
17. Catch that Train [4:26]
18. End Titles [:51]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Scenes
   Languages
      Spoken Language
         English
         Français
      Captioned for the Hearing Impaired
         English
      Subtitles
         Español
         Français
         Subtitles: None
      www.universalstudios.com/home
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Two outstanding actors

    A very good remake of "His Girl Friday" with more humour and a better plot.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews