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      The Front Page

      Released Apr 4, 1931 1h 41m Comedy List
      88% Tomatometer 16 Reviews 60% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Adapted from the 1928 stage play, this comedy follows Hildy Johnson (Pat O'Brien), an investigative reporter looking for a bigger paycheck. When an accused murderer (George E. Stone) escapes from custody, Hildy sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime. But when he finds the criminal, he learns that the man may not be guilty. With the help of his editor (Adolphe Menjou), Hildy attempts to hide the convict, uncover the conspiracy and write the scoop of his career. Read More Read Less

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      The Front Page

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (16) Critics Reviews
      Times (UK) Staff Times (UK) What truth it contains has been thrown into the highest possible relief by the skill of Mr. Lewis Milestone, who has made excellent use of the material offered to him. Jul 13, 2020 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies The Front Page is a strong film because of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's source material but it's also a lesser film because of His Girl Friday. Rated: 3.5/5 Mar 5, 2023 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...the relentless emphasis on plot and dialogue becomes completely oppressive... Rated: .5/4 Mar 24, 2021 Full Review Nathanael Hood Unseen Films ...the film demonstrates a kinetic liveliness and pictorial complexity many of its era literally couldn't match due to the clunky weight and fussiness of early sound equipment. Rated: 8/10 Apr 22, 2020 Full Review Sean Axmaker Seanax.com Is this the stuff of comedy? It is in the hands of Hecht and MacArthur, former newspapermen with plenty to say about the cutthroat tactics of journalists. Mar 10, 2017 Full Review Alexander Bakshy The Nation By far the highest honors in this go to Mr. Menjou, who gives as polished a performance of a gruff and unscrupulous editor as he used to give of a man about town. Jan 18, 2013 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (48) audience reviews
      Louisa E I found this movie so difficult to understand. Some of it was the sound quality, and the rest was the manically fast way the actors spoke. I couldn't understand about three-quarters of what was being said, so I struggled to string the plot together. This spoiled the whole movie for me. I worked out what was happening but couldn't get into the characters because it seemed all plot and no character development. Head and no heart. You can tell it was a movie made from a play because that's what it felt like. There was so much action in the little press room and not much else. I think if it were redone, it would be a good plot. There were great hints at journalists making things up and crooked government officials. It would be fantastic if more plot time were taken to enhance the relationships and take away unnecessary dialogue so that what is spoken can be done at a normal speed without sounding like a horse-racing caller. I have a soft spot for Slim Summerville after seeing him in All Quiet on the Western Front. But as for directing, it felt too much like they whacked a camera in front of a play. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 05/08/23 Full Review William L The original cinematic adaptation of the Broadway play, that would itself later be adapted into the more rom-com-esque His Girl Friday. The Front Page will seem very familiar to fans of the 1940 Hawks classic, as it goes through most of the same story motions but with a much more dated sense of comedy and style; in some cases, that takes the form of some funny insults and charming anachronisms (even in the subtitles, you'll find scene direction like "blows a raspberry"), while in others you'll be quickly reminded of the not-so-palatable sensibilities of the time. Additionally, this 1931 adaptation is only about ten minutes longer than the Hawks version, but feels much more topheavy and unwieldy with less narrative flow; a few cuts here and there would have done it good. Menjou is probably the best part of the film, but the film's reliance on quick-paced dialogue ends up as a bit of a weakness given that studios were still working the kinks out of their audio setups. (2.5/5) Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 05/29/22 Full Review Audience Member A screwball comedy centers on a reporter Hildy Johnson and his editor who hope to cash in on a big story involving an escaped accused murderer and hide him in a rolltop desk while everyone tries to find him. It's a Howard Hughes production, it was made into two separate films, one for international audiences and one for the US. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Tom M Disappointing considering the Oscar nominations for picture, actor and director. Writers take liberties and create far fetched story. None of the characters are convincing. The scene where 10 men force a woman out of a window with no remorse is ridiculous, even for 1931. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 12/22/20 Full Review steve d really entertaining from beginning to end. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member It's impossible for me to evaluate this film fairly when "His Girl Friday" exists. The Howard Hawks remake nine years later would surpass "The Front Page" in every way. This film is an ancient relic of its time; to me the humor seemed dour and plodding, and I didn't crack a smile amid all of the double-entendres, laden as they are with casual misogyny and racism. By contrast, Hawks had the genius to turn Hildy into a woman, adding much more depth to the film and creating a feminist icon in the process. That "His Girl Friday" was able to turn this drab affair into something that's actually funny seems even more impressive to me now. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Front Page

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Adapted from the 1928 stage play, this comedy follows Hildy Johnson (Pat O'Brien), an investigative reporter looking for a bigger paycheck. When an accused murderer (George E. Stone) escapes from custody, Hildy sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime. But when he finds the criminal, he learns that the man may not be guilty. With the help of his editor (Adolphe Menjou), Hildy attempts to hide the convict, uncover the conspiracy and write the scoop of his career.
      Director
      Lewis Milestone
      Distributor
      United Artists
      Production Co
      The Caddo Company
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 4, 1931, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jun 30, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 41m
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