An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.
Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job. The court press room is full of lame reporters who invent stories as much as write them. All are waiting to cover the hanging of Earl Williams. When Williams escapes from the inept Sheriff, Hildy seizes the opportunity by using his $260 honeymoon money to payoff an insider and get the scoop on the escape. However, Walter Burns, the Post's editor, is slow to repay Hildy back, hoping that he will stay on the story. Getting a major scoop looks possible when Hildy stumbles onto the bewildered escapee and hides him in a roll-top desk in the press room. Burns shows up to help. Can they keep Williams' whereabouts secret long enough to get the scoop, especially with the Sheriff and other reporters hovering around?
Uploaded By: LINUS Downloaded 438 times January 10, 2017 at 12:37 PM
Way ahead of its time in both style and substance. The Front Page is a comic look at the underbelly of the newspaper business as well as a tough commentary on the times. In a press room outside the city jail, a group of newspaper reporters idly await the execution of a communist sympathizer accused of murder. Once the story heats up though, the press room becomes an absolute madhouse. The hilariously cynical script adapted from the play by Ben Hecht pulls no punches. Politics, the justice system, communist hysteria, love and marriage are all targets for the biting wit of the author. The script is complemented by a good ensemble cast. Pat O'Brien gives a good performance as Hildy Johnson, the star reporter for The Post, who is leaving his job for marriage. Adolphe Menjou steals the show, however, as Walter Burns, the conniving editor who will do anything to keep Johnson on the job. The rest of the news hounds are all expertly played, striking us as fun loving jokers one minute, but becoming downright violent the moment they smell a story. The movie also has a rare artistic style unequaled in most films. Though most of the movie takes place in the same location, the cinematography is done so well that we never feel we are watching a stage play. The cameras constantly move around the room, effectively putting us in the middle of the action. Pretty much everything about this film is done well. It is funny, edgy, artistic and thought provoking. Movies that can do all of that are few and far in between.
Reviewed by ytbufflo-110 / 10
A+ A visionary masterpiece!!!
The camera-work on this underrated beauty is breathtaking - one of the panning shots in the newsroom precedes Woody Allen's restaurant pan shot in Hannah and Her Sisters by over half a century! It is so organic, yet so breezy and alive. Don't miss the clever panning action with the gun sequence, and the mirrored room with the man getting off the elevator, which is also a throw-away gem. The actors are some of the finest character and bit players ever assembled on screen and the lightning dialog and clever editing is really quite modern in its speed and ingenuity.
I too am a devoted fan of His Girl Friday, but these are two very different films. Front Page is a masterpiece of old school ensemble character acting, and without it to break new ground, I don't believe His Girl Friday would have had nearly the breakneck pacing and out of the bottle genius that it is rightfully remembered for. The Front Page should take an esteemed place in film history for being the fertile breeding ground of screwball comedy in general and many of its masterpieces, including His Girl Friday, in particular. A must see for 1930's film buffs and screwball comedy fanatics!
Reviewed by Lee-6510 / 10
Superior to Lemmon-Matthau version and "His Girl Friday"
This picture, of astronomical quality compared to other films of its era, represents, by and large, a photographic, if sanitized, record of the Hecht-MacArthur classic Broadway hit depicting yellow journalism, the "Red Anarchist Scare", and political corruption in 1928 Chicago. Being intimately familiar with the original stage production, this picture represents the play more faithfully than any subsequent remake (except for the rampant profanity in the original stage work); "His Girl Friday" being an inverted rework of the original, and the 1974 version merely a caricature of the original concept - with superfluous "madcap" elements added. Let's hope an intact negative can soon be found and restored - The viewing public and the memory of the artists and makers of this film deserve as much.