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The Front Page (1931) - movie overview

The Front Page (1931)

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Plot Description

DVD Release Date
 R1: May 15, 2001

Running Time
1 hour, 41 minutes

Country USA

Studio United Artists

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• The Front Page

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Genre: Comedy, Escape, Prostitution, Satire, Prison

Plot: Although generally less well known than Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY, Lewis Milestone's adaptation of the Hecht-MacArthur classic remains faithful to the play's conception of Hildy Johnson as a man's role. Set among wisecracking newspapermen in 1920s Chicago, the film stars Pat O'Brien as Hildy Johnson, the star reporter who has decided to marry Peggy Grant (Mary Brian) and leave the profession. However, his conniving editor Walter Burns (Adolph Menjou), who is willing to do anything to keep him at the paper, baits him with a big story. An anarchist, Clarence Williams (George E. Stone), who is slated to be executed for the murder of a policeman, has broken out of prison. When the escaped prisoner suddenly turns up in the prison press room, Johnson hides him in a rolltop desk, until he's able to get an interview. Meanwhile, the corrupt Sheriff Hartman (Clarence C. Wilson) and mayor (James Gordon) are hoping to hide the news that Williams' sentence has been commuted until after the election. This is an excellent, extremely funny film, with fine performances from O'Brien and Menjou, and, given pre-code movie standards, is generally more faithful to the rawness and toughness of the original play.

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 Directed by
Lewis Milestone
All Quiet on the Western Front, Ocean's Eleven, Mutiny on the Bounty
 Written by
Bartlett Cormack
Fury, Cleopatra, The Racket
Ben Hecht
Notorious, His Girl Friday, Kiss of Death
Adolphe Menjou
Paths of Glory, Pollyanna, Stage Door
Pat O'Brien
Some Like It Hot, Angels with Dirty Faces, Ragtime
Mary Brian
Man on the Flying Trapeze, The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss, Peter Pan
Edward Everett Horton
Arsenic and Old Lace, Top Hat, Lost Horizon
Walter Catlett
Bringing Up Baby, Pinocchio, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
George E. Stone
Some Like It Hot, Guys and Dolls, 42nd Street
Mae Clarke
Singin' in the Rain, Frankenstein, The Public Enemy
 Music By

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Torrid Zone (1940)

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