The Front Page
The Front Page
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?
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January 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm
as Reporter with hat at table in the prison.
A great, fun time - needs a better DVD though
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Don't Miss This Movie!
If you see this movie first or My Girl Friday first, see one or the
other or BOTH! This is what movies are all about! Great Acting. Great
Action. Steady rhythm of dialog and a little romance doesn't hurt a
bit. I especially enjoyed Frank McHugh (eh ha). These are some of the
finest actors of the time. Adolph Menjou and Pat O'Brien were perfect
partners in newspaper heaven. One of the early best sassy comedies with
a bite to it. Be it that the visuals are not quality, the backbone
makes you forget it was made in 1931. The beginning is unique with a
newspaper flare! Sit back and enjoy this finely performed movie and
it's earliest best!
Ignore Camera Obscura's criticism!
The remarks by Camera Obscura do an injustice to this film and reveal a
true absence of aesthetics governing the writer's appreciation for
camera technique, acting, directing and pace. While I am an enormous
fan of the subsequent remake, "His Girl Friday," by Howard Hawks, Lewis
Milestone's direction of the original is invigorating and sets a pace
that Hawks had to match before he began to trump it with his own use of
crackling overlapping dialog. Way ahead of its time, the camera
explores the set, and Milestone and his editor know how to use editing
to create pace. This is not merely a filmed play. It is faithful to the
play and excellently exploits the camera's ability to go to closeups,
long shots, etc. The acting, particularly by Adolphe Menjou, is as good
as in any version. I am also distressed by the comments of Eye 3 who
agrees with Obscura that the dialog is shouted in order to be picked up
by the microphones! The actors are shouting because their characters
are excited - the rapid fire dialog coupled with shouting is an element
of farce and is beautifully done, and in the televised version I just
watched on TCM, entirely understandable! I do wish someone would
restore this early gem to a print with a cleaned up picture and sound,
but given its age, it is a remarkable treasure of early sound cinema.
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Great Acting, Noble Motives but Who's the Girl?
While the staging was limited, the acting was believable and the camera
work was great for the technology available. After watching "Front
Page" again after watching "Girl Friday", I was struck by the
original's emphasis on the role of the newspaper in revealing political
corruption. But, the question remains, who's the girl? Not the actress
but the girl in the picture hanging on the wall in back of Adolph
Menjou's head during the final scenes... Since the movie was released
in 1931, it can't be Jane Russell. She's to busty to be Katherine
Hepburn (Howard Hughes' friend). The only reason I noticed it was that
she appears nude and Howard Hughes probably put it there to see if the
'censors' would notice.