The Front Page (1931 film)
|The Front Page|
|Directed by||Lewis Milestone|
|Produced by||Lewis Milestone|
|Screenplay by||Bartlett Cormack|
|Based on||The Front Page |
by Ben Hecht
Edward Everett Horton
|Edited by||W. Duncan Mansfield|
|Color process||Black and white|
The Caddo Company
|Distributed by||United Artists|
The Front Page is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy-drama film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien. Based on a 1928 Broadway play of the same name by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, the film was produced by Howard Hughes, written by Bartlett Cormack and Charles Lederer, and distributed by United Artists. The supporting cast includes Mary Brian, George E. Stone, Matt Moore, Edward Everett Horton and Walter Catlett. At the 4th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Picture, Milestone for Best Director, and Menjou for Best Actor.
In 2010, this film was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film is in the public domain.
Two versions of the film currently exist, each made up of different takes, one for the international market and director Lewis Milestone's preferred version for its original U.S. domestic release. Both versions are available on home video.
The film, considered a screwball comedy, centers on a reporter, Hildebrand "Hildy" Johnson (Pat O'Brien) and his editor (Adolphe Menjou), who hope to cash in on a big story involving an escaped accused murderer, Earl Williams (Stone), and hide him in a rolltop desk while everybody else tries to find him.
- Adolphe Menjou as Walter Burns
- Pat O'Brien as Hildebrand "Hildy" Johnson
- Mary Brian as Peggy Grant
- Edward Everett Horton as Roy V. Bensinger
- Walter Catlett as Jimmy Murphy
- George E. Stone as Earl Williams
- Mae Clarke as Molly Malloy
- Slim Summerville as Irving Pincus
- Matt Moore as Ernie Kruger
- Frank McHugh as "Mac" McCue
- Clarence Wilson as Sheriff Peter B. "Pinky" Hartman
- Fred Howard as Schwartz
- Phil Tead as Wilson
- Eugene Strong as Endicott
- Spencer Charters as Woodenshoes
- Maurice Black as Diamond Louie
- Effie Ellsler as Mrs Grant
- Dorothea Wolbert as Jenny
- James Gordon as Fred, the Mayor
- Richard Alexander as Jacobi (uncredited)
In addition to this film, the play has been adapted on several other occasions. CBS radio turned it into a one-hour June 28, 1937 episode of Lux Radio Theatre with Walter Winchell and James Gleason, and a half-hour June 22, 1946 episode of Academy Award Theater with O'Brien and Menjou reprising their original roles. NBC radio ran a one-hour May 9, 1948 episode of the Ford Theater starring Ed Begley and Everett Sloane.
The story was adapted for Howard Hawks's comedy His Girl Friday (1940), in which Hildy was recast as a woman played by Rosalind Russell, the ex-wife of Walter (Cary Grant), giving the story a romantic spin. There was also a 1974 remake of The Front Page starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau; and another version was made as Switching Channels (1988) with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve.
- Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3. p111
- Barnes, Mike (December 28, 2010). "'Empire Strikes Back,' 'Airplane!' Among 25 Movies Named to National Film Registry". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
- "Hollywood Blockbusters, Independent Films and Shorts Selected for 2010 National Film Registry". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
- "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
- Ladwig, Samantha (September 5, 2017). "30 Hollywood Classics Streaming for Free in the Public Domain". Vulture.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
... with the first being the 1931 Lewis Milestone–directed The Front Page, which also fell into the public domain.
- Sragow, Michael (January 11, 2017). "The Front Page: Stop the Presses!". criterion.com. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
- "Lux Radio Theatre (advertisement)". The Pittsburgh Press. June 28, 1937. p. 18. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
- "Saturday Selections". Toledo Blade (Ohio). June 22, 1946. p. 4 (Peach Section). Retrieved April 28, 2021.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of Over 1800 Shows. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0351-9.
- "Three New Programs, Including Quiz, Will Be Inaugurated on Columbia Today". Youngstown Vindicator. May 9, 1948. p. C-12. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
- The Front Page at IMDb
- The Front Page is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- The Front Page at the TCM Movie Database
- The Front Page at AllMovie
- The Front Page at the American Film Institute Catalog
- The Front Page at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Front Page essay by Daniel Eagan In America's Film Legacy, 2009-2010: A Viewer's Guide To The 50 Landmark Movies Added To The National Film Registry In 2009-10, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2011, ISBN 1441120025 pages 35–39