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The Front Page

The Front Page

Genders: Romance, Drama, Comedy

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Ben Hecht (play), Charles MacArthur (play), Billy

Actors: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon, Vincent Gardenia

Year: 1974
Run time: 105min
IMDB score: 7.4
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Front Page

Genders: Romance, Drama, Comedy

Imdb Score: 7.4

Runtime: 105min

Released: 17 Dec 1974

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Ben Hecht (play), Charles MacArthur (play), Billy

Actors: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon, Vincent Gardenia

Company: Universal Pictures

Imdb Link

The Front Page Available Subtitles

English subtitles The Front Pageone year ago
Chinese subtitles The Front Pageone year ago
Romanian subtitles The Front Pageone year ago
Brazilian Portuguese subtitles The Front Page2 years ago
Greek subtitles The Front Page2 years ago
Serbian subtitles The Front Page2 years ago
Spanish subtitles The Front Page2 years ago

Trailer


Review

Updating a classic

7/10 I'm sure that the reason for Billy Wilder to do a remake of The Front Page is the fact that around the time this was made, politicians running for office on 'law and order' platforms was suddenly coming into vogue. The chief example among these was Richard Nixon and we all know what happened to him in 1974. Seemed like a case of perfect timing to me.

The original material that Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur wrote in the Twenties was perfect for Billy Wilder's cynical mind. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were born to play the roles of Hildy Johnson and Walter Burns.

Of course other things now that the Code was lifted could also be made more explicit. David Wayne's character of Benzinger is quite openly gay in the film. It's an interesting characterization he does. Of course he's the butt of all the jokes in the pressroom, but I thought it rather funny when at the end when title cards show what happened to all the principal characters, he was the only one with a happily ever after ending. He settled down with a life partner and ran an antique store. A rather subtle comment on the sanctity of heterosexual marriage decades before gay marriage was an issue.

Carol Burnett was a big fan of Billy Wilder and it is mentioned in a recent biography of Wilder that she wanted very much to be in one of his films. Carol got her wish and did very well as Molly the prostitute who befriends poor Earl Williams, the anarchist who accidentally killed a policeman and is sentenced to be hung.

Austin Pendleton is all right as Williams, but no one ever played the role quite like John Qualen in His Girl Friday. Qualen had a patent on those little men up against the system parts.

Speaking of His Girl Friday, my favorite part in all versions of The Front Page is that of the messenger from the governor carrying Earl Williams reprieve. No one will ever top Billy Gilbert in His Girl Friday though Paul Benedict of The Jeffersons gives a good account of himself as well.

Sad to say that demagogic politicians who bray about law and order are still among us. Maybe it's time for another remake of The Front Page.

one year ago

The Unseen Power of the Press

8/10 On 06 June 1929, in Chicago, the press is covering from the tribunal press room, the hanging of the anarchist Earl Williams (Austin Pendleton) that accidentally killed a cop and will happen on the next day. Hildy Johnson (Jack Lemmon), who is the best newspaperman of the Chicago Examiner, tells his boss Walter Burns (Walter Matthau) that he will marry the widow concert pianist Peggy Grant (Susan Sarandon) on the next day and quits his job, telling that he will move to Philadelphia and work in advertisement business. Walter unsuccessfully tries to use a scheme to force Hildy to stay in the Examiner and cover the execution on the gallows. Meanwhile, the corrupt Sheriff "Honest" Pete Hartman (Vincent Gardenia) interrogates Earl with the psychologist Dr. Eggelhofer (Martin Gabel) for the last check whether the prisoner is sane or not and the doctor proposes a simulation of the murder, but Earl shots Dr. Eggelhofer with the sheriff's revolver on the groin and escapes. Meanwhile, the governor's representative Plunkett (Paul Benedict) comes with a retreat on Earl, but the dirty Mayor (Harold Gould) and the Sheriff do not acknowledge the receipt of the document and send Plunkett to a brothel. When Hildy finds Earl hidden in the press room, his sense of journalist prevails and he calls Walter to protect Earl together with the unseen power of the press.

"The Front Page" is a witty comedy by Billy Wilder in one of his last works. I have never had the chance to see the original 1931 film, but this cynical remake is great, with top-notch performances of Walter Matthau in the role of a Machiavellian editor that has no ethics and presses his top journalist to stay in his newspaper. Jack Lemmon and Vincent Gardenia have also excellent performances. The ironic conclusion with the fate of each character is hilarious. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "A Primeira Pagina" ("The Front Page")

one year ago

Criminally underrated

10/10 MILD SPOILERS

The Front Page is one of my favourite Billy Wilder films, and by definition, this would mean also one of my favourite comedies of all time. I definitely agree with the view held by some that this magnificent work deserves much wider recognition than it has received. And here's the news: I HAVE seen His Girl Friday, and I STILL consider Wilder's take to be superior, even if the master himself dismissed it as a botch. Sorry to disagree, Mr. Wilder, but I believe that in few films you got a chance as good as this one to demonstrate your spectacular sense of rhythm and comic timing, and get performances as astounding from everyone involved; the Lemmon-Matthau unbeatable duo works like a perfectly greased machine at full blast and I definitely prefer their vicious bickering to the flirty, romantically-intentioned banter of Grant and Russell; and all the rest of the cast I think is perfect too, for example Sarandon, who with just one look can convey her frustration and her resigned acceptance at her husband-to-be's inability to change... I'm sorry, but I just can't find the slightest defect. To me, this is a perfect ten.

one year ago

Great cast gives powerful performances as Matthau as scheming managing editor and Lemmon as convincing star journalist

7/10 Rip-roaring third remake of the classic newspaper comedy ¨The Front Page¨ makes some memorable exchanges and sensational acting from everyone . Cynical editor newspaper (Walter Matthau) wants to get a big scoop on a death row which involves convincing star reporter (Jack Lemmon) to come back to work and put off her marriage to handsome pianist woman (Susan Sarandon) . Lemmon can't resist covering some good news , even when it mean helping a condemned man (Austin Pendleton) getaway the law . And the escaped convicted murderer offers the journalist an exclusive interview . Other reporters (Dick O'Neill, Charles Durning, Allen Garfield , David Wayne , Cliff Osmond) also give hilarious acting in this breathless pursuit of an exclusive with the escaped death row inmate .

A splendid remake of the Ben Hecht , Charles MacArthur play about a scheming managing publisher of a 1920s Chicago newspaper and his incautious reporter. Very good performance from Jack Lemmon as ace journalist who wants to quit the business and get married and exceptional Walter Matthau as editor who finds out his main reporter wants to leave him and gets in the way . Phenomenal playing from everyone , including a top-notch secondary cast as Carol Burnett , Vincent Gardenia , Harold Gould and magnificent direction render this frequent-told story more funny than usual . One of Wilder's most inventive and furious screen combats in which Lemmon and Matthau are given equal footing with staccato dialog and marvelous interpretations . I.A.L. Diamond's brilliantly tart screenplay overlaps dialogue and scenes to carry the black farce along the roller-coasted speed . Certainly the kind of movie that Billy Wilder only can make , though achieved moderated success in 1974 . Meanwhile , do't miss this stunning adaptation.

Other versions about this classic story are the following : 1931 ¨The Front Page¨ by Lewis Milestone with Adolph Menjou , Edward Everett Horton , Mae Clark and Pat O'Brien in his film debut ; ¨His Girl Friday ¨ 1940 by Howard Hawks with Gary Grant , Ralph Bellamy and Rosalind Russell with the pivotal character assigned to a woman instead a man ; ¨Switching channels¨ 1988 by Ted Kotcheff with Kathleen Turner , Christopher Reeve , Ned Beatty and Burt Reynolds in which an attractive TV anchorwoman want to marry tycoon but his mean ex-husband impedes it .

one year ago

Witty and fast-paced

9/10 When the subject of great movies is being discussed, this movie must be included in the discussion. This movie is a witty and fast-paced satire that pokes fun at the news media. The characters are memorable and the acting is fantastic. Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon and Vincent Gardenia are great in this movie, but most impressive is Carol Burnett's wonderful and powerful performance which dominates every scene in which she appears. But what makes this movie even more appealing is that it is a story of how the quest for the extra buck can corrupt everyone involved, with tragic consequences. Billy Wilder is very strong on this point and for this reason this movie is worth watching.

one year ago