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The Front Page

1931 There's nothing like an original !!! Hildy Johnson (Pat O'Brien), 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 (Adolphe Menjou), 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? Nominated for three Oscars

The Front Page is a 1931 American comedy film, directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien (actor). Based on a The Front Page, 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 (actor), and Edward Everett Horton. At the 4th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture, Milestone for Academy Award for Best Director, and Menjou for Academy Award for Best Picture.
In 2010, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".< name="2010Add"></>


The film, considered a screwball comedy, centers on an investigative reporter (Pat O'Brien) and his editor (Adolphe Menjou), who hope to cash in on a big story involving an escaped accused murderer (Stone) and hide him in a rolltop desk while everybody else tries to find him.

Cast (in credits order)

  • Adolphe Menjou - Walter Burns
  • Pat O'Brien (actor) - Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson
  • Mary Brian - Peggy Grant
  • Edward Everett Horton - Roy V. Bensinger
  • Walter Catlett - Jimmy Murphy
  • George E. Stone - Earl Williams
  • Mae Clarke - Molly Malloy
  • Slim Summerville - Irving Pincus
  • Matt Moore (actor) - Ernie Kruger
  • Frank McHugh - 'Mac' McCue
  • Clarence Wilson (actor) - Sheriff Peter B. 'Pinky' Hartman
  • Fred Howard - Schwartz
  • Phil Tead - Wilson
  • Eugene Strong - Endicott
  • Spencer Charters - Woodenshoes
  • Maurice Black - Diamond Louie
  • Effie Ellsler - Mrs Grant
  • Dorothea Wolbert - Jenny
  • James Gordon (actor) - Fred, The Mayor


The film has been remade or adapted on several occasions. CBS radio turned it into a one-hour episode of Academy Award Theater with O'Brien and Menjou, the 28 June 1937 episode of Lux Radio Theater with Walter Winchell and James Gleason and the 9 May 1948 episode of the Ford Theatre starring Ed Begley and Everett Sloane.< name="Radio Programs, 1924-1984"></> The story was adapted for Howard Hawks's comedy His Girl Friday (1940), a The Front Page (1974 film) starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and another version was made as Switching Channels (1988) with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve.

See also

  • List of films in the public domain

  • Category:1931 films
    Category:1930s comedy films
    Category:American comedy films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:Films about journalists
    Category:Films about capital punishment
    Category:Films based on plays
    Category:Films directed by Lewis Milestone
    Category:Films made before the MPAA Production Code
    Category:Films set in Chicago, Illinois
    Category:United Artists films
    Category:United States National Film Registry films
    The Caddo Company

    More Public Domain Movies