ⓘ The Front Page (1931 film)

The Front Page (1931 film)

ⓘ The Front Page (1931 film)

The Front Page is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy-drama film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat OBrien. Based on a Broadway play of the same name, 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 Milestones preferred version for its original U.S. domestic release. Both versions are available on home video.


1. Plot

The film, considered a screwball comedy, centers on a reporter, Hildebrand "Hildy" Johnson Pat OBrien 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.


2. Cast

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

3. Adaptations

In addition to this film, the play has been adapted on several other occasions. CBS radio turned it into a one-hour episode of Academy Award Theater with OBrien and Menjou, a June 28, 1937 episode of Lux Radio Theater with Walter Winchell and James Gleason, and a May 9, 1948 episode of the Ford Theatre starring Ed Begley and Everett Sloane. The story was adapted for Howard Hawkss comedy His Girl Friday 1940, a 1974 remake of The Front Page starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and another version was made as Switching Channels 1988 with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve.

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