6.7/10
2,112
33 user 34 critic

The Front Page (1931)

TV-PG | | Comedy | 4 April 1931 (USA)
An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

Ben Hecht (by), Charles MacArthur (by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins
A Free Soul (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An unhappily married couple try to come between a happy one.

Directors: George Cukor, Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman pretends to be royalty in order to get aboard a cruise ship.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Douglass Dumbrille
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman reporter tries to prove she's just as good as any man, but runs into trouble along the way.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Roscoe Karns
The Citadel (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Andrew Manson (Robert Donat), a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon
Blonde Venus (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A cabaret singer takes up with a millionaire to pay for her gravely ill husband's operation.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adolphe Menjou ... Walter Burns
Pat O'Brien ... Hildy Johnson
Mary Brian ... Peggy Grant
Edward Everett Horton ... Roy B. Bensinger
Walter Catlett ... Murphy (as Walter L. Catlett)
George E. Stone ... Earl Williams
Mae Clarke ... Molly Molloy
Slim Summerville ... Irving Pincus
Matt Moore ... Kruger
Frank McHugh ... McCue
Clarence Wilson ... Sheriff Hartman (as Clarence H. Wilson)
Fred Howard Fred Howard ... Schwartz (as Freddie Howard)
Phil Tead ... Wilson
Eugene Strong Eugene Strong ... Endicott (as Gene Strong)
Spencer Charters ... Woodenshoes
Edit

Storyline

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? Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Picture That Has Cracked This Shock-Proof Town Wide Open! (Print Ad- Albany Evening News, ((Albany NY)) 8 June 1931)

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Primeira Página See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,526,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Caddo Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The journalists are all based on actual reporters who were Chicago colleagues of authors Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, with most working alongside them at the courthouse. The real names were only slightly changed: Hildy Johnson was based on the real-life reporter Hildebrand Johnson, Walter Burns was based on the editor Walter Howey, and Mac McCue was based on reporter Buddy McHugh. See more »

Goofs

The visor Murphy's wearing changes between camera angles from level to cocked at a steep angle. Making it obvious some scenes were either shot out of order. Or had to be redone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: This story is laid in a Mythical Kingdom.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits consist of Walter and Hildy above a big 'THE END,' covering a large question mark, while the sound of the train is heard and music plays. There is also laughter, presumably coming from Walter Burns. See more »

Connections

Featured in One Rogue Reporter (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

By the Light of the Silvery Moon
(1909) (uncredited)
Music by Gus Edwards
Played on banjo early in the film
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Very good
23 July 2007 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Newspaperman Hildy Johnson (Pat O'Brien) is quitting the business and getting married to Peggy (Mary Brian). But his unscrupulous boss Walter Burns(Adolphe Menjou) doesn't want him to quit. Also an innocent man is about to be hanged and Burns will do anything to make sure Johnson works on that story.

Fast and funny--the first cinematic version of this story. It shows its age at times and some of it is wildly overacted but O'Brien and Menjou are both just great in their roles. Also director Lewis Milestone uses some very unusual camera tricks to keep the story moving and there's lots of action and running around which is unusual for an early talkie.

This was remade in 1940 with a sex change making Johnson a woman. That was "His Girl Friday" with Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant. That one is better than this but this is better than the 1974 version (that had Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) and 1988 remake called "Switching Channels" (with Kathleen Turner and Burt Reynolds). They're all good to varying degrees but this one came first. Worth seeing.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed