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91 Ratings

The Front Page

Directed by Lewis Milestone
United States, 1931
  • English
  • No subtitles


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…

Our take

If the title sounds familiar, that’s because Hecht and McArthur’s fast-talking hit play was turned into the screwball classic His Girl Friday by Howard Hawks. But very fun and very funny is Lewis Milestone’s pre-Code adaptation—newly restored!—which keeps the gender roles of the play intact.

The Front Page Directed by Lewis Milestone

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1931 | 3 nominations including: Best Picture

National Board of Review

1931 | Winner: Top Ten Films

National Film Preservation Board

2010 | Winner: National Film Registry

Milestone’s The Front Page presents Hecht and MacArthur’s original play perfected yet still in the raw—with its male chauvinism and meanness as well as its gallantry in full view. These men may goad Molly Malloy nearly to her death, but they mostly laugh and cheer when Hildy kisses Jenny the scrubwoman and dances her out of the pressroom. This movie captures every bit of the remarkable texture that Hecht and MacArthur put into their play.
January 11, 2017
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This phenomenally fast-moving early screwball comedy has for years circulated in theatrical prints of dubious quality, a situation to be hopefully changed by the arrival of a new 35mm restoration… Although the play has been adapted for cinema a number of times (most notably with Howard Hawks’s 1940 comedy of remarriage, His Girl Friday), this version is by far the spiciest.
November 02, 2016
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Spiritual kin to SCARFACE (another Howard Hughes production) and Raoul Walsh’s contemporaneous cycle of urban proletariat scuzz, THE FRONT PAGE possesses an undeniable vulgar dynamism.
July 04, 2014
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