7.3/10
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54 user 48 critic

The Front Page (1974)

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

Writers:

Ben Hecht (play), Charles MacArthur (play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Hildy Johnson
Walter Matthau ... Walter Burns
Susan Sarandon ... Peggy Grant
Vincent Gardenia ... Sheriff
David Wayne ... Bensinger
Allen Garfield ... Kruger
Austin Pendleton ... Earl Williams
Charles Durning ... Murphy
Herb Edelman ... Schwartz (as Herbert Edelman)
Martin Gabel ... Dr. Eggelhofer
Harold Gould ... The Mayor
Cliff Osmond ... Jacobi
Dick O'Neill ... McHugh
Jon Korkes ... Rudy Keppler
Lou Frizzell Lou Frizzell ... Endicott
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Storyline

When Hildy Johnson, the top reporter of a Chicago newspaper announces that he is quitting to get married, his editor, Walter Burns desperately tries to change his mind. When denial, cursing, and luring don't work, Walter resorts to tricks. It's the day before a supposed communist is to be hanged, and all Chicago waits with baited breath. Meanwhile, each of the papers has a man on the story trying to get a scoop or angle for themselves. With a train to catch at midnight to join his fiancé, Hildy is at first not interested, but events and his own habits work against him as the day unfolds, and he can't help but get roped in, especially when the man to be executed escapes and then almost literally falls into his lap. Written by RCBP_Collection

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They'd do anything for a story...and do. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Extrablatt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's minor success at the box office made this Billy Wilder's first hit since The Fortune Cookie (1966) and his last box office hit of any consequence. See more »

Goofs

When the blinds are pulled they are inside the window, after Earl crashes through the window the blinds are on the outside of the window. See more »

Quotes

The Mayor: Pete, get the Governor on the phone.
Plunkett: Oh, you can't.
'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: What do you mean, we can't?
Plunkett: He's gone fishing. Just him, and an Indian guide, and a canoe. No phone, no nothin'.
The Mayor: He sure picked a hell of a time to go fishing.
'Honest Pete' Hartman Sheriff of Clark County: [phone rings] Excuse me.
[exits]
Plunkett: Uh, just between us, it's not really fishing, because that Indian guide is really a girl. She' isn't even Indian. She's from New Jersey.
See more »

Connections

References The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Congratulate Me
Lyrics by Bob Rothberg
Music by Lou Handman
See more »

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User Reviews

The big carnival as a comedy.
17 August 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

In 1950,Billy Wilder told the story of a reporter (Kirk Douglas ) who "exploited the "human interest story" for his own benefit "(Maltin).It turned into a tragedy.In 1974,he comes back to the dark side of the medias ,no matter if it's a comedy:you've got to pay attention to all the serious things the director is telling us.In 1950,people were having a wild time around a man buried in a hole(hence the first title "ace in the hole"!);in 1974,people are playing cards and drinking whiskey in front of the gallows :nothing really changes. You would have to search for a long time to find clever comedies like this one in the contemporary cinema;and if people are disappointed,too bad for them:Billy Wilder was one of the greatest American directors of all time,even when he was a bit sub-par,he was better than the rest.

There are numerous funny moments:Lemmon turned into a exhibitionist by his boss,the desk in which the two reporters hide the condemned person -which might be a spoof on Hitchcock's "the rope",the "stolen" watch...

What is sad is Wilder's end of career:after the overlooked "Fedora" (1976)which he made with European money and which was unfairly deemed "a poor man's "sunset blvd"",and the remake of the French movie "l'emmerdeur" ("buddy buddy"),he was never given a chance to direct another movie.How unfair!


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