The Front Page

Screening on Film
Directed by Lewis Milestone.
With Adolphe Menjou, Pat O’Brien, Mary Brian.
US, 1931, 35mm, black & white, 101 min.

This fast-paced, raucous comedy was remade numerous times by the likes of Howard Hawks (as His Girl Friday) and Billy Wilder. An adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s 1928 Broadway play, The Front Page follows Hildy Johnson, a reporter on the verge of retirement, as he investigates the escape of death-row murderer Earl Williams. Hildy finds Williams and, hoping to get the scoop on the story, hides him in a roll-top desk in the paper’s press room. With Williams hidden safely in the desk, Hildy is free to investigate what turns out to be the real story: the political corruption of 1920s Chicago. Adolphe Menjou makes a memorable appearance as Hildy’s hard-nosed editor, Walter Burns.

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