This third film version of the 1928 Ben Hecht/Charlie MacArthur Broadway hit The Front Page was the first one permitted to utilize all the salty profanities in the original play. Director Billy Wilder cast his two favorite leading men, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, as ace reporter Hildy Johnson and ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns, respectively. The plot of the Hecht/MacArthur play remains intact: Burns pulls every underhanded game in the book to prevent Johnson from leaving his Chicago paper to get married, and in so doing the two journalists uncover a cesspool of political corruption, centered around the planned execution of anarchist Earl Williams (Austin Pendleton). Carol Burnett has an extended cameo as Williams' tart girlfriend, Mollie Malloy. The Front Page was remade for a fourth time in 1988 as Switching Channels.~Hal Erickson
Audio commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Mark Evanier
Interview with actor Austin Pendleton
Interview with first assistant director Howard G. Kazanjian and assistant to Billy Wilder Rex McGee
I keep reading reviews on this movie saying how bad it is and how it just doesn't compare to the one from the 1930's. WRONG!
First, you have the very best cinematic comedy duo since Bing met Bob. Nobody - I mean NOBODY tops Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon when they're on a roll... AND this film was directed by the amazing Billy Wilder with whom Matthau won his only Oscar.
Second, I can't believe the pans I've read on the performance offered by Carol Burnett. She played the role perfectly. Just as she perceived it and absolutely on the mark. She isn't just a comedian, she's an actor as well.
Lastly, the entire cast work together splendidly and this movie should be owned by anyone who enjoys an honest, intelligent comedy, machine gun-rapid retorts and is waiting for something to make them laugh out loud. Buy it! You will not regret it.