The Front Page Reviews
A slap-dash, map-cap film filled with sharp dialogue, The Front Page is reminiscent of older films that accentuated good writing and fast-paced dialogue -- none of this subtext shit. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are at their comic best, spitting their lines out like the clacking of typewriter keys. From the "they don't make 'em like they used to" file, this film is a quick-witted ride that seems like the only thing it's missing is a Groucho Marx pun and a wave of a cigar.
However, at the end of all the shenanigans, I can't say that there's a lot of substance to the film. Each character is flat, and a young Susan Sarandon plays Peggy the way she's written -- as an annoying house frau wannabe whose sole ambition is joy-sucking her soon-to-be husband. There aren't many surprises in the plot.
Overall, I suppose that many of my criticisms judge the film on terms it doesn't subscribe to because in the end The Front Page wants to be fun and it is.
I watched this because of Jack Lemmon. And he was quite good. But not quite Rosalind Russell. I think he could have pulled off the fast-paced dialog that Hawks introduced too.
Overall, glad I watched it, but Grant and Russell do it MUCH better.
the script is also penned partly by wilder whose version is more faithful to the hencht's play except some few parts he added to make fun of emasculated dandyism, maccarthyism parody...and the stimulus appears so often that it loses its brightfulness and ceases to be funny when it comes to the satire of journalism, wilder does a superb job in his own script "ace in the hole" with kirk douglas in the 50s...
It seems that (as the word has it) Hildy Johnson as a woman works better as a character than Hildy Johnson as a man. It totally adds a twist to the plot, linking the two protagonists with a romance undercurrent...Wait a minute, this is not a "His Girl Friday" review.
Anyway, you get the point. I loved Hawks's film so much I can't even begin to write about this one. You can have your pick!