The Front Page (1974)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The ruthless managing editor of a Chicago newspaper angrily learns his ace reporter plans to leave the paper to get married. While he trains a replacement, all hell breaks loose and a convicted killer escapes from right under the nose of a bumbling sheriff.
PG (N/A)
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


Jack Lemmon
as Hildy Johnson
Walter Matthau
as Walter Burns
Susan Sarandon
as Peggy Grant
David Wayne
as Bensinger
Austin Pendleton
as Earl Williams
Herb Edelman
as Schwartz
Martin Gabel
as Dr. Eggelhofer
Harold Gould
as The Mayor
Cliff Osmond
as Jacobi
Dick O'Neill
as McHugh
Jon Korkes
as Rudy Keppler
Lou Frizzell
as Endicott
Paul Benedict
as Plunkett
Doro Merande
as Jennie
Noam Pitlik
as Wilson
Joshua Shelley
as Cab Driver
Allen Jenkins
as Telegrapher
Biff Elliot
as Police Dispatcher
Carol Burnett
as Mollie Malloy
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Critic Reviews for The Front Page

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (2)

It relies too much on foul language, inappropriate slapstick, and superficial cynicism.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Even though the mechanics and demands of movie-making slow what should be the furious tempo, this Front Page displays a giddy bitterness that is rare in any films except those of Mr. Wilder. It is also, much of the time, extremely funny.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
New York Times
Top Critic

This third version of the 1928 smash play is only mildly entertaining; Billy Wilder has no new take on the text and his stars may be too old.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012

Full of wonderful comedic business, throw-away lines and some effortless ensemble set pieces, The Front Page bristles with its collection of talents on both sides of the camera.... It's that Billy Wilder touch of hurtful grains of truth inside every com

Full Review… | October 5, 2007
Urban Cinefile

This slick remake of the ebullient original falls short of being the film it could have been, despite the presence of master filmmaker Wilder and his engaging costars.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
TV Guide

Too much of it seemed stretched thin and unfunny.

Full Review… | March 16, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Front Page

A reporter and his editor cover the politically motivated, impending execution of a Communist sympathizer. 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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


So, His Girl Friday is my favorite movie, like, ever. And this adaptation is certainly missing that *thing* that makes His Girl Friday king. His Girl Friday has a kind of lyrical, musical quality about it that makes it fun, fast-paced and AMAZING. This, is a movie. And painfully so. 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.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer


This is actually a remake of an older movie, which was a remake of an older movie too, so it's nothing new. It's pretty funny in some scenes, but that's about all I liked about it. It's pretty good, but it could be better.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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