The Front Page - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Front Page Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2016
In a way this marks Billy Wilder's downward slide toward the end of his career. It had a good cast with a lot of names led by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and was based on a hit play with great comedic material. The 46-year-old script and star power do much to keep it afloat because, although Wilder tries to insert Keystone Kops-like slapstick, the movie is bogged down and dull. This play goes hand in hand with fast-talking reporters, but executives who remembered the old play or movies must have decided audiences couldn't grasp such fast dialogue, so the camera moves slowly around the table of poker playing reporters and they rarely talk over each other. Compared to the first movie version from the 30s in which the mayor wore a cowboy hat and the sheriff was a scrawny nervous man, Wilder's version gives the blustery sheriff the cowboy hat and the mayor is a more slickly polished gentleman/scoundrel. All three movie versions of the play differ the most in the exposition. Editor Walter Burns calls in to the city hall newsroom, but appears in person quite late in the play. The movies have always played up the antagonism between Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson by bringing them together on screen much earlier. A lot of the political and current event references are lost or skipped over. Austin Pendleton as the fugitive Earl Williams is a Woody Allen-like bundle of neurosis. A new young replacement for Hildy is sent over rather than Burns using a member of the Italian mafia to strong arm Hildy. The closing credits are quite funny as snapshots of the future lives of many of the characters are shown.
½ January 17, 2015
Muy divertida, no paran ni un instante
December 26, 2014
The first time I saw it I was very tense, because the atmosphere is quite claustrophobic and the issues treated are strong... However, at a second watch, you know how it's going on, you can concentrate more in the jokes, and that dark sense of humour becomes a little more quietful. The summary is that I liked each projection, by different reasons, which are different good points about the movie. Everything fits perfectly, every dialog, as it has to be, works with the precision of a Swiss clock. That's a classic, one you don't care to watch it one thousand times, you like it.
December 22, 2014
Get yer head back in there, you God Damned turtle!
May 30, 2014
Solid remake, but can't come close to His Girl Friday.
January 4, 2014
set in 1929, a great newspaper man is about to retire and get married only to get suckered in for one last scoop concerning the escape of a man who is sentenced to death row. the hijinks involved were quite funny and the set design was amazing! it has the look and feel of the 20s down to a T. jack lemmon and walter matthau do a stand up job as usual as the one of the greatest comedic on screen pairs since abbott & costello. based on hecht/macarthur play, this billy wilder production is a fun film worth checking out.
½ December 22, 2013
The Front Page is a decent film. It is about an escaped death row convict who shows up at the office of a tabloid newspaper trying to convey his innocence. Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau give good performances. The screenplay is enjoyable but a little in places. Billy Wilder did an alright directing this movie. I like this motion picture because of the humor and drama.
½ December 3, 2013
Wonderful remake, and classic Matthau & Lemmon pairing.
½ June 1, 2013
It relies too much on foul language, inappropriate slapstick, and superficial cynicism.
February 6, 2013
Can Billy Wilder do anything wrong? Me thinks not. This is a laugh out loud classic comedy from one of my fav directors, with a star studded cast that shine in each of their roles - and considering the majority of the film takes place in one room - this is a must see for film fans - and aspiring journalists!
½ October 30, 2012
"His Girl Friday' is sitll the better version. But I love me some Matthau and Lemon.
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2012
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.
½ May 21, 2012
some of the scenes might get a little too silly, but for the most part, billy wilder's "the front page" delivers some really good comedy with hilarious performances from jack lemmon and walter matthau.
½ April 26, 2012
Comparing Front Page News to 'His Girl Friday' just seems unfair, but considering they are based on the same material, the comparison has to be made. While His Girl Friday has a the perfect lyrical flow, this film feels more like comedic set pieces strung together by this rather shallow commentary on media. Wilder is far too concerned with having a witty and fun script, that the film, which could have actually been a great deconstruction of cyncism as it relates to media, lies very superficial and feels paper thin in every way. Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau are great, as always, and they do supply some great moments with their comedic timing but it's not enough for me to ignore the film's faults. The same could be said for the screenplay, which is indeed funny and has a few memorable lines...It just lacks the overwhelming energy and quick-wit of His Girl Friday, and it's pretty forgettable.
April 1, 2012
This has got to be one of my favorite odd couple flicks yet. Matthau plays the editor of the Chicago Tribune looking for the latest and greatest story from his top journalist Lemmon, but Lemmon is looking to move state, get married, and transition to another industry. Matthau won't have it, and in the midst of a high-profile execution too, check it out, good for laughs and I realized America hasn't changed much since those days.
March 28, 2012
It somehow managed to get a lot better after a weak first act. Mathau, Lemmon, and the whole cast are all pretty good in this not-the-Odd-Couple fast-talking comedy about the death penalty, surly newsmen, and impending matrimony.
March 6, 2012
It's a pretty funny movie with one-liners and hidden jokes. It has an all-star cast and is directed by Billy Wilder (an amazing director.) The movie really has a good pace to it and laughing moments. It's really worth seeing!
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2012
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.
January 30, 2012
Not a rolling on the floor laughing kind of movie, but with an all star cast and Billy Wilder's direction it's first class entertainment.
½ January 17, 2012
This movie is great! Really sharp and layered and hilarious and poignant.
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