The Front Page
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It relies too much on foul language, inappropriate slapstick, and superficial cynicism."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"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"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"Funny retelling with Lemmon and Matthau guided by Billy Wilder."
‑ Steve Crum,
"It bombed then. It looks better now, but it's still a distant third in films of the play"
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"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."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"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."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"not up to the original"
‑ Tony Medley,
"Not the finest adaptation of the oft-visited source material, but hey, it's Wilder, Lemmon, and Matthau!"
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"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."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Too much of it seemed stretched thin and unfunny."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Matthau and Lemmon put in their usual faultless turns, but cannot lift a pervading air of pointlessness."
‑ , Film4
"It drags in the middle, but a good first act and a stellar finale make the movie completely worthwhile."
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for The Front Page on Rotten Tomatoes