The Front Page (1931 film)

The Front Page
Directed by Lewis Milestone
Produced by Lewis Milestone
Howard Hughes
Written by Bartlett Cormack
Charles Lederer
Based on The Front Page
by Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur
Starring Adolphe Menjou
Pat O'Brien
Mary Brian
Edward Everett Horton
Cinematography Glen MacWilliams
Edited by W. Duncan Mansfield
The Caddo Company
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • April 4, 1931 (1931-04-04)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $700,000[1]

The Front Page is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy film, directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien. Based on a Broadway play of the same name, the film was produced by Howard Hughes, written by Bartlett Cormack and Charles Lederer, and distributed by United Artists. The supporting cast includes Mary Brian, George E. Stone, Matt Moore, Edward Everett Horton and Walter Catlett. At the 4th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Picture, Milestone for Best Director, and Menjou for Best Actor.

In 2010, this film was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[2]


The film, considered a screwball comedy, centers on a reporter, Hildebrand 'Hildy' Johnson (Pat O'Brien) and his editor (Adolphe Menjou), who hope to cash in on a big story involving an escaped accused murderer, Earl Williams (Stone) and hide him in a rolltop desk while everybody else tries to find him.



The film has been remade or adapted on several occasions. CBS radio turned it into a one-hour episode of Academy Award Theater with O'Brien and Menjou, June 28, 1937 episode of Lux Radio Theater with Walter Winchell and James Gleason and May 9, 1948 episode of the Ford Theatre starring Ed Begley and Everett Sloane.[3] The story was adapted for Howard Hawks's comedy His Girl Friday (1940), a 1974 remake of The Front Page starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and another version was made as Switching Channels (1988) with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve.

See also


  1. Balio, Tino (2009). United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3. p111
  2. Barnes, Mike (December 28, 2010). "'Empire Strikes Back,' 'Airplane!' Among 25 Movies Named to National Film Registry". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
  3. Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of Over 1800 Shows. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0351-9.
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