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The Front Page

55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ruthless newspaper editor Walter Burns (Walter Matthau) and his crack ace reporter Hildy (Jack Lemmon) believe together they can cover any story. The only problem is their team is being broken up as Hildy has decided to get married and leave the newspaper business altogether. As Hildy grooms his replacement, his retirement is derailed when the story of the century breaks. As all of Chicago is in hot pursuit, Hildy's instincts tell him something is rotten. Carol Burnett and Susan Sarandon co-star in this hilarious nonstop comedy.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon, Vincent Gardenia, Carol Burnett
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007QJ1Y8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,870 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Front Page" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "mweusthoff" on June 16, 2001
Format: DVD
"The Front Page" is a must-see for any fans of Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau! I bought the movie before I ever even saw it and I loved it! These two are as funny as ever in this comedy about two reporters who are on top of the hottest story in town. This is a great film to watch, although Carol Burnett's character was a down side to it, but you hardly even notice it with the rest of the fine cast. The DVD offers an overall good presentation of the film in standard (unfortunately not widescreen)format. Bottom line- it's worth buying, even if you've never seen it! Especially with the great price!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Erik NYC on July 5, 2005
Format: DVD
Kudos to Universal for reissuing "The Front Page" in wide screen (and enhanced for 16x9 televisions). The first DVD version, released in 2001, was in full screen. "The Front Page" may not be the best version of this story ("His Girl Friday") but it isn't the worst either ("Switching Channels"). And any film directed by Billy Wilder and featuring the team of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau is worth a look.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By spiderorchid on March 9, 2005
Format: DVD
In my opinion the best of the Lemmon/Matthau movies. It's everything a screwball-comedy should be: fast, funny, cynical. The cast is perfect and Wilder's direction brilliant. I liked "His Girl Friday" but "The Front Page" is even better.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: DVD
In terms of depicting life in a newspaper office and the part-sleazy, part-unscrupulous and (maybe) part-honorable behavior of journalists, this film is as good as you will ever get. Tetchy, growling, circulation-obsessed Walter Matthau is exactly what most newspaper editors think they should be like, while Jack Lemmon, keen to get married but ultimately more interested in a good scoop, represents everything that non-journalist women have never been able to understand about journalist men. There are moments when the movie descends into farce - as in the scenes involving the Viennese psychiatrist - and it is true that Carol Burnett's hooker is the one character part that doesn't quite work. But the script is sizzling, and the one-liners rarely falter. One of Billy Wilder's best.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A very funny movie, if you like to laugh buy this one it is one of the best comedies you'll ever see.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maxine A. Hartley on August 28, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When there is a movie starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and directed by Billy Wilder, well, my friend, you're in for out and out fun. Bring your laughter with you for this outrageous comedy of the newspaper biz that is set during the Roaring 20s Prohibition Era in Chicago. The 1974 movie also features Susan Sarandon in her first movie role, and Carol Burnett as the hilarious "lady of the night," Molly Malone. Allen Garfield is the hapless Earl, at the centre of the movie action and Vincent Gardenia as the none too bright sheriff. David Wayne is also featured as the effete reporter who is so fastidious as to have his own desk brought into the reporters' room in the courthouse - and his own toilet paper.

For all reporters and editors of modern times, this is a nostalgic look at the days when newspapers were powerful forms - if not the only forms - of getting the news to the public.

Walter Matthau as Walter Burns is editor of the most prominent newspaper in Chicago. Jack Lemmon as Hildy (short for Hildegarde) is his ace reporter who can write anything at anytime under any conditions.

The plot revolves around Hildy, who wants to leave to get married and doesn't want to report on the most important story of the day, the hanging of Earl, who allegedly belongs to some weird group or other, and his supposedly shooting of a policeman. It is an election year, and the mayor and the sheriff are making the most of the publicity. The reporters are gathered in a large room in city hall. Noises from the construction of a scaffold from whicch to hang Earl can be heard out in the courtyard of the jail across the way.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By William D. Barrett on January 7, 2006
Format: DVD
This is the remake of a remake. The original "Front Page" (1931) was a great movie. It was remade in 1940 as "His Girl Friday." This 1974 remake is not quite as good as the original or the first remake, but is 10 times better than the 1988 remake ("Switching Channels"). The main problem with this movie is that the attempt at "adding jokes" distracts away from humorous situations. Carol Burnett's performance as the killer's girlfriend is absolutely horrible. All that aside, it is still an entertaining story, but stick to the original or the 1940's remake.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's 6 June 1929 - and Walter Burns is pouring Bromide from one glass into another. Nice guy Editor of the not-so-quality broadsheet The Chicago Examiner - Walter's stomach isn't churning from the 95 cent special he eat that morning - nor the constant Lucky Strike cigarette hanging out of his expletive worn dentures - nor from hearing dire poetry written by a snooty opposition reporter from The Tribune about his 'silver-haired mother'. It's from the way his city is going to execute Earl Williams the following morning at seven a.m. (a naïve socialist whose been hysterically blown up in the media as a Commie threat because he supposedly murdered someone). Chicago has the barefaced gall to hang the be-speckled puny sap - and Walter knows you can't get a decent headline from a hanging. "Now if only it was the electric chair..." Walter enthuses. "EARL WIILIAMS - FRIES! EARL WILLIAMS - ROASTED ALIVE!"

As you can imagine "The Front Page" is old-fashioned funny. Based on the 1928 play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur (itself filmed with Cary Grant as "His Girl Friday" in 1940) - the adapted screenplay by the legendary duo of Director Billy Wilder and Writer I.A.L. Diamond ("Some Like It Hot", "The Apartment" and "Avanti!") offers what you'd expect - rapid-fire dialogue that can only be described as comedic genius. Throw two of Wilder's favourite leading men into this hardboiled hijinx - Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon - and magic will happen more often than not. But despite its commercial success - critics disliked this retro film - calling it wildly out of place in the harsh reality-filled movie landscape of 1974. But I've always loved it.

The story goes something like this.
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