The Front Page

OCOpen Caption screening
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The Front Page

Based on the play of the same name by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, which by 1974 had already been adapted in Hollywood quite a few times, including Howard Hawks’ 1940 fast-talking masterpiece, His Girl Friday, The Front Page marked the tenth of 12 collaborations between legendary director Billy Wilder and award-winning screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond, as well as the fourth of nine collaborations between beloved Hollywood funny-men Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. In it, successful Chicago newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson (Lemmon, who appeared in seven Wilder films including The Fortune Cookie playing at the JBFC in June) is handing in his press pass to marry Peggy Grant (Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking). When his editor, the arrogant, self-important Walter Burns (Walter Matthau, who won his only Academy Award working on Wilder’s The Fortune Cookie), gets word of Hildy’s plans, he tries everything in his power to convince Hildy to stay on staff at the paper. After learning that the dangerous (but maybe wrongfully accused?) criminal, Earl Williams (Austin Pendleton), has escaped on the eve of his execution, Hildy decides to risk his future happiness for one final byline.

This film is part of the Senior Afternoon Cinema series.

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