The Front Page (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Front Page (1974)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Front Page Photos

Movie Info

The ruthless managing editor of a Chicago newspaper angrily learns his ace reporter plans to leave the paper to get married. While he trains a replacement, all hell breaks loose and a convicted killer escapes from right under the nose of a bumbling sheriff.


Jack Lemmon
as Hildy Johnson
Walter Matthau
as Walter Burns
Carol Burnett
as Mollie Malloy
Susan Sarandon
as Peggy Grant
David Wayne
as Bensinger
Austin Pendleton
as Earl Williams
Herb Edelman
as Schwartz
Martin Gabel
as Dr. Eggelhofer
Harold Gould
as The Mayor
Jon Korkes
as Rudy Keppler
Lou Frizzell
as Endicott
Paul Benedict
as Plunkett
Joshua Shelley
as Cab Driver
Allen Jenkins
as Telegrapher
Biff Elliot
as Police Dispatcher
View All

Critic Reviews for The Front Page

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2)

It relies too much on foul language, inappropriate slapstick, and superficial cynicism.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

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.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Carol Burnett is terrible, but everyone else delivers the goods, from Austin Pendleton as the sweet and slightly befuddled convict to Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau playing to their usual strengths.

September 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

February 22, 2012 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

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

October 6, 2007 | Full Review…

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.

August 14, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Front Page

Wilder and Co. have taken pains to update, refresh and reboot the tale, the prior efforts no doubt informing them but, in spite of all the tricks pulled this is a piece that feels more like nostalgia - of all concerned - a wishing for the old days. And (as in when talking to an old person) there are moments when the story seems to simply stop for no discernible reason. On the whole a decent effort, only not up to the momentum of the previous releases.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


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.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

The Front Page Quotes

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