Howard Hughes: The Front Page (1931)


The Front Page is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy-drama film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O’Brien. Based on a 1928 Broadway play of the same name by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, 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”



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.



Adolphe Menjou as Walter Burns
Pat O’Brien as Hildebrand “Hildy” Johnson
Mary Brian as Peggy Grant
Edward Everett Horton as Roy V. Bensinger
Walter Catlett as Jimmy Murphy
George E. Stone as Earl Williams
Mae Clarke as Molly Malloy
Slim Summerville as Irving Pincus
Matt Moore as Ernie Kruger
Frank McHugh as “Mac” McCue
Clarence Wilson as Sheriff Peter B. “Pinky” Hartman
Fred Howard as Schwartz
Phil Tead as Wilson
Eugene Strong as Endicott
Spencer Charters as Woodenshoes
Maurice Black as Diamond Louie
Effie Ellsler as Mrs Grant
Dorothea Wolbert as Jenny
James Gordon as Fred, the Mayor
Richard Alexander as Jacobi (uncredited)




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