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The Front Page

By Marshall Fine

Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht's classic newspaper comedy--about a conniving editor who talks his star reporter out of getting married long enough to cover a big story--has survived lesser adaptations than this one. (Ever see Switching Channels?) But few have been more disappointing. Billy Wilder teamed Walter Matthau (as the unscrupulous editor) and Jack Lemmon (as the fast-talking reporter), who try to get the scoop on everyone else in the story of a convicted killer who escapes on his way to the electric chair. But Matthau and Lemmon, as good as they are, succumb to the temptation to do shtick--and Carol Burnett shows up in a florid, unfunny performance as a hooker. An attempt to bottle the same lightning that struck with The Sting--but Wilder, Lemmon, and Matthau just can't do it.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Billy Wilder

Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett, Susan Sarandon, Vincent Gardenia, David Wayne, Allen Garfield, Austin Pendleton, Charles Durning, Harold Gould, Herb Edelman, Dick O'Neill, Jon Korkes, Martin Gabel

Released: December 17, 1974

Availability: DVD VHS


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