(Lewis Milestone, US 1931, 101 min., DCP)
United Artists Centennial. Howard Hughes produced this first adaptation of Ben Hecht’s play to an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. A precursor of screwball comedic wit and timing, the film stars Pat O’Brien and Adolphe Menjou as an ace Chicago reporter and the editor that will do anything to see that he doesn’t retire for married life. When a scheduled execution at the prison goes off the rails, Menjou convinces O’Brien to cover the event. Caught between the work he loves and his departing fiancée, O’Brien finds himself in life-or-death situations that seem to be out of his control. Later gender-swapped and remade as His Girl Friday, this early example of screwball comedy was a coup for United Artists.
The Front Page was restored in 2016 by the Academy Film Archive and the Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. Elements for this restoration provided by the Howard Hughes Corporation and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, Department of Film and its Howard Hughes Collection at the Academy Film Archive.