[[caption-width-right:300:''[[Theatre/TheOddCouple "Can two divorced men work in a newspaper office without driving each other crazy?"]]'']]

''The Front Page'' is a 1974 film directed by Creator/BillyWilder, starring Creator/JackLemmon and Creator/WalterMatthau.

Walter Burns (Matthau), editor of the ''Chicago Examiner'', wants IntrepidReporter Hildebrand "Hildy" Johnson (Lemmon) to cover the execution of convicted murderer Earl Williams--but Hildy announces that he's quitting the newspaper business, getting married, and moving to Philadelphia. Burns promptly sets out to lure Hildy back, mainly by sabotaging his engagement to the [[DisposableFiance sweet but bland]] Peggy. Then, when Hildy goes to the courthouse to say goodbye to the other reporters, Williams escapes, and Hildy [[GoingForTheBigScoop gets drawn back into the game]] as he senses a lead and starts uncovering the political machinations behind Williams's arrest and pending execution.

One of [[ThoseTwoActors the ten films]] Lemmon and Matthau starred in together. A young Creator/SusanSarandon also appeared as Hildy's dull fiancee Peggy.

This film is one of four cinematic adaptations of a popular stage play titled ''The Front Page''. In 1931 it was made into a hit movie called ''Film/{{The Front Page|1931}}''. In 1940 it was made as ''Film/HisGirlFriday'', which did a GenderFlip, casting Rosalind Russell as a female Hildy Johnson, and making Walter (Creator/CaryGrant) her ex-husband as well as her old boss. It was remade yet again as ''Switching Channels'' in 1988, which updated the story from newspapers to TV and starred Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner.


!! This movie contains examples of:
* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Dr. Eggelhofer has a patently absurd OedipusComplex theory explaining Williams's crime. Justified; the movie's set in 1929.
* BatmanGambit: Burns assigns an inept cub reporter to replace Hildy, knowing that Hildy won't be able to stand by and let the kid mess up.
* BlatantLies: The reporters phoning their editors about Williams's capture -- ''an event they are currently watching'' -- describing it as a blood-filled firefight.
* BringMyBrownPants: The new ''Examiner'' reporter "did a bad thing in [his] pants" when the guards start shooting during Williams' breakout. This spoils a key photograph of Earl Williams due to wet film.
* CampGay: Bensinger, the prissy ''Tribune'' reporter.
* ChekhovsGun: Bensinger's desk, and the governor's reprieve for Williams.
* DaEditor: Burns.
* DirtyCop: Sheriff Hartman.
* DisposableFiance: Peggy, as revealed at the end of the 1974 film. In the 1931 film Hildy does dump her, but feels bad about it, and they get back together at the end, although Walter is clearly going to keep meddling.
* GroinAttack: When Dr. Eggelhofer gets Williams to re-enact the shooting, Williams winds up shooting him in the groin. After operating on himself at the hospital (he doesn't trust American doctors), Dr. Eggelhofer publishes ''[[TheJoyOfX The Joy of Impotence]].''
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Mollie Malloy.
* IdiotBall: Sheriff Hartman and the psychiatrist electing to give Earl Williams a ''loaded gun'' to "re-enact" his crime.
* InsanityDefense: Williams tries for this, but it doesn't work.
* IntrepidReporter: Hildy; Burns, once he gets back into the field.
* LastMinuteReprieve: A messenger arrives with a reprieve for Earl Williams hours before he's scheduled to be executed (but after he escapes). The Mayor explains he can't accept a reprieve for someone not in their custody and offers the messenger a night at a brothel on his dime. The Sheriff then raids that same brothel ("for the family vote") and the reprieve winds up in the cell next to Walter and Hildy, who are more than happy to see it used.
* ManipulativeBastard / GuileHero: Burns as he schemes to get Hildy back; Hildy as he manipulates the other reporters so he can get a scoop.
* MarriedToTheJob: The core conflict is largely about this, for Hildy anyway, as Walter isn't at all conflicted about being married to the job.
* SelfSurgery: As he's being wheeled away, Dr. Eggelhofer demands a scalpel and a mirror to operate on his wound.
* SleazyPolitician: The Mayor and Sheriff "Honest Pete" Hartman.
* TrainStationGoodbye: Walter sends off Hildy and Peggy at the station, giving Hildy his watch as a wedding gift. Then he wires ahead to have Hildy arrested for stealing it.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: This is how we learn that Hildy left Peggy and ended up as Managing Editor of the ''Examiner''.
* YouGotMurder: During his interview with Dr. Eggelhofer, it comes out that Earl Williams once sent a mail bomb to a famous industrialist but it was returned due to insufficient postage and blew the roof off his boarding house, leading to his arrest for illegal possession of explosives.