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The Front Page

USA 1931 101 min. PG

Director: Lewis Milestone

Written by: Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer

Stars: Pat O’Brien, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Brian

What is that you say? "You've already covered Ben Hecht!" Well yes, that is true - we showed Scarface 1932) back in February - but with someone as prolific as Hecht, who could jump from screwball to noir with less than a dip of the pen, I think we can be forgiven.

Directed by the great Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Rain (1932), the film centers on reporter Hildy Johnson (Pat O'Brien), who plans to leave the newspaper after he gets married but sticks around for one last scoop involving an escaped death row inmate.

While Charles Lederer gets the screenwriting credit on The Front Page, the film is based on Hecht's play of the same name, and has been re-made quite a few times: as His Girl Friday (1940), The Front Page (1974) with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, and updated for the 24 hour TV world in Switching Channels (1988), with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve. His work adaptable in any era, Hecht was modernity.

The screening will be introduced by Toronto screenwriter Elan Mastai (The F-Word) who will speak about Hecht's lengthy career. Of Hecht, Mastai says: "At a time when movies were trying to figure out what they should even be as an art form, Hecht wrote with a confidence, verve, and resonance that were both classic and contemporary."

The feature will be preceded by an assortment of 16mm shorts and cartoons from 1931.

Special event pricing: General $13 - Members/Students/Seniors $10. Buy tickets at frontpagerevue.eventbrite.ca


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