The Front Page

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s classic 1928 comedy set in the world of the Chicago newspaper business.

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The press room of Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building is buzzing with reporters covering the story of an escaped prisoner. When star reporter Hildy Johnson (John Slattery) accidentally discovers the runaway convict, he and his editor Walter Burns (Nathan Lane) conspire to hide the man from the other reporters, while they chase the biggest scoop of their careers.


  • The Front Page was the basis for the 1988 film Switching Channels, with the action transposed from newspapers to television. None of the original dialogue survived.
  • In addition to several feature films, The Front Page also spawned a musical adaptation called Windy City, which has been produced in London’s West End and regionally in the U. S., but never on Broadway.


The Front Page premiered on Broadway in 1928, in a production staged by George S. Kaufman. A 1931 film version starred Adolphe Menjou as Walter Burns and Pat O’Brien as Hildy Johnson. A 1974 remake starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The landmark 1940 film adaptation, His Girl Friday, starred Cary Grant as Walter Burns and Rosalind Russell as a now-female Hildy Johnson. This is the play’s fifth Broadway revival.


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