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Poster for "The Front Page" (Universal, 1974)

This Coming Thursday (August 17) at the Mary Pickford Theater at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC)

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Poster for “The Front Page” (Universal, 1974)

Lemmon – Matthau–Part II

Thursday, August 17 at 7:00 p.m.

“THE FRONT PAGE” (Universal, 1974). Directed by Billy Wilder. Screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, from the play of the same name by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. With Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Susan Sarandon, Vincent Gardenia, David Wayne, Allen Garfield, Austin Pendleton, Charles Durning, Carol Burnett. (105 min, Technicolor, Panavision, 35mm, archival print from the Copyright Collection)

A newspaper editor tricks his ace reporter into covering one more story before he quits to get married. Hecht and MacArthur’s play opened on Broadway in 1928 and received its first film adaptation three years later under the helm of Lewis Milestone. Following Howard Hawks’ gender swapping version (“His Girl Friday,’ 1940), it took nearly 35 years for “The Front Page” to return to the big screen. It is not difficult to see Billy Wilder and the pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as the ideal combination to bring the play’s feverish pace and its wisecracking, rapid-fire dialogue to life, and the film, full of witty retorts and memorable supporting characters, goes a long way to prove that. Unfortunately, “The Front Page” was neither a critical nor commercial success, having been released at a time when American cinema was rapidly moving away from Wilder’s character and dialogue-driven style which harkened back to the screwball comedies of the 1930s.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

For more information on LC screenings, see this link.


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