In 2017, "The Post" celebrates the press and makes a case for the supreme importance of it remaining free and independent. In 1931, "The Front Page" drags it through the mud. This early talking picture does an impressive job of overcoming the limitations that sound and the technology that came with it placed upon filmmakers at the time. Most early talkies don't have a clue how to move and speak at the same time, so the films mostly just sit there, the camera rooted to the spot as if afraid that it might pan slightly away from the frame and never come back. "The Front Page," on the other hand, never stops moving, thanks to the direction of Lewis Milestone, one of the first directors who knew what to do with sound. It's a fast-paced, snappy little film that pokes fun at journalists and what they're willing to do, and who they're willing to screw over, for a big scoop. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Director in the Academy's fourth year of existence. Milestone became the first director to rack up three nominations (he'd already won twice before, also the first individual to win multiple Academy Awards). Oddly enough, Adolphe Menjou was nominated for Best Actor, despite the fact that he doesn't really show up to stay until the movie has only 20 or so minutes to go. If anyone should have been nominated for Best Actor, it's Pat O'Brien, around whom the whole film revolves. But these were the days before supporting categories existed, so if the Academy wanted to nominate someone like Menjou, they didn't have anywhere else to put him. Grade: A-
The Front Page
The Front Page
An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.
Downloaded 28,987 times
April 7, 2019