FROM THE ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE: COCK OF THE AIR & THE FRONT PAGE
PRESENTED BY THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES
& THE CALIFORNIA FILM INSTITUTE
HOSTED BY RANDY HABERKAMP, the Academy’s Managing Director, Preservation and Foundation Programs, will present and discuss recent and exciting restorations of films originally produced by Howard Hughes. Both restorations are rare versions that haven’t been seen since their original release.
THE FRONT PAGE
FRIDAY, DEC. 2 • 7:15
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SPECIAL ACADEMY® FEATURETTE
When Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur adapted their hit play for the screen in the early 1930s, the fast-paced dialogue and frantic comedy were even more effective than they had been on stage. Filled with Depression-era slang and toughness, The Front Page was set in the competitive and cynical world of newspaper reporters, as they await the hanging of a man whose conviction was politically convenient. Pat O’Brien stars as an investigative reporter caught between career and love, as wily and manipulative editor Adolphe Menjou tries to lure him away from marriage to Mary Brian. (In 1940 Howard Hawks would change the reporter’s gender and remake it as His Girl Friday.) Also starring Edward Everett Horton, Walter L. Catlett, George E. Stone, Mae Clarke, Slim Summerville. (US 1931) 98 min. plus discussion.
Directed by Lewis Milestone, The Front Page has been available for decades only in its “international” version, and primarily in inferior copies. The Academy’s restoration represents the American domestic release, which contains more sophisticated editing of picture and sound, alternate dialogue and different scene composition.
The Front Page was restored in 2016 by the Academy Film Archive, with funding from The Film Foundation. Elements for the restoration were provided by The Howard Hughes Corporation, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, Department of Film, and the Howard Hughes Collection at the Academy Film Archive.
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All images courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.