Theater: Hello, Sweetheart, Get Me Rethink the Front Page

by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur

Journalists tend to think of the world of The Front Page as a kind of Garden of Eden, an unspoiled idyll of frantic competition and luxuriant dissipation in an era when reporters worried about the price of a shot and a beer, not the tax consequences of a vacation home and an individual retirement account. In the mind's eye, the rowdy tabloid reportage of Chicago in the Roaring Twenties seems vivid, creative and a whole lot more fun than today's sober pursuit of facts and reasoned analysis. But 58 years of interpretation, including three film versions, may have been wrongheaded: a...

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