Cinema: Weakened Update: THE FRONT PAGE

SWITCHING CHANNELS

The machinery still works. Sixty years after The Front Page hit Broadway, the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur farce retains its manic energy and toxic bite. Gags still pinwheel out of the plot -- the one about a managing editor trying to scoop the world on a big story while keeping his ace reporter from deserting him to get married. And, as three previous movie incarnations have proved, The Front Page turns briskly whether the reporter is a man (Pat O'Brien in 1931, Jack Lemmon in 1974) or the boss's ex-wife (Rosalind Russell | in the 1940 His Girl Friday).

This...

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