Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Front Page Woman (1935)

FRONT PAGE WOMAN is a light comedy-drama with a newspaper setting, teaming frequent costars George Brent and Bette Davis.

Brent and Davis play reporters for competing newspapers who are also in love. They talk marriage, but Davis rebels against Brent's desire that she quit the business when they marry, disputing his belief that women "are bad newspapermen." The battle of the sexes continues throughout a murder trial as they attempt to outdo each other with the best scoops.

Some of the dated attitudes toward working women are either charmingly amusing or outrageous, depending on how seriously one chooses to take it. For me, that kind of thing is simply an interesting reflection of the era, and while I was horrified by Davis's furs (those little faces!), I simply smiled at the casually expressed notions that now seem so quaint. Besides which, Brent has to admit in the end that Davis is a darn good newspaperman, at that!

I particularly enjoy Brent in his younger, "pre-mustache" days, and he's charming in this, even when he's tricking Davis or talking down her career aspirations; he's simply so good-natured and lovable that it's hard to be annoyed by him.

Davis was quite the glam young beauty in this, one of several films she appeared in in 1935.

Roscoe Karns plays Brent's photographer, with Gordon Westcott and Wini Shaw key figures in a crime story. The cast also includes J. Carroll Naish, Dorothy Dare, Walter Walker, Joseph Crehan, and J. Farrell MacDonald.

Good old George Chandler floats by the camera as a newspaper reporter in a single scene -- one of 14 credits he had that year, and that was a slow year for him! In 1937, for example, he was in 27 movies.

FRONT PAGE WOMAN was directed by Michael Curtiz. It runs 82 minutes.

I saw this film thanks to Turner Classic Movies, which aired it last week. TCM has the trailer on its website.

This movie was just released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

FRONT PAGE WOMAN is one more title in what's becoming a long list of "newspaper" movies seen this year! It joins THE LAWLESS (1950), TRY AND GET ME (1950), HIGH TIDE (1947), PICTURE SNATCHER (1933), JOHNNY COME LATELY (1943), APPOINTMENT WITH A SHADOW (1957), THE SELLOUT (1952), and IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934).


Blogger barrylane said...

Love this film -- but I am a George Brent admirer.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Cliff Aliperti said...

Didn't really care for this one. The humor didn't work for me and the behind the scenes jostling during the courtroom scene kind of escaped me. Love Brent, but Bette Davis never really clicks for me in this type of comedy.

8:57 AM  
OpenID willmckinley said...

Just ordered this from Warner Archive. I'll let you know what I think!

9:21 AM  

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