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The Front Page Analysis

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"The Front Page", written in 1927 by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, is about their lives in the Chicago press room as crime reporters during the Prohibition period. 6 men are on the job and fight for the best stories throughout the city trying to report about any big crime event.

Throughout the play you can see the characters and their actions; all the reporters seem to be quite rude and disrespectful. The first instance where this was seen was when Hildy Johnson, played by Grant Goodman, is asked to get on the phone to talk to his boss, Walter Burns (Mike Genovese). Hildy doesn't have a normal everyday conversation with his boss about what is going on but manages to sit their in front of his other buddies in the same business yelling at him and insulting his own boss. This same character, Hildy, has also proposed that he is leaving the newspaper business and going to New York with his fiancÐ"©e where he will have $150 per week salary and get away from this crime reporting. Rather than being truthful with his wife, Peggy, and leaving on the train with her he continues to tell her "Hold on, just 15 more minutes, I swear, it's the greatest thing that's happened; it's unbelievable." As much as Hildy may love Peggy and care about her, he doesn't show her much respect throughout the play. He even manages to spend his $260 honeymoon money to pay off an insider and get the scoop on the Earl Williams (Ken Jennings) escape story. It says a lot about himself when he focuses more on the job he just quit and getting money from this ridiculous story, where he manages to hide the convict then to leave with his new wife where he will start his new, higher paying job.

As Arnold Bennett states, "Journalists say a thing that they know isn't true, in the hope that if they keep on saying it long enough it will be true." This is a very good explanation of the reporters in the 20's and 30's. Many of them would lie and have some type of scheme in order to get stuff for a story, even if they manage to make up half of the story. It is their way to beat out the competition and stay ahead of everyone else. When the story happened to actually be true, these reporters only managed to give the basics of the story and reports, leaving the public out of the whole truth, not knowing the actual event in great detail.

The whole room manages to show their disrespect for others throughout the play. Even a local authority figure in the city, the police officer (Marshall Spann) manages to be nice to the reporters and run and pick up a bunch of burgers to eat down the street. In return what do the reporters do? Well one of them, Roy Bensinger (Ronn Carroll), argues to the officer about not getting the right kind of bread and not getting lettuce for him. Rather than thank anyone they all sit tied up in their own lives, trying to make other people's lives worse. Even Jennie, the cleaning lady, gets yelled at because she comes in the room at a bad time. She explains there's not another better time to clean and thought it would be alright but instead is told to leave and the reporters cannot believe her.

The stagecraft for "The Front Page" happens to work out very well. The setting is in the upper floor of a building on one of the main streets in Chicago. It looks like a lounge room with a main table and a few desks and other small tables and chairs with telephones and notepads all over. Most of the conversation and action takes place here. Walter Burns, the paper boss man for Hildy and others, is illuminating every time he is brought up in the picture and not in the press conference room. For instance, when everyone is in the press room, and



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