Friday, 6 May 2011

Best Actor 1931: Adolphe Menjou in The Front Page

Adolphe Menjou received his only Oscar nomination for portraying newspaper editor Walter Burns in The Front Page.

The Front Page is an okay screwball comedy, but its remake His Girl Friday is superior.

Adolphe Menjou is barely in the film for about its whole first half, he only shows briefly as Walter Burns lures his best reporter Hildy (Pat O'Brien) into following the story of a man who is about to be executed. In this brief scene Burns convinces Hildy by basically threatening to put a  frame up on him  by falsely calling the fire department and falsely blaming him. Its a short scene but Menjou is fine in showing the sly controlling way of his character, showing he is always two steps ahead of everyone.

He shows up eventually once again to push Hildy, and Hildy's fiancee, and just about everyone else around as he orchestrates the events to turn out the exact way he wants to. I will say Menjou is good and is properly commanding in his manipulations of everyone and everything around. He has a good enough amount of energy, and shows up the underlying intelligence of his character through his manner, such his shifty eyes.

Although he is fine, and seems downright amazing when the last performance someone saw was Richard Dix, he still could have been even better as Cary Grant is in the same role in His Girl Friday. The rating may seem a little low but I do like him, its just he just does not have that much to overall, and he as Grant showed the role can be something really effective and entertaining.

2 comments:

dinasztie said...

Haven't seen this but I'm a fan of the remake.

Sage Slowdive said...

Haven't seen it either.