The Front Page Criticism

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When The Front Page first opened in New York City in 1928, the play's critical praise was qualified by a controversy over language. Many reviewers considered it harsh and inappropriate.

J. Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times summed up the controversy. He asserted, "The Front Page, which is one of the tautest and most unerring melodramas of the day bruises the sensitive ear with a Rabelaisaian vernacular unprecedented for its uphill and down-dale blasphemy."

Still, Atkinson found much to praised. "Hilarious, gruesome, and strident by turns, The Front Page compresses lively dramatic material into a robust play." Atkinson closed his review with this qualifier: "Quite apart from its authenticity, which may be disputed, it adds a fresh peril to casual play going for the purposes of entertainment."

An unnamed colleague of Atkinson's at the New York Times came to a similar conclusion. The reviewer maintained: "Wrangling at poker...

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This section contains 690 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Front Page Study Guide
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The Front Page from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.