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Wallace Matthews

Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant in a scene from His Girl Friday, 1940 Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures & Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

On Thursday, July 13, Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre will launch a new film and discussion series, presented in partnership with Wallace Matthews, former columnist for Newsday, the New York Post and ESPN. The series will use the medium of film to examine the relationship between Hollywood and the News.

Titled This Just In! The love-hate relationship between Hollywood and the News Media, the series will begin by looking at films from Hollywood’s pre-code era, and move throughout history, examining films that depict newsrooms and journalists — analyzing how they have been depicted in the movies throughout different periods of history. Each program will feature a film screening followed by an audience discussion led by Matthews.

The first three films covered in the series will be Lewis Milestone’s The Front Page, Mervyn LeRoy’s Five Star Final, and Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday.

‘The Front Page’

Thursday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Chicago’s reporter Hildy Johnson (Pat O’Brien) wants to quit newspaper work and get married, but his editor, Walter Burns (Adolphe Menjou), is determined to keep him on the job. The court pressroom is full of lame reporters, all waiting to cover the hanging of Earl Williams. When Williams escapes custody, Hildy seizes the opportunity and bribes an insider to get the scoop on the escape. Can he keep Williams’ whereabouts secret long enough to get the scoop, especially with the Sheriff and other reporters hovering around? 

‘Five Star Final’

Thursday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Edward G. Robinson stars as Joseph Randall, the ruthless newspaper-editor who will go to any length to get a headline for the Five Star Final. Facing declining circulation, he decides to dig up a 20-year-old killing. He sends reporter Vernon Isopod (Boris Karloff) undercover to get a photograph of Nancy Townsend as she prepares for her daughter’s wedding. Now a pillar of society, Townsend shot her lover decades ago. But there are tragic consequences when Randall publishes the photo of Townsend with the story of the shooting. 

‘His Girl Friday’

Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m.

One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson — who is matched only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter (Cary Grant), who attempts to use every tick in the book to keep her from remarrying. When adapting Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s play The Front Page, Howard Hawks had the idea of turning reporter Hildy into a woman, and the result is an immortal mix of hard-boiled newsroom setting with ebullient remarriage comedy. 


The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave in Huntington. Tickets to the films are $15, $10 members. For more information on this and other events at the CAC, call 631-423-7610 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.