Switching Channels

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This fourth cinema version of Hecht and MacArthur’s The Front Page warrants only a brief mention in the obituary column. Kotcheff’s workmanlike update shifts the action to the newsroom of a satellite TV station, where Reynolds’ workaholic newshound is trying to lure ex-wife and fellow hotshot journo Turner away from tanned tycoon Reeve with talk of a once-in-a-lifetime scoop. The human interest angle is Gibson, a doomed convict who killed the man who supplied his son with the drugs on which he OD’d. But the supplier happened to be an undercover policeman, hence the tabloid moniker ‘Cop Killer Dad’ and the imminent appointment with the electric chair. Ned Beatty gets the best comic lines as the slimy DA who’s also trying to manipulate the situation to his best advantage. Neither Jonathan Reynolds’ enervated script nor the lacklustre performances do anything to dispel the feeling of déjà vu.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Screenwriter: Jonathan Reynolds
Cast: Kathleen Turner
Burt Reynolds
Christopher Reeve
Ned Beatty
Henry Gibson
George Newbern
Al Waxman
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