The Front (1976)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 September 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,151 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 40 critic

A cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herschel Bernardi ...
Phil Sussman
Alfred Miller
Remak Ramsay ...
Marvin Lichterman ...
Myer Prince
Lloyd Gough ...
Joshua Shelley ...
Norman Rose ...
Howard's Attorney
Committee Counselor
Committee Chairman (as M. Josef Sommer)
Danny LaGattuta
T. V. Interviewer


In the early 1950s Howard Prince, who works in a restaurant, helps out a black-listed writer friend by selling a TV station a script under his own name. The money is useful in paying off gambling debts, so he takes on three more such clients. Howard is politically pretty innocent, but involvement with Florence - who quits TV in disgust over things - and friendship with the show's ex-star - now himself blacklisted - make him start to think about what is really going on. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America's Most Unlikely Hero.


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 September 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El testaferro  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The writers in the deli, according to screenwriter Walter Bernstein, were a composite of himself, Abraham Polonsky, and Arnold Manoff. All three writers were blacklisted by Hollywood as a result of the anti-communist hysteria and House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings. All three also co-wrote the segments for the 1950's TV series You Are There (1953). See more »


Investigator Hennessey, as his name is spelled in the credits, is shown sitting at his desk on which there is a nameplate which reads Francis K. Hennessy. See more »


Florence Barrett: Do you want a drink?
Howard Prince: [Distracted and worried] Yeah, but just a drink.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits the people involved with the movie who were blacklisted are listed along with the year they were blacklisted. See more »


Referenced in Birds of a Feather: The Front (1992) See more »


Young at Heart
Sung by Frank Sinatra
Music by Johnny Richards
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
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User Reviews

18 September 2005 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Martin Ritt's and Walter Bernstein's excellent and very entertaining revenge film! Woody Allen is a bookie/restaurant cashier who, in order to help out a blacklisted writer-friend, agrees to front for him. Previously oblivious to the horrors of the blacklist, Allen soon realizes that people are not only unable to work, but are literally being destroyed. Director Ritt and screenwriter Bernstein, both victims of the '50s communist witch-hunt, exact their revenge by creating a character who, for all intent and purposes, is an everyman --- one capable of telling the government to go "F" itself! The large cast --- some of whom were also blacklisted --- is splendid. Herschel Bernardi, Lloyd Gough, Michael Murphy, and, best of a ll, Zero Mostel offer great support and Allen, in a rare acting only role, manages to give what is arguably his best screen performance. He brings his humor --- it's hard to believe some his dialogue, particularly in his scenes with leading lady Andrea Marcovicci --- isn't ad libbed, but also creates his deepest characterization. He's especially powerful when he attends the funeral of a blacklisted friend.

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