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The Front (1976)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  17 September 1976 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,790 users  
Reviews: 56 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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Title: The Front (1976)

The Front (1976) on IMDb 7.4/10

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

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Cast

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

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America's Most Unlikely Hero.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El testaferro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final physical appearance of actor-comedian Zero Mostel in a theatrical feature film though Mostel does voice the Kehaar character in the later 1978 film Watership Down (1978). See more »

Goofs

When Howard and Florence are walking down a NYC street, a woman wearing 70s fashions can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Hecky Brown: [Parting words to Howard] Take care of yourself. The water is full of sharks.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Daisy Bell
Written by Harry Dacre
Played during Old Gold commercial
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User Reviews

 
A film that looks HUAC straight in the eye and doesn't flinch
2 December 2003 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

The Front tells the story of an average Joe Loser whose friend, a blacklisted television writer asks for his identity so he can continue working. Thus begins not only an acceptable scam, but a personal odyssey for this man, played by Woody Allen. He begins to be become a `front' for other blacklisted writers as well, presenting their material as his own. His evolution is such that while he began to do this mainly for his own profit, he ends up taking a stand on behalf of the blacklisted artists he knows and along the way, finding his own relevance in life.

While starring Woody Allen, the film was directed by Martin Ritt, a blacklisted artist himself. Additionally, it featured a blacklisted writer and several blacklisted actors, including Zero Mostel. There are definite comedic moments in the film, but they are generally limited to a line or the facial expression of a character, therefore I consider this to be a largely dramatic film. (Albeit light drama). Making a comedy about HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and the Hollywood Blacklist is like offering a comedy about the Salem Witch Trails. Both events involved the destruction of the lives of the victims due to the paranoia and hysteria of their contemporary societies and neither subject is comic fodder.

Of the films centering on HUAC that I have seen, The Front is by far the most representative and most meaningful I have seen to date. The Front is a very important chronicle of a dark period in 20th century history and deserves the many accolades it has received.

--Shelly


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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