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:
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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Woody Allen's last starring role in a film that he did not write and direct until Scenes from a Mall (1991) 15 years later. See more »


An establishing shot up the Bowery to the Peter Cooper statue (before the script exchange) doesn't include the El tracks, which would have still been present until the Third Avenue El made its last run in May 1955. See more »


Howard Prince: Where are you from?
Florence Barrett: Connecticut.
Howard Prince: That's very ritzy.
Florence Barrett: It's very proper anyway. I was very well bred - the kind of family where the biggest sin was to raise your voice.
Howard Prince: Oh yeah? In my family the biggest sin was to pay retail.
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 Rewind This! (2013) See more »


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.


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