7.4/10
7,052
61 user 43 critic

The Front (1976)

PG | | Drama | January 1977 (Austria)
In 1953, 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.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: M Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The life and times of Virgil Starkwell, inept bank robber.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Janet Margolin, Marcel Hillaire
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A neurotic film critic obsessed with the movie Casablanca (1942) attempts to get over his wife leaving him by dating again with the help of a married couple and his illusory idol, Humphrey Bogart.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Keir Dullea, Janet Margolin, Howard Da Silva
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In czarist Russia, a neurotic soldier and his distant cousin formulate a plot to assassinate Napoleon.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Georges Adet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Phil Sussman
...
...
Remak Ramsay ...
Francis X. Hennessey
Marvin Lichterman ...
Myer Prince
...
Herbert Delaney
...
William Phelps
Joshua Shelley ...
Sam - Resort Operator
Norman Rose ...
...
Committee Counselor
...
Committee Chairman (as M. Josef Sommer)
...
Danny LaGattuta
...
T.V. Interviewer
Edit

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What if there were a list? A list that said: Our finest actors weren't allowed to act. Our best writers weren't allowed to write. What would it be like if there were such a list. It would be like America in 1953. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1977 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

El testaferro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene of Woody Allen as Howard Prince meeting Hecky Brown is almost identical to the description Gene Wilder gives of his first introduction to Zero Mostel prior to their collaboration in 'The Producers.' See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Howard Prince: [to his attorney] I - I still don't see why we can't fix it. You know what I me...? Pay somebody off 'cau - 'cause how much cou-could it cost, you know, 'cause they're just Congressmen?
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

Young at Heart
Sung by Frank Sinatra
Music by Johnny Richards
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
Arranged and Conducted by Nelson Riddle (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A funny and savage indictment of a crazy era
30 August 2001 | by See all my reviews

This film is directed by Martin Ritt from a screenplay by Walter Bernstein. Both director and writer, along with several members of the cast, were blacklisted during the 1950s. Woody Allen stars as Howard Prince a good-for-nothing restaurant cashier and part-time bookmaker. At the start of this film, Allen has the total schmuck persona that he used in many of his earlier films but as the film progresses he gradually develops a conscience until the ‘happy' ending when he performs an honorable act and is led away to prison. Ritt and Bernstein are highlighting the idiocy of the blacklist by having as their hero the money-grabbing, self-serving Prince. Eventually, even he cannot stomach what is going on in the name of decency and freedom. The film is darkly humorous and chilling in its depiction of an era when the owner of a small grocery store could dictate to a national network who it could and could not employ. At one point Prince has to rewrite a script about the holocaust because the programme sponsor is a gas company.

The film is a real achievement being both funny and a savage indictment of a crazy era, told with feeling by people who lived through it and suffered under it. The only misjudged performance is Zero Mostel's maudlin comedian. Michael Murphy turns up again as he does in many of Allen's early films. Andrea Marcovicci is effective as the beautiful and cerebral script editor who falls for Prince. Prince agonises over whether she loves the man or the artist, surely the inspiration for Allen's own exploration of the same theme in Bullets over Broadway nearly 20 years later.


15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 61 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page