7.4/10
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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.

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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:
...
...
...
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
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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 | 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1977 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

El testaferro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Martin Ritt, who said of the McCarthy-era black-listing: "They [the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)] wanted me to turn my friends in. A rat does that, and has to live with it the rest of his life." In 'Picking Up the Tab: The Life and Movies of Martin Ritt' by Carlton Jackson, Ritt said of Elia Kazan's disclosure: "Oh, Kazan and I still talked, but it was never the same. His behavior didn't help our relationship." 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's Attorney: This friend of yours, Alfred Miller...
Howard Prince: We went to school together.
Howard's Attorney: And you had no idea that he was a Communist?
Howard Prince: He was only 12.
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

Featured in Hollywood on Trial (1976) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent
18 September 2005 | by 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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