By reluctant pretending to be a writer, he becomes a popular and sought-after figure among the TV producers and actors and makes friends with the beloved TV comedian Hecky Brown (Zero Mostel) who was blacklisted because of the marching during the May Day parade in his youth many years ago. Howard witnesses firsthand the spiral fall of the man who lost everything he lived for because he was not allowed to do the very thing he was born to do - to perform on public, to entertain, to make people laugh. If nothing else, "The Front" introduced me to Zero Mostel, the very symbol of great comedian and the victim of the witch hunts in the 1950. Mostel effortlessly steals every moment he is in, and his last scene could make a stone weep.
If you are prepared for a comedy, The Front is most certainly not a regular one even though it's got quite a few jokes, the majority of which had to do with Howard (Allen) repeating that he was not a writer and could not even write a grocery list. Coming from a man whose next film would be "Annie Hall" that brought him two Oscars for writing and directing and who has received numerous awards and nominations for his work during several decades, especially, for screen writing, makes it for an excellent joke.
The film belongs to its time by giving very personal and honest account on what it was like to be on the notorious blacklist but it works fine for today audiences as well. It's been over 60 years since the dark times of the blacklists, the hunt for the dissenters, for those whose opinions, beliefs, preferences were different from the generally accepted but we all should know about the gross injustice that resulted in many broken lives and never let the dark era of paranoia, abuse of power, and hypocrisy prevail again.