61 user 45 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.



Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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 | 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
Sleeper (1973)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A nerdish store owner is revived out of cryostasis into a future world to fight an oppressive government.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, John Beck
Bananas (1971)
Certificate: GP Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a bumbling New Yorker is dumped by his activist girlfriend, he travels to a tiny Latin American nation and becomes involved in its latest rebellion.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Louise Lasser, Carlos Montalbán
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In his attempts to reconcile a lounge singer with his mistress, a hapless talent agent is mistaken as her lover by a jealous gangster.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Nick Apollo Forte
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

On their 16th anniversary, a married couple's trip to a Beverly Hills mall becomes the stage for personal revelations and deceptions.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Bette Midler, Woody Allen, Bill Irwin
The Sunshine Boys (TV Movie 1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two aging comedians who acrimoniously dissolved their act eight years earlier must overcome their differences when they have the chance for a lucrative movie comeback.

Director: John Erman
Stars: Woody Allen, Peter Falk, Michael McKean
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With a serial strangler on the loose, a bookkeeper wanders around town searching for the vigilante group intent on catching the killer.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Michael Kirby
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A playboy who refuses to give up his hedonistic lifestyle to settle down and marry his true love seeks help from a demented psychoanalyst who is having romantic problems of his own.

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Romy Schneider
Radio Days (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A nostalgic look at radio's golden age focusing on one ordinary family and the various performers in the medium.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Mike Starr
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

While attending a retrospective of his work, a filmmaker recalls his life and his loves: the inspirations for his films.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper


Cast overview, first billed only:
... Howard Prince
... Hecky Brown
... Phil Sussman
... Alfred Miller
... Florence Barrett
Remak Ramsay ... Francis X. Hennessey
Marvin Lichterman ... Myer Prince
... Herbert Delaney
... William Phelps
Joshua Shelley ... Sam - Resort Operator
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 | Plot Synopsis


America's Most Unlikely Hero. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

January 1977 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

El testaferro  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's director Martin Ritt once said of working with actor Zero Mostel whose character was based on Ritt's black-listed friend who suicided: "I think it had a special significance for all of us, and I include Woody in that, though obviously he [Woody Allen] wasn't blacklisted. I had a good time working with Z [Zero]. He could be difficult. He didn't always get along perfectly with Woody. But they respected each other". See more »


The second taxi cab shown prominently is a mid-1970's Checker A12, as evidenced by the side reflectors and the large bumpers. The correct Checker for 1953 would be the model A6, which resembled late 1940's GM products. See more »


Howard Prince: That's the trouble with you leftos. You have this thing about money.
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 »


Featured in Hollywood contra Franco (2008) See more »


Come On Daisy
Music by Carrie Hoffman
Lyrics by Ira Gassman
Performed by Zero Mostel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A bookie/cashier becomes involved in the '50s Red Scare
26 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Woody Allen is "The Front" for blacklisted television writers in the 1950s in a film also starring Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, Andrea Marcovicci, and Michael Murphy. Several of the film's participants - director Ritt, writer Bernstein, actors Bernardi and Mostel, were themselves blacklisted.

Woody's character, Howard Prince, has moments of humor, but "The Front" is a drama, and a very good one. Prince agrees to front for a writer-friend and later takes on other blacklisted writers for money. Then comes the day that Prince himself is subpoenaed by the committee, and he has to make a decision about where he stands.

Along the way, Howard falls in love with a principled woman, Marcovicci, who becomes disgusted with the blacklist and quits her television job, and a pathetic comedian, Zero Mostel, who claims to have marched in a May Day parade and subscribed to a communist newspaper because he had a crush on a girl. Then he watches his career shrivel up.

I grew up in the '50s and remember the Red Scare very well, as in school we were always told that the Communists were coming. In Hollywood and Washington, it was believed that the Communists were here infiltrating our government, films, and television. Whether it was true or not is a separate issue from the persecution and hysteria that took place. Actress Lee Grant, for instance, was blacklisted because she went to a funeral of someone who had been accused of being a Communist. John Garfield, Kim Hunter, Gale Sondergaard, Mady Christians, Larry Parks - just a few of the actors blacklisted. There are many examples of people whose careers and lives were ruined because they had once attended a meeting to see what this political ideology was all about, or had a friend who was a Communist. Land of the free indeed.

6 of 6 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

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed