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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:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Allen ... Howard Prince
Zero Mostel ... Hecky Brown
Herschel Bernardi ... Phil Sussman
Michael Murphy ... Alfred Miller
Andrea Marcovicci ... Florence Barrett
Remak Ramsay Remak Ramsay ... Francis X. Hennessey
Marvin Lichterman Marvin Lichterman ... Myer Prince
Lloyd Gough ... Herbert Delaney
David Margulies ... William Phelps
Joshua Shelley Joshua Shelley ... Sam - Resort Operator
Norman Rose Norman Rose ... Howard's Attorney
Charles Kimbrough ... Committee Counselor
Josef Sommer ... Committee Chairman (as M. Josef Sommer)
Danny Aiello ... Danny LaGattuta
Georgann Johnson ... 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

America's Most Unlikely Hero. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1977 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

The Front See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several people involved in this film were themselves on the McCarthy-era blacklists that it is about: director Martin Ritt; writer Walter Bernstein; and actors Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, Lloyd Gough and Joshua Shelley. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Featured in The Making of 'The Front' (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 JasparLamarCrabbSee 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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