7.4/10
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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
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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:
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:

El testaferro 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

According to the "Every Woody Allen Movie" website, the later 2009 Woody Allen film Whatever Works (2009) was originally conceived and started being written around the time of this picture and was originally designed as being a vehicle for Zero Mostel, Allen's co-star in The Front (1976). See more »

Goofs

When Howard and Florence kiss in the park, the bi-level George Washington Bridge can be seen in the background. In c. 1953 when this movie takes place, the bridge only had one level. See more »

Quotes

Howard Prince: Where are you from?
Florence Barrett: Connecticut.
Howard Prince: That's very ritzy.
Florence Barrett: It's very proper anyway. I was very well bred - the kind of family where the biggest sin was to raise your voice.
Howard Prince: Oh yeah? In my family the biggest sin was to pay retail.
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 contra Franco (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
" Power in the wrong hands can be as deadly as a gun in the right hands "
3 April 2009 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Woody Allen has always had the power to make people laugh. However in 1976, he allowed his serious side to shine as he played Howard Prince a down-on-his-luck average guy. The movie, " The Front " tells the story of a simple unemployed man, financially strapped who is asked by Black listed writer Alfred Miller (Michael Murphy) to submit a play to the Television studios, using his own name. With little concern, Howard does and is surprisingly accepted and paid. In time, other writers give him additional plays and for a percentage of their royalties, Howard gets the credit. He is so successful he comes to the attention of HUAC (House on UnAmerican Committee) and is asked to co-operate by revealing names of friends who may be affiliated with communists organizations. One of his friends is comedian is 'Hecky Brown' (Zero Mostel) a likable and struggling comic who tries to stay out of trouble but is threatened, coerced and driven to suicide by the powerful yet nameless shadowy men working for Joseph MaCarthy. Howard Prince is no writer, but he is a man of courage and conviction who exemplifies the courage necessary to combat the malignant evil which can arise when dark powers such as Senator MaCarthy go unchecked. Allen is superb and for his effort has given this movie the status of a social Classic which stands of its own accord. ****


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