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:

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:

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

In addition to the fact that they had both been blacklisted, actors Zero Mostel (Hecky Brown) and Herschel Bernardi (Phil Sussman) had both played the lead role of Tevye the Dairyman in the original Broadway production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof: Mostel originated the role in 1964, while Bernardi assumed the role in 1967. In 2015, Herschel Bernardi's son Michael C. Bernardi made his Broadway debut playing Mordcha the Inkeeper (and understudy to the role of Tevye) in a revival of Fiddler on the Roof. 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

[last lines]
Howard Prince: Fellas... I don't recognize the right of this committee to ask me these kind of questions. And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves.
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

Referenced in Birds of a Feather: The Front (1992) 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

Historically significant
7 October 2002 | by Sam-285See all my reviews

It's amazing to me that it has been more than a quarter of a century since this movie was made. I think at the time the movie was made it was said that it could not have been made before then because of the controversy; "Hollywood" would not have allowed it to be made.

This movie is of historical significance because it is based on reality; a reality that seems impossible now. I saw this movie in a theater in which another movie was shown first. The first movie was a documentary of the search for communists and the real-life story preceding the fictional portrayal of the same thing was a powerful combination.

I think this movie must be seen by all to see how unreasonable people can be if we are too intolerant.


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