70 user 52 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.


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




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


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


America's Most Unlikely Hero. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Michael Murphy, Danny Aiello and David Margulies all appeared in later Woody Allen films: Murphy in Manhattan (1979), Aiello in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and Radio Days (1987) and Margulies in Celebrity (1998). See more »


Investigator Hennessey (as his name is spelled in the credits) is shown sitting at his desk on which there is a nameplate which reads Francis K. Hennessy. See more »


Howard Prince: Oh, Jesus, you know, we got such a terrific relationship going. So why do you want to spoil it?
Florence Barrett: A relationship isn't only sex, you know. There are more important aspects.
Howard Prince: I know there are. Like what?
Florence Barrett: Human rights.
Howard Prince: What about my rights? I'm a human. What happened to my rights all of a sudden?
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 »


Referenced in I Am Woody (2003) See more »


Daisy Bell
Written by Harry Dacre
[played during Old Gold commercial]
See more »

User Reviews

At times funny (ironically) and at times deadly serious (without irony at all)
4 April 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Front (1976)

Deeply serious and sometimes hilarious, Martin Ritt makes an improbable critique of McCarthyism using several once-blacklisted actors and Woody Allen, then at one of his peaks of fame.

Allen, though, is limited by his role, and seems to be Woody Allen rather than one of his more exaggerated characters. Some of his lines seem written by him, rather than just for him, which would be appropriate (people writing under assumed names). The real star of the show is Zero Mostel as a blacklisted comic actor. He plays it straight and zany with equal power, a real joy.

Most of all is the point--that we can't forget how insidious this kind of spying and lying and persecution can get, so that even well meaning people go along as a matter of fear, or expedience, or just laziness. We'd like to think we wouldn't fall for a new McCarthy, but I think we very well might, in some new form, and sooner than we'd like. Movies like this (and Good Night and Good Luck) might forestall it. While not a work of terrible originality or genius, it's completely enjoyable and worth the time.

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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


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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