7.4/10
7,303
61 user 46 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.

Director:

Martin Ritt
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A wacky inventor and his wife invite two other couples for a weekend party at a romantic summer house in the 1900s countryside.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, José Ferrer
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
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
Bananas (1971)
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
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
Comedy
    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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Radio Days (1987)
Comedy
    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
Interiors (1978)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Three sisters find their lives spinning out of control in the wake of their parents' sudden, unexpected divorce.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Diane Keaton, Geraldine Page, Kristin Griffith
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Seven stories are trying to answer the question: what is sex? Or maybe they are not trying.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Gene Wilder, Louise Lasser
Edit

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
Edit

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

America's Most Unlikely Hero. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actors Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, who around this time headlined All the President's Men (1976), were considered for the lead role that in the end went to Woody Allen. Warren Beatty was also considered. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hecky Brown: [Parting words to Howard] Take care of yourself. The water is full of sharks.
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 Arena: Cinema (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A film that looks HUAC straight in the eye and doesn't flinch
2 December 2003 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

The Front tells the story of an average Joe Loser whose friend, a blacklisted television writer asks for his identity so he can continue working. Thus begins not only an acceptable scam, but a personal odyssey for this man, played by Woody Allen. He begins to be become a `front' for other blacklisted writers as well, presenting their material as his own. His evolution is such that while he began to do this mainly for his own profit, he ends up taking a stand on behalf of the blacklisted artists he knows and along the way, finding his own relevance in life.

While starring Woody Allen, the film was directed by Martin Ritt, a blacklisted artist himself. Additionally, it featured a blacklisted writer and several blacklisted actors, including Zero Mostel. There are definite comedic moments in the film, but they are generally limited to a line or the facial expression of a character, therefore I consider this to be a largely dramatic film. (Albeit light drama). Making a comedy about HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and the Hollywood Blacklist is like offering a comedy about the Salem Witch Trails. Both events involved the destruction of the lives of the victims due to the paranoia and hysteria of their contemporary societies and neither subject is comic fodder.

Of the films centering on HUAC that I have seen, The Front is by far the most representative and most meaningful I have seen to date. The Front is a very important chronicle of a dark period in 20th century history and deserves the many accolades it has received.

--Shelly


20 of 21 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