- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Michael Whitty
Blacklisted Hollywood writers have to use Woody Allen as their "front" to get their scripts sold. We might remember Dalton Trumbo was one who had to change his name for script use and he did that all through the 50s and won two Academy Awards too because he sided with communist sympathizers. It was touch and go for these communist sympathizers who had a hard time selling scripts but they would invent ways of getting through. This is more of a serious Woody Allen film before he made "Annie Hall" as he helped the writers get their scripts through.
The Front - A Look At A Dark Period In America
- Bruce Reber
"The Front" is an interesting and entertaining look at the McCarthy Era of the 1950's, when actors, directors and screenwriters with any hint of association with Communism or leftist political leanings were summoned before HUAC. Some copped out and named names in order to save their careers and continue working; others stuck to their guns and refused to cooperate and were blacklisted and/or sent to prison. I went to see it when it came out, and I remember the tag line - "What if our best actors weren't allowed to act, our best directors weren't allowed to direct and our best writers weren't allowed to write? It would be America in 1953! Woody Allen stars in one of the few films that he didn't direct; he and all of the cast give marvelous performances. Several of the stars of "The Front" (Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, Lloyd Gough and Joshua Shelley), screenwriter Walter Bernstein and director Martin Ritt were themselves blacklisted for refusing to cooperate with HUAC, and also for being "naive" and "dumb" enough to believe their politics were nobody's business but their own. Mostel was a great comic actor, starring in "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" and "The Producers", Ritt directed powerful films like "Hud" and "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold", and Bernstein wrote the screenplay for the doomsday suspenser "Fail Safe".
**** I liked this one alot. Very interesting and informative film. Zero Mostel was great, he gets your attention in every scene. Woody was his usual self great.
The Front (1976)
- Jay Higgins
Incredibly well directed and written, the acting is fantastic. Woody Allen is great and Zero Mostel is superb in his best role. The story about blacklisting is so interesting and the film makes you think and wonder.