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Front, The (1976)

America's Most Unlikely Hero.

Original Title : Front, The
Director : Martin Ritt
Writer : Walter Bernstein
Genre : Comedy
Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Robert Greenhut , Charles H. Joffe , Martin Ritt , Jack Rollins
Music : Dave Grusin
Photography : Michael Chapman
IMDB ID : 0074554
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poster for "Front, The" by Martin Ritt (1976)
Front, The (1976) - Martin Ritt
 

Starring

┬Woody Allen Howard Prince
┬Zero Mostel Hecky Brown
┬Herschel Bernardi Phil Sussman
┬Michael Murphy Alfred Miller
┬Andrea Marcovicci Florence Barrett
┬Remak Ramsay Hennessey
┬Marvin Lichterman Myer Prince
┬Lloyd Gough Delaney
┬David Margulies Phelps
┬Joshua Shelley Sam
┬Norman Rose Howard's Attorney
┬Charles Kimbrough Committee Counselor
┬Josef Sommer Committee Chairman (as M. Josef Sommer
┬Danny Aiello Danny LaGattuta
┬Georgann Johnson TV Interviewer
┬Scott McKay Hampton
┬David Clarke Hubert Jackson
┬I.W. Klein Bank Teller
┬John Bentley Bartender
┬Julie Garfield Margo
┬Murray Moston Boss
┬MacIntyre Dixon Harry Stone (as McIntyre Dixon
┬Rudolph Willrich Tailman (as Rudolph Wilrich
┬Burt Britton Bookseller
┬Albert Ottenheimer School principal (as Albert M. Ottenheimer
┬William Bogert Parks
┬Joey Faye Waiter
┬Marilyn Sokol Sandy
┬John Slater T.V. director (as John J. Slater
┬Renee Paris Girl in Hotel Lobby
┬Gino Gennaro Stage Hand
┬Joan Porter Myer's Wife
┬Andrew Bernstein Alfred's child
┬Jacob Bernstein Alfred's child
┬Matthew Tobin Man At Party
┬Marilyn Persky His date
┬Sam McMurray Young Man At Party
┬Joe Jamrog FBI Man
┬Michael B. Miller FBI Man (as Michael Miller
┬Lucy Lee Flippin Nurse
┬Jack Davidson Congressman
┬Donald Symington Congressman
┬Pat McNamara Federal Marshal (as Patrick McNamara
┬Joe DiMaggio Himself (archive footage
┬Dwight D. Eisenhower Himself (with Lily Pons
┬Mamie Eisenhower Herself (with Lily Pons
┬Stephen Hayes Alfred's child (uncredited
┬Douglas MacArthur Himself (in tickertape parade
┬Joseph McCarthy Himself (at his wedding
┬Marilyn Monroe Herself (archive footage
┬Lily Pons Herself (with Pres. and Mrs. Eisenhower
┬Ethel Rosenberg Herself (archive footage
┬Julius Rosenberg Himself (archive footage
┬Harry S. Truman Himself (archive footage
 

Plot

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.
 

Comments

Powerful and affecting film about the Blacklist. It's the 1950's, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has whipped America and especially Hollywood into an anti-communitst frenzy.Anyone who ever had ties to the left wing is persecuted and denied employment.Which means a big opportunity for Woody Allen (acting only, he didn't write or direct) to make a few bucks selling scripts written by blacklisted writers, being the "Front" of the title.Little does he know what he's getting into.Woody's masquerade starts as a favor to a pal in trouble and a chance for easy money, but it quickly snowballs into serious involvement with some very ugly things. Great script and excellent performances by Allen and Andrea Marcovicci, but the film is lifted to terrifying heights by the magnificent Zero Mostel as a blacklisted comic.Every indignity and loss he faces is reflected in his wonderful face with a terrible sweet-natured dignity, you can see the weariness and hopelessness growing in his eyes scene by scene. His tragedy changes the lives of all the other characters, and makes the film the fine thing that it is. There's a lot of wit and black humor in this film, but overall it's a very affecting tragedy, one with a fine, strong, yet hopeful ending.
 
poster for "Front, The"
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Front, The (1976) - Martin Ritt
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