The Front is a bit messy in going back and forth between light romantic comedy, satire, and serious (often heavy-handed) dramatic moments. When playing stuff for comedy, mainly whenever Allen is onscreen, the film is a winning, sweet and often hilarious look at a part of the Cold War I had never seen or clearly imagined before. The serious moments carry some weight, thanks mostly to Zero Mostel, who finds the sad, broken core of his character without touting it in front of himself like a signpost. The majority of the rest of the cast (Ramsay, Bernardi and Marcovicci) seem to be in a different film, with performances that broadcast their actions and emotions so loudly they feel like they belong on a stage on not the screen. Still, the film succeeds when focused on Allen, someone I love as a performer and brings his nebbish charm to great use here. The film tries to focus on the injustice of the blacklists during the Cold War, and while it manages to squeeze some compelling drama from that scenario, more interesting themes on lies, mutually beneficial (and successful) relationships, and true friendship manage to come up for air.
Also, The Front has one of the most hilarious punch lines I've seen.