• PG, 1 hr. 34 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Martin Ritt
    In Theaters:
    Sep 17, 1976 Wide
    On DVD:
    Feb 17, 2004
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment

Opening

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The Front Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Josh M

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2011
The Front is a worthwhile but flat film that combines a Woody Allen comic persona with an earnest desire to educate modern audiences (this was 76, it really feels like distant history now) with the Mcarthy Era witchhunts as they affected the enterainment world.Martin Ritt, himself having been blacklisted, assembled a strong cast who are up to the challenge, including Zero Mostel -also blacklisted-, in his most serious and touching (and almost last) screen appearance. However, this film feels weak and except for the last scene is not dramatic or high stakes enough to care. Woody Allen is a 'front' for some outcast Communist sympathizing writers. Until the last very effective scene, the movie wastes potentially dramatic betrayals by having eveyone be too nice and noble. The film would have been much more interesting, if, as the situation seems to lead to, someone would betray someone. Nobody does and the film doesn't live up to its promise. In any case, it's worth a rental if you can find it and are interested in the subject matter. George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck is a much more effective and dramatic movie about the same historical event, but if you want a bigger viewing list., give this one a look.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2006
Not that great but the last line makes the movie well worth seeing.
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2012
An effective dramedy that works as an indictment of McCarthyism and the use of blacklisting during the Red Scare. I wish the film had opted to focus more on the nuances of blacklisting, such as exploring the political motives of the committees, but instead it decided to focus more on Allen's character, which worked well, it just didn't help the film make the large statement it intended to make. At the same time, it did do a good job of showing the effects on those targeted, as well as the great ironies involved.

3.5/5 Stars
Daniel D

Super Reviewer

March 13, 2014
The Front stars Woody Allen (not written or directed by) as a front for blacklisted writers. I didn't find much funny with this movie, and often the story is bland. Woody Allens characters moral transitions, while important for the film, happened to quickly. He does have great chemistry with screen partner Zero Mostel though. The film really did win me over with the ending, and the charming credits. Shows the issues with blacklisting, and the industry during the red scare.
December 8, 2013
Formulaic, maybe, but also full of heart. Felt more like a Mel Brooks pic than one of Woody Allen's.
October 7, 2012
A funny take on the McCarthy era. But it manages to touch on the most brutal aspects of the trials while keeping us interested in Allen's average IQ character working with writing geniuses. Mostel was also good.
marevalo83
December 29, 2010
Couldn't pay so much attention, and I'm a really big Woody Allen fan overall. I think the subject matter has just lots its amusement value to some degree at this point.
March 28, 2007
This film works because of its immediacy -- the fact that it was largely made by former blacklistees. Zero Mostel will break your heart in this. There's blood on your hands, HUAC.
jam233
June 27, 2009
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.
dooritor
November 13, 2006
good movie, just not funny. very unlike woody allen. atleast at this point in is career, which is right before annie hall. but without knowing its a allen film, it is fabulous just by its self. best movie fighting the Unamerican commitee's ever.
Daniel D

Super Reviewer

March 13, 2014
The Front stars Woody Allen (not written or directed by) as a front for blacklisted writers. I didn't find much funny with this movie, and often the story is bland. Woody Allens characters moral transitions, while important for the film, happened to quickly. He does have great chemistry with screen partner Zero Mostel though. The film really did win me over with the ending, and the charming credits. Shows the issues with blacklisting, and the industry during the red scare.
Adrian B.
September 25, 2013
Okay comedy/drama for which a cashier named Howard Prince (Woody Allen) tries to break into showbiz. He finds a way through a television writer (Michael Murphy), who has been blacklisted from all networks, by replacing him in the writing division. There he pairs up with an idiotic comic (Zero Mostel) and their interests begin to clash. This film tries, but for me, it only has marginal success. It doesn't out like a competitor from the same year "Network" which dives much deeper and more effectively into corrupt television topics. This film is passable, but not great.
September 24, 2012
UGH. I can't tell if I liked this movie or I just flat out hated it because god, Woody Allen's character is so fucking annoying. Does he always act this way? He has these super annoying acting mannerisms like the head bobbing thing he does, or waving his hands around like a nervous idiot. And ugh, his character is not sympathetic at all!! He's ignorant, foolish and just a dumb idiot who's also a selfish man who tries to get the woman he likes to cheat on her boyfriend! And when this girlfriend quits her job for "the greater good" he undermines her and tells her to go back to her job and apologize. Okay okay, so that might be the 1950s way of things but good gosh, Woody Allen was so annoying in this movie. "Here" becomes "hee-ah" and "fair" becomes "fay-ah". HIS ACCENT IS ANNOYING. Woody Allen sir, you may be a decent director ("Midnight in Paris" and "Match Point") but I hope you're not like this in any of your other movies. Hope this is just your character and not your acting style.
June 21, 2012
"the front" is an amusing film, mainly because it's lead character is played wonderfully and hilariously by woody allen. other than that, the film really isn't a comedy, but a very well written drama that chooses to not take itself too seriously.
Diego Tutweiller
April 16, 2012
Not Allen's best, even remotely. But the line "And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves" is still just as awesome as ever.
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2012
An effective dramedy that works as an indictment of McCarthyism and the use of blacklisting during the Red Scare. I wish the film had opted to focus more on the nuances of blacklisting, such as exploring the political motives of the committees, but instead it decided to focus more on Allen's character, which worked well, it just didn't help the film make the large statement it intended to make. At the same time, it did do a good job of showing the effects on those targeted, as well as the great ironies involved.

3.5/5 Stars
Josh M

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2011
The Front is a worthwhile but flat film that combines a Woody Allen comic persona with an earnest desire to educate modern audiences (this was 76, it really feels like distant history now) with the Mcarthy Era witchhunts as they affected the enterainment world.Martin Ritt, himself having been blacklisted, assembled a strong cast who are up to the challenge, including Zero Mostel -also blacklisted-, in his most serious and touching (and almost last) screen appearance. However, this film feels weak and except for the last scene is not dramatic or high stakes enough to care. Woody Allen is a 'front' for some outcast Communist sympathizing writers. Until the last very effective scene, the movie wastes potentially dramatic betrayals by having eveyone be too nice and noble. The film would have been much more interesting, if, as the situation seems to lead to, someone would betray someone. Nobody does and the film doesn't live up to its promise. In any case, it's worth a rental if you can find it and are interested in the subject matter. George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck is a much more effective and dramatic movie about the same historical event, but if you want a bigger viewing list., give this one a look.
David H.
November 9, 2011
May not be one of Woody's more well known movies, but it is still a thought provoking and funny film. Zero Mostel turns in a terrific performance in a film on blacklisting made by people who were once blacklisted.
FilmGrinder S.
October 13, 2011
65%

"Fellas, I don't recognize the right of this committe to ask me these kinds of questions. And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves."-Howard Prince (Woody Allen)

I liked the subject matter and the fact that the writer, director and some of the actors were actually blacklisted.
Asiyah M.
July 20, 2010
Watched this in my film class. Very enjoyable movie.
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