The Front

1976, Comedy/Drama, 1h 33m

25 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

In the 1950s, restaurant cashier Howard Prince (Woody Allen) is apathetic toward the politics around him. When a blacklisted screenwriter (Michael Murphy) asks Howard to sell a script under his own name, Howard sees an opportunity to make a profit and becomes a "front" for several blacklisted writers. But after he witnesses the social destruction of a comedian (Zero Mostel), Howard sees the corruption of McCarthyism and decides to do something to make a difference.

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Critic Reviews for The Front

Audience Reviews for The Front

  • Mar 02, 2021
    Woody Allen is miscast in this earnest dramatic effort about the blacklist of TV, radio and movie performers and creative leads. On the other hand, Zero Mostel is perfect as an actor destroyed by the blacklist. Mostel is one of several formerly blacklisted people in the cast and production.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 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.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 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
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 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.
    Josh M Super Reviewer

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