The Front
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The McCarthy-era "witch hunts" in the entertainment industry set the stage for this comedy drama set in the 1950s. Howard Prince (Woody Allen) is a cashier at a corner bar who works as a small-time bookie on the side, with little success. One day, Howard's old friend Alfred Miller (Michael Murphy), a successful television writer, makes a business proposal to him; Alfred's leftist political views have resulted in him being blacklisted from the major television networks, and he can no longer get work. Alfred asks Howard to act as a "front" -- Howard puts his name on… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An empty monument to the senility of American liberalism."
‑ , Time Out
"Ritt's direction is all sweaty close-ups and mismatched shots."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Although made by those who were punished by being blacklisted during that period, the film disappoints by being so politically mild."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Bernstein smartly suggests how capitalism actually benefited from the oppression of suspected communists."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"A well-balanced story of McCarthyism."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"It recreates the awful noise of ignorance that can still be heard."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"As directed by Martin Ritt and played by Woody Allen, this is a well intentioned but oversimplified tale, which is mostly useful as an historical reminder of a shameful chapter in Hollywood's blacklisting era"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Any reminder of the tribulations undergone by the blacklistees serves a useful and eye-opening purpose, but good intentions and a sense of martyrdom don't by themselves fill the glass."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"Proves that no one can escape the long and intrusive arm of politics and evade involvement"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Offers the bonus of the reality of its makers' involvement, and one of the greatest closing lines in the history of film."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"The tragedy implied by this character tells us what we need to know about the blacklist's effect on people's lives; the rest of the movie adds almost nothing else."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A pretty sluggish movie."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The Front may not be all you need to know about the 1950's blacklist tragedy, but it's certainly one of the finest films ever made on the subject."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"It could have been a fierce sideswipe, but ends up a gentle swat."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Front on Rotten Tomatoes