The Front

The Front

DVD - 2004
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A cashier poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2004.
ISBN: 9780767889155
Branch Call Number: DVD FEATURE Front
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.


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Apr 06, 2017

This movie is appropriate for young children. I enjoyed this movie. There is no violence and no sex. It effectively shows how horrendous poor human rights and social isolation are. The story is strong. The characters are developed. It is well acted. It shows the importance of wrong and right in life. It promotes have strong moral values and treating each other fairly with justice. It appreciates the freedom of a democracy and speech.

Dec 05, 2014

In the early 1950s the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) headed by the infamous senator Joe McCarthy was convinced that the entertainment industry was crawling with communist sympathizers. In order to root out these subversive “reds” a series of political witch hunts ensued which saw scores of people from the film and television sector lose their jobs, victims of harried informants and an unofficial “black list”. Opening with a montage of 50’s video memorabilia including scenes from McCarthy’s wedding and bombing raids over North Korea, Martin Ritt’s angry film, drawn largely from his own recollections of that time, follows the story of Howard Prince (Woody Allen playing it straight), a meek cashier at a New York diner who poses as an author in order to help a trio of blacklisted writers sell their screenplays. Taking credit for the scripts himself (and later splitting the royalties with the three men) Prince is initially drawn by the easy money—but when he witnesses the decline and fall of a once respected comedian thanks to the gestapo-like tactics employed by the HUAC his political apathy quickly turns to anger putting him squarely in the crosshairs of the commie hunters who had had their suspicions about him all along… Rife with bitter ironies and just a touch of seditious humour, The Front features some heartfelt performances (especially Zero Mostel as the beleaguered comedian) backed by an intelligent and literary script. A dark period in contemporary American history made all the more touching after the closing credits reveal that many of the people involved in its making, including Ritter and Mostel, were blacklisted themselves.

Aug 24, 2014

A decent film with an ending that still pulls a good punch.However the great Zero Mostel steals the show in a partially autobiographical tour du force performance. Mostel was certainly the wittiest unfriendly witness that HUAC called to testify. On the one hand, the Hollywood connection to HUAC gets way too much exposure compared to the countless other people and professions that were affected, mostly due to narcissism. But at the end of the day its hard not to admire Mostel, a true force of nature and possibly the most underrated entertainer of the 20th century. There's something very noble about him.


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