About The Film
Woody Allen is a schlemiel stumbling into unexpected nobility by aiding a blacklisted TV writer, in the McCarthy-era tragi-comedy THE FRONT.
In an inspired bit of casting, Allen upends audience expectations in his first straight dramatic role as self-absorbed loser Howard Prince, a New York cashier and small-time bookie. When schoolmate Alfred Miller, a successful screenwriter, is blacklisted for his leftist views, Howard agrees to be a front, putting his name on Alfred’s scripts and submitting them to the TV networks. The favor turns into a lucrative venture, until Howard’s success draws the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Testifying before Congress, the coward-turned-celebrity must summon the guts to take a moral stand in the face of blackmail and personal tragedy. Supporting roles include Zero Mostel as a blacklisted comic, love interest Andrea Marcovicci, and Herschel Bernardi as a network producer.
Drawing on real life incidents of the 1950s Red Scare, the briskly intelligent Oscar-nominated script was written by Walter Bernstein, himself a target of blacklisting along with several of the film’s co-stars. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is proud to present a special 40th Anniversary screening of this scathing indictment of McCarthyism, which still resonates today.