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The Front Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

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 Alfred's scripts, sells them, and takes a cut of the payment for his trouble. Howard's new career as a "writer" is an instant success, and soon Howard is fronting for a handful of blacklisted scribes while earning a healthy income and becoming the toast of the television industry; another fringe benefit is a romance with beautiful network employee Florence Barrett (Andrea Marcovicci). However, comic Hecky Brown (Zero Mostel), who had a brief fling with socialism years before, now finds his past catching up with him, and he's told in order to save his job as host of a weekly television show, he has to get the goods on some suspicious figures, among them Howard Prince, whose background looks a little too clean for comfort. The Front was written by Walter Bernstein, who was himself blacklisted during the 1950s, as were co-stars Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, and Lloyd Gough. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:September 17, 1976

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association John Schlesinger Best Director 1976 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Bernstein Best Original Screenplay 1976 Nominee

Cast

Woody Allen
as Howard Prince
Zero Mostel
as Hecky Brown
Herschel Bernardi
as Phil Sussman
Michael Murphy
as Alfred Miller
Andrea Marcovicci
as Florence Barrett
Remak Ramsay
as Hennessey
Marvin Lichterman
as Myer Prince
Lloyd Gough
as Delaney
David Margulies
as Phelps
Joshua Shelley
as Sam
Josef Sommer
as Committee Chairman
Danny Aiello
as Danny La Gattuta
Georgann Johnson
as TV Interviewer
Donald Symington
as Congressman
Polly Holliday
J. Patrick McNamara
as Federal Marshall
Julie Garfield
as Margo
Lucy Lee Flippin
as Nurse
Murray Moston
as Boss
Jack Davidson
as Congressman
Joe Jamrog
as FBI Man
John Bentley
as Bartender
Charles Kimbrough
as Committee Counselor
MacIntyre Dixon
as Harry Stone
Marilyn Sokol
as Sandy
Matthew Tobin
as Man at Party
Norman Rose
as Howard's Attorney
Rudolph Willrich
as Tallman
Sam McMurray
as Young Man at Party
William Bogert
as Parks

Crew

Martin Ritt
Director
Martin Ritt
Producer
Charles H. Joffe
Producer
Walter Bernstein
Screenwriter
Michael Chapman
Cinematographer
Dave Grusin
Composer (Music Score)
Sid Levin
Editor
Robert Greenhut
Associate Producer
Ruth Morley
Costume Designer
Tom Beckert
Sound/Sound Designer
Walter Goss
Sound/Sound Designer
James J. Sabat
Sound/Sound Designer
Juliet Taylor
Casting
Peggy Farrell
Costume/Wardrobe
Robert Jiras
Makeup
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