Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Front - Movie Review

Apparently Hollywood had a blacklist in the 1950s. Those with communist leanings - attending parades, subscriptions to communist literature etc - were all identified and laid off work subtly. The movie is based entirely on the infamous blacklist and has been produced by some of the blacklisted. We live and learn.

Howard Prince (Woody Allen) is a cashier who is hired by his friend, a blacklisted writer, to act as a front for him. The perpetually broke Prince works out a deal with his friend and acts as his front (as a new writer) with the production house. His stuff is accepted and he soon becomes the front for many writers, in the process making much money and earning himself an admiring girl friend who thinks he is the brains behind those stories. For a while Howard starts behaving like the star he has become but he realises the gravity of the situation when one of the blacklisted actors, Hecky Brown commits suicide. He tells the committee exactly what he thinks of it and we in the audience agree.

Zero Mostel is a revelation as Hecky Brown. Fantastic. Woody Allen is young and himself. It's a fine movie and I am glad they made it. Now we know of the stuff that went on. Whew!

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