Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Front (1976)

In one of only a handful of films he appeared in that he did not direct, acclaimed filmmaker Woody Allen stars in the 1976 comedy/drama The Front. The film, which deals with blacklisting in the entertainment industry in 1950s New York City, was directed by formerly blaclisted director Martin Ritt (The Long Hot Summer, Norma Rae, The Sound and the Fury) and co-stars former blacklisted actors Zero Mostel (Mel Brooks' The Producers) and Hershel Barnard

Allen plays Howard Prince, a down-on-his luck cashier who poses as a writer for blacklisted talents to submit their work through, but the injustice around him pushes him to take a stand.

Around the 1:12:50 mark in the film, Howard is visited by Hecky Brown (Zero Mostel), a blacklisted actor from a television show Harold is "writing" for; Hecky is cooperating with the HUAC to entrap Harold into admitting he is a fellow Communist.  They have the following exchange:

How's it going?

Hecky Brown:
Not bad.  Club date.  Out-of-town.  Not bad.  Scranton.  Allentown.  Altoona.  You didn't know I was a big hit in Pennsylvania.

The Front is available to borrow on DVD from the library; click here to place a hold.  It was also recently released on Blu Ray by Twilight Time.

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