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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

Chapter List

Side #1 --
1. Start [:51]
2. "Young at Heart" [2:35]
3. Howard Prince [1:33]
4. Blacklisted [5:35]
5. Phil Sussman & Florence Barrett [3:10]
6. Hecky Brown, Red Dupe [3:15]
7. Grand Central [2:28]
8. Lunch with The Involved [6:10]
9. Widening the Front [3:43]
10. Script Conferences [4:28]
11. The Rewrite [3:31]
12. Fired [1:16]
13. The Writer Is Really the Star [:41]
14. "Help Me. Please." [3:48]
15. Confusing the Artist & the man [3:54]
16. Hecky's Club Date [7:14]
17. Herschel Brownstein [3:07]
18. The Party [2:46]
19. Howard's Standards [1:41]
20. Reconciliation [2:15]
21. Phil Takes a Stand [2:04]
22. The Deal [2:09]
23. Hospital Visit [3:34]
24. A Big Hit in Pennsylvania [3:42]
25. Time to Go [3:27]
26. "I'm a Front" [5:36]
27. House Committee on Un-American Activities [5:46]
28. A Prince of a Prince [4:06]

See Also