The Front (1930) USA
The Front Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Martin Ritt
Studio:Sony Pictures
Producer:Paul Monash
Writer:Erich Maria Remarque, Maxwell Anderson
Date Added:2006-03-27
Awards:Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Sound:Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Languages:English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Full Screen
Martin Ritt  ...  (Director)
Erich Maria Remarque, Maxwell Anderson  ...  (Writer)
Louis Wolheim  ...  Kat Katczinsky
Lew Ayres  ...  Paul Bäumer
John Wray  ...  Himmelstoss
Arnold Lucy  ...  Professor Kantorek
Ben Alexander  ...  Franz Kemmerich
Scott Kolk  ...  Leer
Owen Davis Jr.  ...  Peter
Walter Rogers  ...  Behn (as Walter Browne Rogers)
William Bakewell  ...  Albert Kropp
Russell Gleason  ...  Mueller
Richard Alexander  ...  Westhus
Harold Goodwin  ...  Detering
Slim Summerville  ...  Tjaden
G. Pat Collins  ...  Lieutenant Bertinck (as Pat Collins)
Beryl Mercer  ...  Mrs. Bäumer - Paul's Mother
Woody Allen  ...  
Zero Mostel  ...  
Michael Murphy  ...  
Andrea Marcovicci  ...  
Herschel Bernardi  ...  
Comments: At last....the motion picture!

Summary: The Front is both a comic delight and perhaps the most graceful act of show business revenge in cinema history. Written by, directed by, and starring various talents blacklisted during the McCarthy-era witch hunts of the 1950s entertainment industry, the film stars Woody Allen as Howard, a cashier and bookie approached by blacklisted television-writer Alfred (Michael Murphy) to act as a "front," i.e., the alleged author of Alfred's works. The scam proves hugely successful. Soon Howard is fronting for several other banned writers, taking a cut from every sale to the networks, and basking in praise (and romantic attentions) for his prolific talent. It all unravels when congressional investigators dig into Howard's past for Communist ties and squeeze him to name others with supposed links to the Red Menace. The Front is charming, tragic, heroic, and briskly intelligent, featuring a heartbreaking performance by Zero Mostel and directed by Martin Ritt (Hud). --Tom Keogh