The Front

Director: Martin Ritt
Year Released: 1976
Rating: 3.0

For being such a personal film for the director and his writer and cast (a lot of them were blacklisted for having Communist affiliations), this is an impressive, clear-headed film - a tragicomedy - about the destruction of many careers by the HUAC and Senator McCarthy. While the witch-hunt is viewed (and rightfully so) as insane and unjust, Ritt keeps the film under control, steering clear from scene-stopping speeches and soap-box ranting about freedom of expression and the right to privacy: he knows it's implied and leaves it at that. Woody Allen keeps it from seeming like one of his own films with a restrained performance as a cashier who covers for his friends by selling their scripts under his name, only to be caught himself.