Front, The (1976)

The Front (1976), produced and directed by Martin Ritt.

I'm not enthusiastic about this film, but it is worth a review because:

Spot early appearances by Danny Aiello.

The problems: it doesn't know where to land. Somewhat absurd, or bitter comedy, or totally outraged? Is Allen a good choice for this? It's hard to accept him as a non-writing, non-intellectual small-time wiseguy.

Mostly, I've been hearing about the blacklist decade all my life and I've had enough. Because it is a Hollywood story, from the tinseltown perspective it is the Biggest Thing That Ever Happened and has become a foundation myth. Because it showed the consequences of industry cowardice, the lesson learned is that filmmakers must fight back and become politically assertive in a way that hadn't happened before.

I've long had a fantasy of an alternative history story where screenwriters were nazi sympathizers before the War and have to pay for it later decades. Overwrought excuse-making by glitterati in lederhosen, hanging out in beerhalls and listening to bandstand music.

Available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time. The image is only fair, but has that appealing unprocessed and natural color look.

The enthusiastic commentary track features the usual crew and Andrea Marcovicci.