''The Front'' is a 1976 comedy-drama film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Creator/WoodyAllen as a bookie who acts as a front for television writers [[UsefulNotes/TheHollywoodBlacklist blacklisted]] during the RedScare of the early 1950s.
!!''The Front'' provides examples of:
* BecomingTheMask: Though he doesn't become a genuine writer, Howard comes to sympathize with the blacklisted artists he's met, [[spoiler: and refuses to give the HUAC members any names]].
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Hecky Brown has taken his own life, and Howard has been carted off to jail. But not without standing up to the HUAC board]].
* BorschtBelt: Hecky has his roots there, and goes back to playing it after his blacklisting.
* DespairEventHorizon: It's depressing to watch Hecky disintegrate under the pressure.
-->'''Hecky:''' That girl you're with. What's her name?
-->'''Hecky:''' ''(manic)'' A troublemaker. I heard her talking on the set. Subversive. She's a red. You like that girl?
-->'''Howard:''' Yes, I like her.
-->'''Hecky:''' '''''Her name? Her full name.'''''
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Hecky Brown]], based on the real-life suicide of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Loeb Philip Loeb]]. The fact that [[spoiler:Zero Mostel]] was friends with Loeb, AND died a year after the film's release, makes this even more a TearJerker.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Howard's bookie career bites him when the HUAC members threaten to charge him with illegal gambling unless he can give names for communist sympathizers.
* ImAManICantHelpIt: Hecky claims to have only been attending Party meetings to get laid. "It was the girl with the big ass!"
* InsaneTrollLogic: The HUAC counselor seems to assume ''everyone'' is a subversive, that when told someone is loyal, his response is along the lines of "For now, but he probably ''isn't''." His reaction to someone complaining he's accused because he shares the same name as someone who is a suspect is "well, everything will be okay because if you're innocent, you won't be accused and blacklisted", even though he's already accused and blacklisted.
* LargeHam: Hecky Brown, played by RealLife Large Ham Zero Mostel.
* MathematiciansAnswer: Invoked. When put before the HUAC committee, Howard is able to dodge their questions by answering them in a way that prevents him from confirming anything. Unfortunately, the committee had another ace up their sleeve.
* MisterSandmanSequence: The film opens with a montage of old newsreel clips depicting American life in the early 1950s, as Music/FrankSinatra's "Young at Heart" plays on the soundtrack.
* NiceGuy: Howard. In the end, Hecky says this of him even though he's plainly jealous of Howard's meteoric rise, chiefly because Howard [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe never abandons him]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Alfred Miller, not to be confused with actual blacklisted playwright Arthur Miller.
* PrecisionFStrike: [[spoiler:The film's final line, delivered by Howard to the HUAC members.]]
* RedScare: The Second Red Scare, as it's known.
* SadClown: Hecky again.
* StageNames: Hecky Brown's real name is Herschel Bronstein.
* ToxicFriendInfluence: Subverted and defied. Howard continues to insist on a friendship with Hecky even though he's been blacklisted and associating with him during the RedScare could get ''him'' accused.
* UptownGirl: Played with. Florence comes from an upper-class background and is clearly mismatched with the working-class Howard, but the main conflict between them once the truth comes out turns out to be between her political idealism and his pragmatic desire for success and comfort. [[spoiler:He wins her over in the end by refusing to cave to the HUAC.]]
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Under pressure to "name names", Howard is told he can get off easily by naming [[spoiler:Hecky, who is dead]]. No one would care, and no one thinks Howard is a sympathizer. Rather than take the easy way out, Howard tells the committee off to honor his friends, leading to his imprisonment.
* WitchHunt: The HUAC.