Film poster "The Front" & Rick Winston

“The Front” – film introduction and discussion by Rick Winston

Sunday, October 28 at 6:30 pm

Former owner of Montpelier’s Savoy Theater, Rick Winston presents the 1976 production of The Front. This acclaimed comedy/drama, with its serious and compelling theme, vividly brings to life one of America’s most disturbing memories: the Communist “witch hunts” of the 1950s.

Woody Allen stars as Howard Prince, a small-time restaurant cashier, part-time bookie is induced by a writer-friend to “front” for the submission of his TV scripts when he is blacklisted as an alleged subversive. Howard is soon “fronting” for other writers. He becomes a celebrity and is lionized as television’s most brilliant and prolific young author. But when popular TV comic Hecky Brown (played by actual blacklisted comic Zero Mostel) is blacklisted and career is threatened, he agrees to keep Howard under surveillance. Howard is then summoned to appear before an anti-communist investigative committee and his stand before them brings about an unexpected dramatic conclusion.

Reviewing The Front for the New York Times, film critic, Vincent Canby wrote,”Even in its comic moments, The Front works on the conscience as it recreates the awful noise of ignorance that can still be heard.”

Martin Ritt on setThe Front was written by blacklisted screen writer Walter Bernstein, and directed by the legendary film maker, Martin Ritt. Ritt was the blacklisted director of such films as The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Hud, Hombre, and Norma Jean.

Rick WinstonBook Cover: Red Scare in the Green Mountains is Vermont’s film expert extraordinaire. For more than a quarter century, he was the owner of Montpelier’s alternate movie house. His introduction of this movie is particularly apt since he has recently published a history of McCarthyism in Vermont, entitled Red Scare in the Green Mountains.

Admission FREE and open to the public. Light refreshments available. (Donations are cheerfully accepted.)

 

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