Blu-ray Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Twilight Time
Woody Allen (To Rome with Love) stars in his first dramatic role (well, let’s call it laugh-tinged dramatic) in the 1976 comedy drama The Front, making its Blu-ray premiere courtesy of Twilight Time.
Allen is Howard Prince, a nebbishy cashier/part-time bookie who, during the McCarthy-era communist witch-hunt, does a favor for an old school friend, a blacklisted TV writer (Michael Murphy, Nashville). As his pal’s “front”—representing the scribe’s work as his own and collecting ten percent of the profits—the apolitical schlemiel is soon enjoying not just the money but the perks, including the love of a sophisticated young producer (Andrea Marcovicci, Irene in Time). But in an atmosphere of fear, nobody’s above suspicion, and Howard’s growing friendship with unfairly accused blacklisted performer Hecky Brown (Zero Mostel, The Producers) brings down the wrath of HUAC—and a confrontation with his own burgeoning conscience.
The movie was directed by Martin Ritt (The Spy Who Came In From The Cold) and written by Walter Bernstein (Semi-Tough), both of whom were blacklisted by HUAC in the Fifities, but eventually regained their names and stature in the industry.
As supplier Twilight Time prints up only 3,000 copies of each title, be prepared to pre-order this one directly from distributor Screen Archives. The prebook date hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re assuming it’ll be in or around mid-January.