Mccarthyism In Walter Bernstein's 'The Front'

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The Front written by Walter Bernstein and directed by Martin Ritt is a dramatic-comedy which was released in 1976. It attempts to explore McCarthyism in the 1950’s, the work of The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the effect backlisting had on Hollywood and the entertainment business. During the ‘red scare’ when there was a fear of communism senator Joseph McCarthy produced a series of investigations in an effort to expose communism. Hollywood was subject to these investigations. If anyone is the entertainment industry was found to be so monist or have had any communistic relations or ties in their past they would be black-listed. This film examines the events of effects of the McCarthyism period through the eyes of an egotistical coward Howard Prince. …show more content…
This kind of comic relief serves as an effective backdrop to the tragedies that were happening to the blacklisted writers and the people around them. In reviewing this film for The New York Times Vincent Canby said that the film influences the viewers conscience. ‘It recreates the awful noise of ignorance that can still be heard.’ (Canby, 1976) 2 . As this movie is not a historical documentary it can be said that there is an abscence of historical and political analysis to the film. Canby stated that there is a lack of direct political commentary; ‘The Front is not the whole story of an especially unpleasant piece of American history. It may be faulted for oversimplification.’. (Canby, 1976) 2. But even in its diluted version of the McCarthyism era this film is powerful in being a tool for transmitting information and reminding the people about the un-popular effects on a society that is

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