THE FRONT: Bleaklist

Directed by MARTIN RlTT

Screenplay by WALTER BERNSTEIN

In a certain sense, The Front is an easy movie to criticize; almost everything it does could have been done better. On the other hand, it is a very difficult movie to judge because it takes up a previously forbidden subject—the blacklisting of showfolk suspected of Communist leanings during the early '50s—and has the nerve, and grace, to take an absurdist view of that deplorable era. For that, and for Woody Allen's fine performance (against his usual comic grain) in the title role, it deserves respectful attention.

Witch-Hunters. Allen plays a politically innocent but...