The Front Review

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Restaurant worker whores his name out so blacklisted writers can sell their scripts, but is moved to take a stand over the inustices that surrund him.


An effective comedy drama about the McCarthy era, directed with his usual restraint by Martin Ritt, snappily written by blacklistee Walter Bernstein.

Woody Allen is a 50s nerd who allows his name to be used by blacklisted writers in submitting their scripts to television, and his good-natured imposture finally drags him into a confrontation with an Un-American committee whom he tells off in very quotable terms, answering the “have you now or ever been. . .” question with “I question your right to ask me these questions, and furthermore you can go fuck yourselves.”

Zero Mostel, also a blacklist survivor, has a poignant bit as a suicidal comic.

Well-functioning script and a lovable performance from Woody Allen make this well worth watching.