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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.

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