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The Blacklist Video List


HBO's "Citizen Cohn" tells the stoy of the blacklist through the exploits of attorney Roy Cohn. Here are other films, available on video, that explore other aspects of the Communist witch-hunt years.

Woody Allen defies the blacklist and gets more than he bargained for in the 1976 comedy-drama "The Front" (RCA/Columbia). What's notable about the film is that it was written and directed by two blacklisted filmmakers, screenwriter Walter Bernstein and director Martin Ritt. The supporting cast also is peppered with performers, including Zero Mostel, Lloyd Gough, Joshua Shelley and Herschel Bernardi, whose film and TV careers came to a halt in the '50s and early '60s because of the political paranoia.

In "The Front," Allen plays a nebbish restaurant cashier who is commandeered by several blacklisted writers to act as a front man for their scripts.

Twelve years later, Bernstein penned the blacklist-themed "The House on Carroll Street" (HBO Video). Lushly produced and featuring an attractive cast, "House on Carroll Street" is nevertheless a disappointment. Languidly directed by Peter Yates, the thriller is murky and often ludicrous.

A stoic Kelly McGillis stars as a young New York career woman who loses her job at a magazine after being labeled a Communist subversive. When she gets a job reading for an elderly woman (a feisty Jessica Tandy), she uncovers a bizarre espionage plot. McGillis goes to the FBI and convinces handsome agent Jeff Daniels that something wicked is happening in the house on Carroll Street.

The 1989 British-made "Fellow Traveler" (Prism Entertainment) was a hit in England. Co-produced by the BBC, HBO and the British Film Institute, "Fellow Traveler" premiered in America on HBO in 1990.

Ron Silver and Hart Bochner star in the riveting thriller about two childhood friends: one a successful film writer (Silver), and the other (Bochner) a popular movie star. When both are blacklisted, Silver takes his family and goes into exile in England. Bochner's life takes a far more tragic turn.

"Guilty By Suspicion" (Warner Home Video), written and directed by Irwin Winkler, received mixed reviews when it was released early last year. Despite its flaws, the drama is worth catching, especially for Robert De Niro's gripping turn as a popular movie director who finds himself out-of-work and abandoned by his friends after the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities labels him a Communist.

Annette Bening co-stars as his supportive estranged wife, and Patricia Wettig of "thirtysomething" is featured as an alcoholic movie actress. Actor Sam Wanamaker, who was blacklisted and lived many years in exile in England, shines in his scenes as a vicious attorney.

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