I completely disagree with this review. I think that this is a film that personalizes the blacklist by letting us in on how the blacklist actually effected people. Plus, it has an absolutely remarkable performance by Zero Mostel - a performance that makes the film worth watching for that reason alone!
Time Out saysWoody Allen, miscast in his first straight role (as a schnook who lends his name to blacklisted writers for ten percent of the take, eventually coming under scrutiny himself), struggles through a reenactment of the communist witch-hunting of the '50s. Although made by those who suffered blacklisting at first hand, the film pulls all its political punches, settling instead for sentimental narrative. Its suggestion that each individual can buck the brutality of political oppression by standing up against the bullies lies squarely in the great reactionary tradition: 'a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do' replaces political analysis, and turns the film into an empty monument to the senility of American liberalism.