After working as a playwright with the Works Progress Administration, acting on stage, and directing hundreds of plays, Ritt became a successful television director. In 1952, at the peak of McCarthyism, he was blacklisted and could no longer work in TV. He returned to theatre for several years before directing his first movie, Edge of the City, in 1957; he went on to direct 25 more films. His film The Front was a fictionalized version of the experience of Ritt and other writers and performers who were blacklisted.
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