McCarthyism. What an ugly chapter in the american history; a national stain, shame & paranoia. Martin Ritt & Woody Allen do their best in using irony, persiflage and humor to deal with the matter. But Mr. Allen is simply carrying over his familiar & 'usual' Woody Allen 'funny' character into a too serious context and it somehow creates the feeling of disturbing ignorance.
Only Martin Ritt treated white Americans for what they are: a people group with common traits, just like any other. His character's contain a component of caricature built on this assumption which lend a comedic tone no matter how serious the content. This example features some of the finest acting by one of his most famous pupils; Woody Allen is at his most truthful here.
This really is a wonderfully written script. I feel that the third act could have been slightly better crafted but the journey offered up to that point is so rich in content, laughs and brutal honesty that it's easy to forget a minor annoyance. Also, this has to be one Woody's better roles.