Blast Of Silence (1961): Hidden Noir

Blast Of Silence (1961): Hidden Noir

Criterion Confessions blog has an interesting review of a recent DVD release of Blast of Silence, a little known low-budget independent production from Allen Baron made in 1961:

There are films with more polish than Blast of Silence, but that’s okay. In some ways, the unsanded corners of this film put the boot into old film noir and how the bad guys were prettied up. Inside Frank Bono’s head, we hear about hate and pain and the things a man can’t escape, film noir concepts that weren’t always given those blunt terms. Shot as it was, Allen Baron’s movie brings the struggle to life, illustrating the need to get ahead and to get the filthy jobs done. The fact that Baron and Merrill and the rest got theirs done, putting together a one-two punch of a film, is illustration enough of what that means.

One thought on “Blast Of Silence (1961): Hidden Noir”

  1. Another good review has been published by David Kehr of the NY Timeas at http://select.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntget=2008/04/15/movies/homevideo/15dvds.html&tntemail0=y&oref=slogin

    ” This curious mode of address — the second person accusative? — places the viewer in Frankie’s uncomfortable skin, cornering us into taking the side of this faceless, largely passive psychopath as he drifts along to his noir-mandated doom.

    But for all of its pulp poetry — the picture begins in a railroad tunnel, transformed by the narration into a birth canal that will blast the silently screaming Frankie into the harsh reality of Penn Station — the film retains a down-and-dirty, documentary aspect. The studiously gray, unglamorous views of 1961 Manhattan — St. Marks Place, where Frankie takes a room at the Valencia Hotel; the blanked-out East 30s, where Frankie’s mark has a girlfriend stashed in a walk-up apartment — are worth the price of admission alone. Here’s what was being left out of those Madison Avenue melodramas and Park Avenue romances of the period.”

    Like

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