Blast Of Silence

"Excellent"

Blast Of Silence Review


There's noir, and then there's noir. Blast of Silence is an absolutely crackling down-and-dirty 90 minutes of gritty New York streets, two-bit hoodlums, and sleazy bars. Accompanied by an absolutely classic noir narration that you have to hear to believe, this is pure bliss for lovers of cigarettes, fedoras, and big black sedans. A sampling: "The target's name is Troiano. You know the type. Second-string syndicate boss with too much ambition. And a mustache. To hide the fact that he has lips like a woman. The kind of face you hate."

If you've ever seen and loved The Naked City, this is an excellent follow-up. It may have come along 23 years later, but the style is very much the same. A one-man project of writer/director/actor Allen Baron, the no-budget 1961 drama was shot on the streets of Gotham and in real clubs and apartments because there was no money to shoot anywhere else, and the result is gratifyingly naturalistic. As you tag along with low-rent assassin Frankie Bono and he scouts his next hit, you can almost feel yourself getting dirty.

Bono's task is to bump off mid-level mob mook Troiano on behalf of a slightly higher-ranking mob mook, and most of the movie revolves around him acquiring a gun from a truly sleazy salesman (Larry Tucker) and then tracking his prey around town as Christmas week commences. Bono doesn't much like this dirty business, and he wants to get out of it, but not until he finishes this one last job. At the same time, he's battling a crippling case of loneliness and is hoping to hit it off with Lorrie (Molly McCarthy), an innocent young thing who's able to look past his external thuggishness and see the nice guy inside, at least for a while.

While the film's story is straightforward and predictable, its real gift is the tour of New York on which it takes us. Bono's search for a gun takes him to the hardscrabble east side docks, and he follows his victim into the Village Gate nightclub, where a bongo-playing singer pounds his way through a creepy ballad as Bono gets more and more agitated. The final showdown finds Bono out in the isolated marshes near JFK airport in the midst of an actual hurricane.

Thanks to the new Criterion Collection DVD release, we get to enjoy a long (and charmingly self-aggrandizing) interview with Allen Baron in which he goes into extraordinary detail about how the production unfolded, and we get not one but two nostalgic visits back to the locations with Baron, one from 1990 and one from 2007. New York just isn't what it used to be. No one wears fedoras anymore.

Yeah, he's talkin' to you.



Blast Of Silence

Facts and Figures

Run time: 77 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 1st April 1961

Production compaines: Magla Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Allen Baron

Producer: Merrill S. Brody

Starring: Allen Baron as Frank Bono, Molly McCarthy as Lori, Larry Tucker as Big Ralph, Bill DePrato as Joe Boniface, Peter H. Clune as Troiano, Danny Meehan as Petey, as Narrator (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.