Thursday, December 23, 2021

More on Allen Baron’s Blast of Silence (1961)

[TCM’s Film Noir of the Week Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight and 10 a.m. ET is Allen Baron’s Blast of Silence (1961), with Baron and Molly McCarthy.”]

By David in TN
Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 12:27:00 A.M. EST

Allen Baron’s Blast of Silence (1961) is worth watching as a time capsule for what New York looked like circa 1960-61.

A mob assassin, played by Baron, is sent from Cleveland to kill an over ambitious minor mobster. He looks like DeNiro from the front, a little like George C. Scott in profile. Allen Baron never acted again after this, and was a TV director for decades.

Lionel Stander did an uncredited narration “in the second person,” said Eddie Muller, who went into a rhapsody of praise for the Communist Stander.

This has a typical trope for this type film—things go wrong. Baron has trouble with a contact played by an overweight actor named Larry Stewart, who gave the same characterization in Otto Preminger’s Advise and Consent (1962) as a homosexual. Stewart later was a screenwriter and producer.

Early on Baron follows his target doing his rounds in Harlem, checking on his “girls, dope, books, numbers.” Through Harlem, the narration goes: “The streets of Harlem are busy enough, no one notices you. You catch a danger signal. Your hands are sweating but that's all right, because you know what it is, the hate of Harlem. You hate them and they hate you.”

The final scene was filmed during a hurricane which hit the East Coast in December 1960. It adds to the climax.

There is no Noir Alley this weekend, due to it being Christmas Day. Saturday night TCM shows The Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957) and Witness for the Prosecution (1956).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Allen Baron’s Blast of Silence (1961) is worth watching as a time capsule for what New York looked like circa 1960-61."

GRA:90% White--as Grand Rapids was 97% White at the time--or was NYC already descending into blackness and brown-ness?