Tuesday, 15 May 2018

BLAST OF SILENCE (1961) Directed by Allen Baron

BLAST OF SILENCE is a real curiosity. Made in 1961 on what looks like a miniscule budget it is very much a precursor to Jean-Pierre Melville's later masterpiece LE SAMURAI. A hired killer comes to town to kill a minor mob boss. Despite wishing to withdraw from the contract he fulfils the task but his reluctance makes him a target for those who ordered the hit because they now see him as unreliable. Director Allen Baron plays the lead despite not being much of an actor - the scenes where he has to interact with others in the cast are the least successful in the film - but he looks good, bearing a striking resemblance at times to early George C. Scott and middle period Robert De Niro. But in all other respects the film is admirable, visually very impressive. There is an excellent voice over narration by Lionel Stander, uncredited as he was blacklisted at the time. At its best the film is good enough to overlook its occasional minor flaws. It is a pity that Baron subsequent career was spent mainly directing episodes of television shows such as CHARLIE'S ANGELS. Rating : ***

Allen Baron

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