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Blast of Silence (The Criterion Collection)
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DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored digital transfer
Requiem for a Killer: The Making of Blast of Silence (2007)
Rare on-set Polaroids
Locations revisited in 2008
PLUS: An essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty and a four-page graphic-novel adaptation of the film by award-winning artist Sean Phillips
(Criminal, Sleeper, Batman: Jekyll & Hyde)
- New, restored digital transfer
- Requiem for a Killer: The Making of "Blast of Silence"
- Rare on-set Polaroids
- Photos of locations in 2008
- Booklet featuring an essay by film critic Terrence Raffety and a four-page graphic novel adaptaion of the film by acclaimed artist Sean Phillips
Top Customer Reviews
I'd recommend this movie to anyone who happens to be reading about it--you are obviously interested in noirs and this, for being a little past the noir period, is about as noir as you can get. Unforgettable, too.
The extras on the DVD were terrific. Wish that Criterion Collection movies weren't so expensive, but I must admit they are worth it.
This movie is a low-budget film noir, and it's got some flaws. Mostly, the acting is uneven and the story has a lot of second person narration. "You get the creeps," for example. It's an original idea and I'm not entirely sure it works. But the cinematography and atmosphere of the film, presented in black and white, is fascinating. The movie shows New York City as a desolate wasteland of loneliness at Christmas. It definitely has a cool feel to it, and if you like darker films that have the film noir feel, you should watch this movie.
complex, improvisational dark NYC films to come, first by Cassavettes,
and then by Scorsese.
Very reminiscent of, if not as psychologically complex, surreal, and
twisted as, the writings of Jim Thompson.
A hit man from Cleveland comes to New York for one last job.
The film uses 2nd person narration - 'You feel this', or 'You sense
danger'. It's an interesting technique I can't remember encountering in
a movie before, which plays with your head in a good way. Who's
narrating the film? Obviously the 'you' is the main character, but by
subtle implication it makes US him. The narration was written under a
pseudonym by the great blacklisted writer Waldo Salt.
Beautiful, stark and depressing photography - which I guess describes
the film as a whole as well.
A couple of terrific, odd supporting characters add to the nightmare
atmosphere. While some of the acting is variable, and a few twists are
too telegraphed, this is a film that has stuck with me.
Allen Barron wrote and directed this anxious thriller, and also plays the hitman. His 77-minute 1961 noir is slim in plot, running time and budget, but rich in the inspiration it clearly offered to Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola.
"Blast" feels like a movie that's dated by today's standards but was probably unlike anything else around in 1961, at least this side of French New Wave ~ though it's interesting that Godard's "Breathless" was being filmed at the exact same time as "Blast."
Barron uses stark black-and-white photography and on-the-fly New York locations to great effect: The storm that serves as a backdrop to the climax is apparently real and is reportedly the only hurricane to strike the east coast during the entire 20th century. On the other hand, one scene shot in the Village Gate features a man who may possibly be the most abrasively monotonous nightclub singer ever committed to film.
The tiny apartments, narrow hallways and buildings of blank windows predict "Taxi Driver," and one tremendously awkward date smacks of Travis Bickle. The clubs and cars and gangsters seem a little like outtakes from "Raging Bull," and one particular assassination could've served as a test sketch for a later killing that appeared in "Godfather Part II." One nearly expects to spot Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, or the gang from "Who's That Knocking at My Door," bickering in the background during other scenes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A genuine artifact of a particular time and place and state of mind - a young man's take on NYC in the early 60's, with a camera and an attitude.Published 5 months ago by Cnewl
Allen Baron directs and stars in a low-budget noir shot mainly on location around New York City in the early 1960s. Read morePublished on December 28, 2013 by saxophobe
Nah, nobody cried when Frankie, Frankie Fingers bought the big one, when he made that one mistake too many, when he cashed his check. Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Alfred Johnson
I enjoyed the extras more than the movie. The documentary where Allen Baron breathlessly spoke about his unheralded film in 1990 and 2006 tied it all together for me. Read morePublished on January 7, 2011 by Jim Van Cise
Director/star Allen Baron's skill as a comic book artist shines through on this remarkable no-budget noir masterpiece about hitman Baby Boy Frankie Bono just in from Cleveland for... Read morePublished on August 14, 2009 by Richard J. Oravitz
I liked the film but mostly as a camp B movie and low budget first film. The Criterion DVD quality is excellent. The extras are very good. Read morePublished on February 1, 2009 by David Cole
Criterion have dealt us the perfect blackjack hand with Alan Baron's 'Blast Of Silence', a jack of diamonds and an ace of spades, at once cold and dark, sharp and velvet edged. Read morePublished on September 14, 2008 by Alan Fair
Blast of Silence is a low-budget crime drama that's closer
to a French noir than an American one. Read more
I saw this movie when it was first released. I loved it! I had never seen anything like it and tried to get my buddies to see it. They felt the same way I had at first. Read morePublished on June 13, 2008 by Ernie Wild