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Blast of Silence (1961)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 17 August 1962 (Denmark)
A hired killer from Cleveland has a job to do on a second-string mob boss in New York. But a special girl from his past, and a fat gun dealer with pet rats, each gets in his way.

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(screenplay), (narration written by) (as Mel Davenport)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Allen Baron ... Frank Bono
Molly McCarthy ... Lori
Larry Tucker ... Big Ralph
... Troiano (as Peter H. Clune)
Danny Meehan ... Petey
Howard Mann ... Body Guard
Charles Creasap ... Contact Man
Bill DePrato ... Joe Boniface (as Bill Da Prado)
Milda Memenas ... Troiano's Girl Freind [sic]
Joe Bubbico ... Body Guard
Ruth Kaner ... Cleaning Woman
Gil Rogers ... Gangster
... Gangster
Don Saroyan ... Lori's Boy Friend
Dean Sheldon ... Night Club Singer
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Storyline

Having been 'away' for some time, professional killer Frankie Bono returns to New York to do another job: assassinate some mid-level mobster. Although intending to avoid unnecessary 'contact' while carefully stalking his victim, Bono is recognized by an old fellow from the orphanage, whose calm and unambitious citizen's life and happy marriage contrast heavily with Bono's solitary and haunted existence. Exhausted and distracted, Bono makes another mistake, but his contract is not one to back out of. Written by <armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 August 1962 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Baby Boy Frankie  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The beginning, which shows a train emerging from a tunnel, is what would have been seen in a train *leaving* New York. The train, with its magnificent GG1 electric locomotive, emerges from the tunnel and is seen in Newark's Penn Station. Trains do not burst into the light (an important metaphor in the film) entering New York City, but arrive at dark, underground platforms. However the now-demolished sky lighted departure hall of New York's Penn Station is seen. Trains between Cleveland and New York generally traveled over the New York Central line and arrived at Grand Central Terminal. See more »

Goofs

In Ralph's apartment, when Frank Bono attacks Ralph, his gloves disappear and reappear several times during the struggle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bellhop: Nice view we have here.
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Crazy Credits

The MPAA seal appears on the bottom right corner of the Universal-International logo instead of its usual place in the credits. See more »

Connections

Edited into Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 9 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Torrid Town
(uncredited)
Performed by Dean Sheldon
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User Reviews

 
Late cycle noir where the anonymity of the players is an asset
8 March 2016 | by See all my reviews

Blast of Silence is a late noir and a pretty good flick and maybe somewhat of a sleeper since it was a blind Criterion buy. It is the story of a hit man. The circumstances which comprise the plight of the average noir hero (or anti-hero) are probably many and varied. A guy might be living an ordinary life and suddenly be hurled into the mire by fate. Or another maybe a guy who has a dangerous life style but finally makes the mistake that begins the nightmare. In this case, however, the hero has apparently and seemingly been so afflicted since the womb. This is wonderfully depicted in an opening sequence that should go down as a classic, in my view. I shall not reveal it but it is immensely satisfying and an excellent way to begin the show.

This movie made me appreciate the professionalism of what it might be like to be hit man. Not that it would appeal to me, personally, but this guy knows what he's doing. We follow the planning leading up to thing itself but the movie is less about the situation and much more the man, his mental state. To that degree that he is good at what he does, to that same degree perhaps, he is not so good at feeling good and being happy. This is dramatized by a rare second-person narration, which (as a reminder) goes something like this: You open your eyes and it's a new day and the same feeling comes over you just like yesterday, that clammy feeling, and that feeling of hatred, for your old man, for yesterday, for today, for tomorrow, for Christmas, for just about everything, and you wonder will this ever end ...

This voice-over that work quites well and is mercifully not overdone or too overbearing. It works because it tells the viewer what's going through the guy's head and how he is experiencing it, an economical way time-wise of letting us know this guy.

I had never heard of any of the players, and I found that refreshing, no hearkening back to any prior roles. The lead is not a veteran actor and his performance perhaps shows as he comes off rather stiff, even a little dull. The good news is that it works for the character, who is a loner and socially inept with women as well as with prior male buddy acquaintances he comes across, all serving to accentuate his obvious isolation. Some of his lines seem awkward, but as I say, it works. That's just the way Frankie Bono is.

There is a greasy gun dealer that is played by a soft-spoken fat man, a small but juicy role. There is also a sweet girl who is sympathetic to Frankie but to only to a point, she is way too far on the right side of the tracks. I really liked her, both the character and the actress. There are no femmes fatales. Frankie is messed up enough, he doesn't need one of those to do him in.

There is a neo-realistic element. The camera takes to the street of NYC, mostly Manhattan; Rockefeller Center at Christmas time (where everyone seems happy except Frankie), Staten Island (the Ferry) and elsewhere.

I won't say much about the story except that given Frankie Bono's character, the norm for him would probably entail going the job site (if you will, whatever city) and carry out his dastardly task in the time allotted, spending most of his time in a hotel alone. But here, a chance encounter with a old friend from the orphanage leads to involvement with still others including the previously mentioned girl and this drives the story. New conflicts arise in the already troubled mind of Frankie Bono and he considers the possibility of change. Can he do it? This one probably doesn't rise to highest level of the noir genre (or maybe I'm not giving enough credit) but it's certainly a good watch, and again, the opening sequence is superb.


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