Got the Christmas Blues? Let Allen Baron’s Blast of Silence Dampen Your Holiday Spirit

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N. State Street
For the full schedule of our classic film screenings, please click here.

Sunday, December 29 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Allen Baron • 1961
“You were born in pain.” A proto-punk film noir shot without permits on a scuzzball budget, Blast of Silence is practically a one-man show for director-writer-actor Allen Baron. The former comic book artist-turned-independent filmmaker stars as a square Cleveland hit man called away to New York City to fulfill a contract on a minor mobster. Floating through Manhattan during the loneliest time of the year—the week between Christmas and New Year’s—Baron takes a tentative stab at rekindling his romance with an old flame (Molly McCarthy) and falls in with burly weapons dealer Big Ralph (Larry Tucker). Narrated by an uncredited Lionel Stander in a singularly abrasive style (“the second person accusative,” in Dave Kehr’s concise formulation), Blast of Silence stands as an unaccountable debut. Remarkably, this hate-flecked calling card was picked up as a B-feature by Universal and yielded a four-decade career in TV-directing for Baron. If you think the holidays go down easier with a bottle of scotch, this is your kind of movie. (KW)
77 min • Magla Productions • 35mm from Universal

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