Blast of Silence (1961)

77 mins | Melodrama | June 1961

Director:

Allen Baron

Writer:

Allen Baron

Producer:

Merrill Brody

Cinematographer:

Merrill Brody

Editor:

Peggy Lawson

Production Designer:

Charles Rosen

Production Companies:

Alfred W. Crown, Dan Enright
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HISTORY

Voice-over narration by the character “Frank Bono” occurs throughout the film, as noted in the 30 Dec 1961 NYT review.
       Blast of Silence was filmed in New York City on a budget of $50,000, according to a 2 Oct 1960 NYT article. A slightly higher budget of $65,000 was later cited in a 23 Aug 1961 DV brief. Writer-director-actor Allen Baron and producer Merrill Brody made the film independently through their Malda Productions, shooting in twenty-two days spread over a four-month period ending Jan 1960. New York City locations included Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, where some interiors were reportedly filmed at a small studio on West Forty-Fifth Street.
       The 18 Jan 1961 Var announced the involvement of Dan Enright and Alfred Crown’s Aladan Productions and Universal—International Films, which had acquired U.S. and Canadian distribution rights, according to the 28 Feb 1961 DV. Universal—International’s payout to Allen Baron and Merrill Brody was listed in a 4 Jul 1962 Var article as a “flat $60,000.” The pair ultimately saw it as a poor deal, and suspected the studio would profit “many times that sum” from ticket sales. In the 23 Aug 1961 DV, Brody was quoted as saying the film’s gross would be “over $500,000.” In addition to Universal—International, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures had also made offers on the distribution rights.
       Blast of Silence opened in early Jun 1961 in Chicago, IL, on a double-bill with Trouble in the Sky (1961), as stated in the 6 Jun 1961 DV. Theatrical release in New ... More Less

Voice-over narration by the character “Frank Bono” occurs throughout the film, as noted in the 30 Dec 1961 NYT review.
       Blast of Silence was filmed in New York City on a budget of $50,000, according to a 2 Oct 1960 NYT article. A slightly higher budget of $65,000 was later cited in a 23 Aug 1961 DV brief. Writer-director-actor Allen Baron and producer Merrill Brody made the film independently through their Malda Productions, shooting in twenty-two days spread over a four-month period ending Jan 1960. New York City locations included Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan, where some interiors were reportedly filmed at a small studio on West Forty-Fifth Street.
       The 18 Jan 1961 Var announced the involvement of Dan Enright and Alfred Crown’s Aladan Productions and Universal—International Films, which had acquired U.S. and Canadian distribution rights, according to the 28 Feb 1961 DV. Universal—International’s payout to Allen Baron and Merrill Brody was listed in a 4 Jul 1962 Var article as a “flat $60,000.” The pair ultimately saw it as a poor deal, and suspected the studio would profit “many times that sum” from ticket sales. In the 23 Aug 1961 DV, Brody was quoted as saying the film’s gross would be “over $500,000.” In addition to Universal—International, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures had also made offers on the distribution rights.
       Blast of Silence opened in early Jun 1961 in Chicago, IL, on a double-bill with Trouble in the Sky (1961), as stated in the 6 Jun 1961 DV. Theatrical release in New York City followed months later, on 29 Dec 1961. In the meantime, the picture was accepted as a U.S. entry at the Spoleto Film Festival in Italy and the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, the 5 Jul 1961 Var reported. It was also an invited entry at the Cannes Film Festival, according to the 23 Aug 1961 DV. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1961
p. 10.
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1961
p. 1, 4.
New York Times
2 Oct 1960
p. 9.
New York Times
30 Dec 1961
p. 12.
Variety
18 Jan 1961
p. 22.
Variety
22 Feb 1961
p. 32.
Variety
5 Jul 1961
p. 62.
Variety
4 Jul 1962
p. 7.
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1961
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: week of 5 June 1961
New York opening: 29 December 1961
Production Date:
ended January 1960
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Frank Bono, a professional gunman from Cleveland, is hired by a New York City syndicate to kill local racketeer Troiano. Bono arrives in town on Christmas Eve, collects half of his payment, and methodically trails his victim. As he maps out his murder method, Bono arranges to acquire a gun and silencer from Big Ralph, a repulsive, overweight fence. That night Bono encounters Lorrie, a woman he dated years earlier and accepts her invitation for dinner, only to discover later, when he tries to kiss her, that she was being kind to him only out of pity. Big Ralph learns that Bono's victim is an important racketeer, and he demands more money from Bono, threatening him with blackmail. Infuriated, Bono murders Big Ralph. In a moment of panic, Bono tries to back out of killing Troiano, but he is warned that the deed must be done. Bono finally corners Troiano and kills him. He goes to collect his fee and is instead ambushed and killed by syndicate ... +


Frank Bono, a professional gunman from Cleveland, is hired by a New York City syndicate to kill local racketeer Troiano. Bono arrives in town on Christmas Eve, collects half of his payment, and methodically trails his victim. As he maps out his murder method, Bono arranges to acquire a gun and silencer from Big Ralph, a repulsive, overweight fence. That night Bono encounters Lorrie, a woman he dated years earlier and accepts her invitation for dinner, only to discover later, when he tries to kiss her, that she was being kind to him only out of pity. Big Ralph learns that Bono's victim is an important racketeer, and he demands more money from Bono, threatening him with blackmail. Infuriated, Bono murders Big Ralph. In a moment of panic, Bono tries to back out of killing Troiano, but he is warned that the deed must be done. Bono finally corners Troiano and kills him. He goes to collect his fee and is instead ambushed and killed by syndicate thugs. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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