The Most Beautiful Fraud: Blast of Silence

by Leonard Pierce

First of all, how about that title, eh?  The movie could be a heap of shit and it would still win points for the title, which sounds like some lost French new wave picture.  Éclat de Silence, avec Alain Delon.  But no, it’s an American film noir, albeit a pretty curious one.  It’s from 1961, making it one of the first crime dramas to come out after the widely-accepted-by-me death of noir at the hands of Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho.  It’s also odd insofar as it’s less the kind of B-studio crime drama that we normally associate with the noir genre, and more of what would become a small-studio independent film, from the mind of a genuine if marginal auteur.  The now-retired Allen Baron had a fruitful career in television, reliably directing a number of network favorites, but he started out at age 34 writing, directing, and starring in this passion project. 

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