Blow Out

Blow Out

4.7 4
Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Brian De Palma, John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow

     
 

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Brian De Palma's homage to Michelangelo Antonioni's classic art movie Blow-Up (1966) blends suspense and political paranoia when a Philadelphia soundman inadvertently records a murder. Former police technician Jack Terri (John Travolta) makes his living doing sound for slasher flicks. While recording new outdoor effects one night, Jack witnesses a couple's carSee more details below

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Overview

Brian De Palma's homage to Michelangelo Antonioni's classic art movie Blow-Up (1966) blends suspense and political paranoia when a Philadelphia soundman inadvertently records a murder. Former police technician Jack Terri (John Travolta) makes his living doing sound for slasher flicks. While recording new outdoor effects one night, Jack witnesses a couple's car careen off a bridge into a river, but he can save only the female occupant, Sally (Nancy Allen). Jack begins to suspect something when he learns that her dead companion was a Presidential hopeful. Re-playing his tape over and over, Jack thinks that he hears a gun shot before the crash-causing tire blow-out. When sleazy photographer Manny Karp (Dennis Franz) comes forward with photos of the accident, Jack discovers the real reason that the naïve Sally was in the car -- and also a way to prove his auditory suspicions through motion pictures. Even with all his surveillance talent, however, Jack cannot see (or hear) how dangerous the big picture really is until it's too late. Taking a break from horror films, De Palma turned his interests in technology and voyeurism toward more politically loaded subject matter at the dawn of the Reagan era; the film's red, white and blue mise-en-scène, "Liberty Day" celebration climax, and conspiracy surrounding political "dirty tricks" suggest that American politics are still rotten, seven years after Watergate. Although Blow Out earned some favorable notice, particularly for Travolta's first "adult" performance, De Palma's downbeat film did not go over well with 1981 summer audiences. Rather than blockbuster escapism, Blow Out instead harks back to 1970s political thrillers like The Parallax View (1974), using cinematic fireworks to tell an unsettling story about one man's struggle against unstoppable corruption.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Blow Out is Brian DePalma's glossy send-up of Michelangelo Antonioni's 1960s art-house classic Blow-Up. In Blow-Up, a London fashion photographer unwittingly shoots footage of a murder plot; in Blow Out, a movie sound technician records a killing that's part of a wide-ranging political conspiracy. The intricate plot is typical of DePalma and has unmistakable parallels with Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974), also a version of Blow-Up. The cast includes John Travolta in his first serious major role, as well as DePalma favorites John Lithgow and Nancy Allen, in her last memorable part. Blow Out has all of DePalma's flashy camera techniques but keeps the director's customary gratuitous violence under some control. Most critics thought it was one of his most successful and intriguing films, though it didn't do well at the box office.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2011
UPC:
0715515080019
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
314

Special Features

New, restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Brian De Palma, with dts-hd master audio soundtrack; New hour-long video interview with De Palma, conducted by filmmaker Noah Baumbach; New video interview with star Nancy Allen; De Palma's 1967 feature Murder à la Mod ; New video interview with cameraman Garrett Brown on the Steadicam shots featured in the film within the film ; On-set photos by photographer Louis Goldman ; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Travolta Jack
Nancy Allen Sally
John Lithgow Burke
Dennis Franz Manny Karp
Peter Boyden Sam
Curt May Frank Donohue
John Aquino Detective
Ernest McClure Jim
David Roberts Anchorman
John McMartin Lawrence Henry
Deborah Everton Hooker
J. Patrick McNamara Nelson
Amanda Cleveland Coed Lover
Roger Wilson Coed Lover
Lori-Nan Engler Sue
Cindy Manion Dancing Coed
Dean Bennett Campus Guard
Archie Lang Mixer
Claire Carter Joan
Maurice Copeland Jack Manners
John Hoffmeister George McRyan
Tom McCarthy Policeman
Dick McGarvin TV Newscaster
James Jeter Film Lab Man
Bud Seese Corrupt Captain
Maureen Sullivan First Murder Victim
Brian Corrigan Cop at Karp's Office
Robin Sherwood Screamer
Tim Choate Sailor
Tony Devon Sailor's Friend
Terrence Currier Lawrence Henry

Technical Credits
Brian De Palma Director,Screenwriter
Fred Caruso Executive Producer,Production Manager
Pino Donaggio Score Composer
Paul Hirsch Editor
George Litto Producer
Joe Napolitano Asst. Director
Jeannine Oppewall Set Decoration/Design
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
Vicki Sanchez Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Sylbert Production Designer
Jim Tannenbaum Sound Mixer
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer

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