Down 593 this week

Blow-Up (1966)
"Blowup" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  18 December 1966 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 38,317 users  
Reviews: 251 user | 99 critic

A mod London photographer seems to find something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.


(story), (short story "Las babas del diablo") (as Julio Cortazar) , 3 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 25 Nov 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 08 Jun 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 26 Oct 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 23 Feb 2013
a list of 22 titles
created 04 May 2013

Related Items

Search for "Blow-Up" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Blow-Up (1966)

Blow-Up (1966) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Blow-Up.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
La Notte (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Paul Fix
Red Desert (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cold, rain, and fog surround a plant in Ravenna. Factory waste pollutes local lakes; hulking anonymous ships pass or dock and raise quarantine flags. Guiliana, a housewife married to the ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti
The Passenger (1975)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, takes the risky path of co-opting the I.D. of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
L'Eclisse (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman meets a vital young man, but their love affair is doomed because of the man's materialistic nature.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
Il Grido (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man wanders aimlessly, away from his town, away from the woman he loved, emotionally and socially inactive.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Steve Cochran, Alida Valli, Betsy Blair
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale
Belle de Jour (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli
Jules and Jim (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre


Complete credited cast:
The Blonde
Gillian Hills ...
The Brunette
Herself (as Verushka)
Julian Chagrin ...
Claude Chagrin ...


A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Then he meets a mysterious beauty, and also notices something frightfully suspicious on one of his photographs of her taken in a park. The fact that he may have photographed a murder does not occur to him until he studies and then blows up his negatives, uncovering details, blowing up smaller and smaller elements, and finally putting the puzzle together. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes, reality is the strangest fantasy of all. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

18 December 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blow-Up  »

Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michelangelo Antonioni's first choice for the role of Jane was the Swedish actress Evabritt Strandberg, after spotting her in Bo Widerberg's film Kärlek 65 (1965). She went to London to meet Antonioni. He approved of her, but the three MGM bosses present at the meeting didn't like her "big nose". The role went to Vanessa Redgrave. See more »


When Thomas is driving along Stockwell Road towards Woolwich, he drives past the same red-painted building - Pride & Clarke (a contemporary motorcycle dealer) - several times. See more »


[first lines]
Mime: Give me your money. Do it.
See more »


Referenced in De weg: Zo'n vader als ik heb (1983) See more »


Train Kept A - Rollin'
Written by Tiny Bradshaw
Performed by The Yardbirds
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A parable about the possible dehumanizing effects of photography...
19 May 2000 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

BLOW-UP is the story of a successful fashion photographer, Thomas (David Hemmings), who, whilst scouting for fresh subjects in a park one afternoon, photographs a mysterious couple in 'flagrante delicto.' Upon returning to his studio loft later that day, he develops the pictures and discovers that he has inadvertently stumbled upon a murder. Antonioni is not interested in the details of the murder itself, as in a typical detective story, but rather with how the protagonist's perception of the world, and his relationship to it, is altered by this event.

As a fashion photographer, Thomas is a creator of illusions that define a certain kind of young urban lifestyle and Antonioni's flagrant use of the loud, splashy, attention-grabbing colors of billboard advertising -- a visual association elevated to an unholy apotheosis in his next film, ZABRISKIE POINT (1970) -- brings to the surface the transient sensation and hollow artifice that lies at the heart of all pop culture consumerism. In his previous work, RED DESERT (1964), Antonioni spray-painted both the man-made décor as well as the natural setting as a means of giving concrete expression to the heroine's neurotic state of mind and her ameliorative aestheticizing vision of a world despoiled by technology and pollution. He does the same in BLOW-UP, painting doors, fences, poles, and the façades of entire buildings to emphasize the exhilaration and alienation that characterizes life in a large modern city.

Psychedelic colors make the 'real' world of the film seem exaggerated and hyperbolic like a fantastic 'surface' reality, while the 'captured' and reconstructed world of the photographs appears ominously stark, grainy, and documentary-like -- the bare, denuded 'essence' of reality. In the central montage sequence of the film, the camera -- in place of Thomas' eyes -- slowly moves back and forth from one photograph to the next, and likewise, Antonioni cuts back and forth from the pictures to the protagonist looking at them. Since the act of looking at these enhanced images effectively reconstructs an event that the protagonist -- and the audience -- never actually saw with the naked eye in 'real life,' technology is shown to reveal a new surface of the world that is normally hidden from view. Antonioni's own particular brand of phenomenological Neorealism is concerned primarily with the process of seeing through a camera as a way of exposing an ultimate truth, or a lack thereof, that underlies the surface of the world.

The curious self-reflexivity of this scene is an epistemological hall of mirrors: Antonioni's camera looks at Thomas looking at photographs which are blown up larger and larger so that eventually they become merely an abstract collection of dots, a Rorschach test in which almost anything can be read. Like the Abstract Expressionist paintings of the tormented artist son in Pasolini's TEOREMA (1968), the received cultural baggage and semiotic referentiality of the image is eliminated until all that remains is purest subjectivity of the spectator. And so, picture-making technology mediates reality only up to a point: once the threshold of referentiality has been crossed, the suspicion of a murder in the park gleaned from a series of enlarged photographs would seem to say more about Thomas' own paranoid state of mind than what his camera may or may not have recorded.

This subtextual aspect of the film has been compared to the controversy surrounding the various interpretations of the Abraham Zapruder film as a definitive and reliable record of the Kennedy assassination -- and particularly, the mystery of the notorious 'grassy knoll.' Also, the possible incidence of adultery and The Girl's desperate efforts to retrieve the film suggest the scandalous fallout of the Profumo affair. Vanessa Redgrave, with her thick, dark brown hair and affected temptress-naïf manner, hinted at by a schoolgirl outfit and arms folded seductively over her breasts, seems meant to evoke, for a British audience at least, then-recent memories of Christine Keeler.

BLOW-UP is full of visual and verbal non-sequiturs and nearly all the scenes are composed of long-takes with plenty of 'longeurs' and 'temps mort.' This real-time approach -- often fragmented by abrupt and seemingly arbitrary cuts -- faithfully simulates Thomas' experience and the mechanical routine of his creative process and its fleeting moments of sudden inspiration and frenzied excitement. All throughout the film there is a recurrent pattern of relationships left unconsummated and work left undone. Just as he appears on the verge of establishing meaningful contact with someone or about to finally resolve himself to some efficacious deed or another, he is immediately distracted by something else that pops up.

Thomas resembles Odysseus in the way he is continually thwarted by chance encounters, which cause him to lose sight of his mission. Indeed, the film's meandering, episodic plot does seem to have elements of classical epic: the rock concert and the marijuana party afterward all suggest a ritual journey through a modern 'Land of the Lotus-Eaters.' Ironically, it is just when he discovers a sense of emotional commitment and social obligation in his life that his self-justifying cynicism and arrogant indifference toward others is replaced by a growing sense of impotence and defeat. In the final scene, speech is phased out of the film entirely, leaving only a silent form of physical communication unmediated by language and social pretensions.

BLOW-UP was the Antonioni's greatest commercial and critical triumph and the film's narrative -- an odyssey through a modern city, following the protagonist from feigned poverty to the false security of wealth and ending on a note of final lingering doubt about one's place and purpose in the world -- seems itself a trenchant comment on the nature of success and what it does to people. By transposing to 'Swinging London' the Marxist concerns of his Italian films, Antonioni demonstrates once again that this malaise of modern life is not caused by technology and consumer culture but rather by man's failure to adapt to the conditions of the new environment he has created for himself.

162 of 221 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
111 minutes of sheer boredom PrinceWin
Worst Film EVER!!! equalthree
Great movies with unlikeable protagonists tom718
Gets better with every viewing mark_wilks_x
Hint of bisexuality mgasilva
Why I think he dreamt it all... CadenGodard
Discuss Blow-Up (1966) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: