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Blow Out (1981)

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A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Boyden ...
Curt May ...
John Aquino ...
Deborah Everton ...
Detective at Hospital
Missy Cleveland ...
Coed Lover (as Amanda Cleveland)
Roger Wilson ...
Lori-Nan Engler ...
Cindy Manion ...
Dancing Coed
Missy Crutchfield ...
Dancing Coed (as Missy O'Shea)


This stylish Brian De Palma thriller plays off the theme of the unsuspecting witness who discovers a crime and is thereby put in grave danger, but with a novel twist. Jack Terry is a master sound recordist who works on grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he does not know whom he can trust. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Blow Out took them to the edge of terror . . . his questions took them way beyond [Video Australia] See more »


Mystery | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Brian De Palma has said that the score, written by Pino Donaggio, is one of his favourite scores from one of his own movies. See more »


When Jack drives his Jeep into the store window it breaks before he hits it. See more »


Jack Terry: I'm trying to save our asses!
Sally: I'll look after my *own* ass, thank you.
See more »


References Black Christmas (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

If you liked F/X...
4 April 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

If you liked F/X, you'll probably like Blow Out and vice versa because both films involve a person who uses their craft to solve a highly corrupt case of murder.

While F/X's Rollie Tyler was a special effects engineer, our hero in Blow Out is a sound technician who must piece together parts of a sound recording (along with some other vital information from other sources along the way) to solve the murder of the gubernatorial candidate, a death which the police have written off as a homocide. Travolta employs Nancy Allen's help, a rather dumb prostitute who was in the car with the victim when their car ran off the bridge, but who is the only survivor and essential key to unlocking the mystery. They are dealing with a very relentless killer who will stop at nothing to make sure the trail of evidence leading to him is eliminated.

It is a typical DePalma movie in that it is done with many Hitchcock elements (they didn't call him the master of suspense for nothing) and also that he works with movies-in-a-movie (see 'Body Double' and 'Dressed to Kill'). It is an enjoyable crime and mystery movie in the days when John Travolta movies were still fun to watch.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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