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Blow Out (1981)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  24 July 1981 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 23,783 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 105 critic

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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Title: Blow Out (1981)

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film Brian De Palma used a Steadicam in. See more »

Goofs

As the Burke character (John Lithgow) speaks to his contact from the "secure" public phone in downtown Philadelphia, the same maroon MGB convertible is seen directly across in the same metered space throughout the conversations that take place on different days. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Two of a Kind (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another DePalma thriller that owes a lot to Hitchcock...
30 August 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

BLOW OUT deserves more attention than a lot of other thrillers from the '80s, partly because it's taut with suspense most of the time and owes a lot of its chill to JOHN LITHGOW's performance as a cold-blooded psychotic killer.

It's also one of JOHN TRAVOLTA's best early roles as a soundman looking for "the perfect scream" for one of his horror movies who accidentally shoots some film of a car careening off a bridge. He dives into the water to try saving the victims but is only able to rescue the woman (NANCY ALLEN). It turns out that the driver was a senator who was a presidential candidate (shades of Chappaquiddick).

From then on, the mystery deepens as he comes to suspect there's some kind of conspiracy involved. DENNIS FRANZ is Allen's boss, a sleazy photographer, who offers to help Travolta. The whole story is filmed with all the DePalma camera tricks and touches that keep the suspense boiling until the climactic shoot-out at the climax.

But it's JOHN LITHGOW who steals the film as the merciless killer with undisclosed political reasons for his murderous mission.

A forgotten gem among the stylish DePalma films that deserves more recognition today. I'm not much of a Travolta fan, but this is one of his better roles.


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