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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 24,398 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 106 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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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

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Murder has a sound all of its own! 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

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nancy Allen envisioned the character of Sally as a little rag doll. See more »

Goofs

In the pre-credit "slasher movie" sequence, the shadowed reflections of both the "slasher" (intended or, at least, credible) and the camera operator and his Steadicam (unintended) can be seen in the tile wall to the right of the showering girl. Perhaps the reason the girl was hired, as explained to John T's character in the projection room by the film's producer, was thought to be a sufficient distraction so as to preclude a retake. See more »

Quotes

Jack Terry: Jesus, that's terrible.
Mixer: That's a terrible scream. Jack, what cat did you have to strangle to get that?
Jack Terry: The one you hired. That's her scream.
Mixer: You mean you didn't dub that?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Reservoir Dogs (1992) 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.


23 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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