7.4/10
32,224
157 user 134 critic

Blow Out (1981)

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

Director:

Writer:

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Body Double (1984)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
Sisters (1972)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Obsession (1976)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A wealthy New Orleans businessman becomes obsessed with a young woman who resembles his wife.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow
Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
The Fury (1978)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A government agent is determined to come to his son's rescue when a sinister official kidnaps him to harbor his extremely powerful psychic abilities.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress
Snake Eyes (1998)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Carrie (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey
Edit

Cast

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

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 »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,747,234, 28 August 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Quentin Tarantino stated in an interview that this film is his favorite Brian De Palma movie. In fact, Tarantino cast John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994) because he liked his performance in this movie so much. See more »

Goofs

After Jack gets out of his vehicle to go into the train station to try to find Sally, he leaves his Jeep door open. When he comes out and gets back in the door is closed. See more »

Quotes

Mixer: Jack, I need your help.
[he presents a couple of girls who all attempt a terrified scream]
Jack Terry: Keep looking.
Mixer: But Jack, what's the matter with you?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good scream from the streets of Philadelphia.
14 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

I was blown away by Brian DePalma's "Blow Out" (1981), the Real American Classic from the 80th. Yes, of course, De Palma pays homage to both, "Blow Up" and "Conversation" but "Blow Out" is a vintage DePalma at his best, in his glory and brilliance. The story is great, packed with twists and turns and also lets us peek once again as in Body Double" at the B-movies making process. John Travolta is Jack Terri, a sound technician who rescues a girl (Nancy Allen) from a car that crashes into a river after a blow out. The man who drove the car did not survive and he happened to be the next presidential candidate. Jack soon realizes that it was not just a blow out but a murder, and he's got an evidence to prove it, the tape that he made on the bridge while recording the background noises for the movie. As good as the story is, it does not forget its characters, and they are memorable and multi-dimensional. The actors are terrific. It was the time when John Travolta was both cute without being smug and compelling. Nancy Allen as Sally, was sweet and heartbreaking, Dennis Franz's character, Manny Karp, the petty blackmailer who got more than he bargained for was fun to watch, and John Lithgow made such a chilling villain that Anthony Hopkins could've learned something from him. I did not even start on Vilmos Zsigmond's camera work. Only one word comes to mind - mesmerizing. The final chase sequence on the streets of Philadelphia during the celebration of the ringing of the Liberty Bell is as well staged and shut and as exiting as the similar climatic chase on Mount Rushmore in Hitchcock's "North By Northwest". The movie is perfectly balanced by the last scene and the hilarious opening scene mirroring each other but this time the scream is different. It IS a good scream that came from the streets of Philadelphia.


22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 157 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Katee Sackhoff talks about her characters on "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Wars: Rebels," and "The Flash." Plus, "The IMDb Show" learns what it takes to wield a lightsaber.

Watch the show