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Blow Out (1981) Poster

(1981)

Trivia

John Travolta suffered from insomnia during the shoot. His lack of sleep helped him create a very moody performance and is why his character seems so downtrodden throughout the movie.
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.
The idea of a man discovering a crime by listening to a recording is a reinterpretation of Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up (1966), but using sound instead of photographs.
Al Pacino was director Brian De Palma's first choice for the role of Jack Terry. When he proved unavailable John Travolta was signed, prompting a suggestion from at least one studio executive to cast Olivia Newton-John, Travolta's Grease (1978) co-star, in the role of Sally (which De Palma refused).
In the French version, John Travolta's voice was dubbed by Gérard Depardieu.
The use of a split-focus diopter lens is evident in several scenes, in particular the sound recording scene and the hospital scene. The split-focus lens is attached to the main lens, and it affects only the left or right portion of the main lens' view. This changes the focal distance of part of the image, allowing objects at two distances (in the foreground and background) to be in sharp focus.
The first film Brian De Palma used a Steadicam in.
The film received mostly positive reviews from movie critics, including rave reviews by Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert. But the ending supposedly made the movie suffer at the box office.
The underwater components of the car crash on the bridge set piece were shot in a huge tank in California. Nancy Allen suffers from claustrophobia and hence had a hard time with being trapped in the car in the underwater scenes.
Brian De Palma got the idea for the story while doing the sound mix on his previous movie, Dressed to Kill (1980).
Brian De Palma has said that the score, written by Pino Donaggio, is one of his favourite scores from one of his own movies.
During the editing process, two reels of footage from the Liberty Parade sequence were stolen, never to be seen again. This meant that the scenes had to be reshot at a cost of $750,000. Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond was no longer available, so he was replaced by László Kovács.
Nancy Allen envisioned the character of Sally as a little rag doll.
The slasher movie sequence that is being dubbed at the beginning was shot by Garret Brown on his invention, the Steadicam. He was so skilled and fast on his feet with the rig that the crew struggled to keep up with him, Including the focus puller. When the "slasher" holds up the knife in front of the camera, that too is Garett Brown holding the knife as this was the only way to get the shot to work.
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The two main characters were much older and more cynical in an earlier draft of the script.
The accident at the start of the film alludes to the Kennedy incident at Chappaquiddick.
John Lithgow was afraid that he might seriously hurt Nancy Allen during a particular scene during filming.
The scene in which Jack is telling Sally about how a battery leaked acid on Freddy Corso when he was wearing a wire was based on an incident from Robert Daley's book Prince of the City. Brian De Palma was interested in directing the film based from that book.
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Film debut of Roberto Lombardi.
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When John Travolta was cast in the male lead, Nancy Allen was immediately considered for the female lead.
Also alludes to the Watergate scandal and the JFK assassination.
Brian De Palma said that the first scenes that were filmed were the scenes that take place inside Penn Station.
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Personal Effects was the original title of the film.
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John Travolta and Nancy Allen had previously starred in Carrie (1976).
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Brian De Palma has said that Blow Out was a very arduous movie to film.
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Julie Christie was one of the original choices for the role of Sally had Jack been played by an older actor.
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The original tape of the scene with John T. racing through the streets through the police line, the parade & crashing through the store window was stolen. They had to return to Philadelphia just to re-shoot the entire scene.
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