7.6/10
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Blow-Up (1966)

Blowup (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 26 September 1967 (Italy)
Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
A fashion photographer unknowingly captures a death on film after following two lovers in a park.

Writers:

Michelangelo Antonioni (story), Julio Cortázar (short story "Las babas del diablo") (as Julio Cortazar) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,007 ( 59)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vanessa Redgrave ... Jane
Sarah Miles ... Patricia
David Hemmings ... Thomas
John Castle ... Bill
Jane Birkin ... The Blonde
Gillian Hills ... The Brunette
Peter Bowles ... Ron
Veruschka von Lehndorff ... Verushka (as Verushka)
Julian Chagrin ... Mime
Claude Chagrin Claude Chagrin ... Mime
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Storyline

A successful mod photographer in London whose world is bounded by fashion, pop music, marijuana, and easy sex, feels his life is boring and despairing. Then he meets a mysterious beauty, and also notices something frightfully suspicious on one of his photographs of her taken in a park. The fact that he may have photographed a murder does not occur to him until he studies and then blows up his negatives, uncovering details, blowing up smaller and smaller elements, and finally putting the puzzle together. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Michelangelo Antonioni's first British film See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michelangelo Antonioni felt that the film marked a "radical" departure from his previous films. "In my other films, I have tried to probe the relationship between one person and another--most often, their love relationship, the fragility of their feelings, and so on. But in this film, none of these themes matters. Here, the relationship is between an individual and reality--those things that are around him. There are no love stories in this film, even though we see relations between men and women. The experience of the protagonist is not a sentimental nor an amorous one but rather, one regarding his relationship with the world, with the things he finds in front of him. He is a photographer. One day, he photographs two people in a park, an element of reality that appears real. And it is. But reality has a quality of freedom about it that is hard to explain. This film, perhaps, is like Zen; the moment you explain it, you betray it. I mean, a film you can explain in words, is not a real film." See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Jane gives Thomas her phone number, there is a huge piece of coiled-up hair at the bottom of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mime: Give me your money. Do it.
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Alternate Versions

Some of the music was rescored for the Warner DVD release, namely the latter part of the opening title music. The VHS releases' music remain intact. See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Taboos (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Train Kept A - Rollin'
(uncredited)
Written by Tiny Bradshaw, Howie Kay and Sydney Nathan
Performed by The Yardbirds
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User Reviews

You always miss something
4 August 2000 | by joegerardiSee all my reviews

I would recommend that people who are considering watching this film for the first time not read the following. I don't mention the film's ending, I just believe its far more satisfying to let the films potent details nervously sink into place on their own.

It is not about cameras. It is not about seeing. It is about our perception of our individual world. It throws shadows on the very judgments we build our lives upon. Without mentioning the obvious references to illusion (the mimes, the abstract picture of the corpse, etc.), I offer the following expert signposts Antonioni leaves for us to find.

1) The guitar neck David snatches at the rave-up has value only until he is not being chased for it, whereupon he discards it in the street. The pedestrian who then picks it up sees it only as junk.

2) Dialogue with his model friend at the pot party: DAVID - ` I thought you were in Paris.' THE GIRL - `I am'.

3) Appearances and Disappearance (2 of the many). The Lynn Redgrave character pops up as he arrives at his apartment. His question `How did you find me' is not explained. Later in the story, it is notably odd when David wakes up the following morning after the pot party that there is no one to be seen in the party house. Even the decorations like the clothes hung on the statue the night before have vanished.

4) David teaches the affectations of smoking to the woman. She must create an impression.

5) His painter friend describes his painting. `They don't mean anything to me while I work on them. Its only later that I ascribed something to them. Like this leg.' Whereupon he points out a place in a painting that might be a human leg. When he paints, he is tapping subconscious language, something apart from subjective and objective reality. Its as if Antonioni is offering us an even further vantage point to the events to come, dream reality.

6) The rambling diversion of events shows David's inability to `focus' on working through his mystery.

7) So much is hidden from the viewer. Its almost suggested that the real end to the narrative takes place someplace after the movie has already finished, jarring our sense of story, insinuating an ending we never get to `see'.

8) David announces at one point to his friend, `If only I had more money I'd be all right.'. Meanwhile he drives through the whole movie in his Rolls Royce.

This is a very remarkable film. I was irked by the pacing and the diversions as I watched it, but that was exactly why it all kept coming and coming at me for hours after until finally in bed it all rushed through me like a gorgeous musical event. I know for certain there are many more hidden corners to it, but this is what I got in my first viewing. Just that gut feeling that I missed something, I believe, is exactly where Antonioni was going. You always miss something.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Criterion | HBOMAX | See more »

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1967 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Blow-Up See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,066
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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