7.6/10
49,851
274 user 127 critic

Blow-Up (1966)

Blowup (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 24 February 1967 (Brazil)
A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Writers:

Michelangelo Antonioni (story), Julio Cortázar (short story "Las babas del diablo") (as Julio Cortazar) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,996 ( 241)

On TV

Airs Wed. Feb. 20, 12:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, takes the risky path of coopting the identity of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
La Notte (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At Zabriskie Point, United States' lowest point, two perfect strangers meet; an undergraduate dreamer and a young hippie student who start off an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Paul Fix
L'Eclisse (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman meets a vital young man, but their love affair is doomed because of the man's materialistic nature.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal
Red Desert (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, Carlo Chionetti
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée
(1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Graziella Galvani
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Antonioni's camera never flinches. At love without meaning. At murder without guilt. At the dazzle and madness of youth today. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1967 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Blow-Up See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,000,000, 31 January 1970
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michelangelo Antonioni's original choice for the rock band was The Velvet Underground but there were problems over their work permits at the time. The In Crowd (who later became Tomorrow) were then offered the cameo but dropped out at the last minute, and the guitar destroyed by Jeff Beck - probably in emulation of The Who's Pete Townshend - was owned by The In Crowd guitarist Steve Howe. 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 14 minutes from this film for its 1973 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Verushka (Parts 1 and 2)
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Success and image; fantasy and reality (SPOILERS)
10 December 2003 | by DC1977See all my reviews

Antonioni's Blow-Up was the biggest hit of the Italian director's career, the superficial elements of the fashion world, Swinging London and orgies on purple paper ensuring its commercial success.

Models such as Veruschka (who appears in the film), Twiggy and fashion photographers at the time have complained about its unrealistic depiction of the industry and claimed that its central character, Thomas (played by the late David Hemmings) was clearly based on David Bailey.

To look at Blow-Up as an analysis of the fashion business in the Sixties is to misunderstand the film's intentions. In any case, when watching this film it may be difficult to tell what its all about if you're unfamiliar with Antonioni's films but it obviously has little to do with the fashion world which is merely the setting for the story and nothing more.

Antonioni made the clearest statement of his motivation as a filmmaker at the end of Beyond the Clouds when he talked about his belief that reality is unattainable as it is submerged by layers of images which are only versions of reality.

This is a rather pretentious way of saying that everyone perceives reality in their own way and ultimately see only what they want to see.

With this philosophy in mind, Blow-Up is probably Antonioni's most personal film.

Thomas' hollow, self-obsessed world is shattered when he discovers that he may have photographed a murder when casually taking pictures in a park. He encounters a mysterious woman, Jane (Vanessa Redgrave) who demands he hand over the film and when he refuses she appears at his studio, although Thomas never told her his address.

When the evidence disappears shortly afterwards, Blow-Up seems to deal in riddles that have no solution. Redgrave re-appears and then vanishes before the photographer's eyes, Thomas returns to the park without his camera and sees the body. The film concludes with Thomas, having discovered the body has disappeared, watching a group of mimes playing tennis without a ball or rackets in the park where the murder may have taken place.

It is only in the final scene of the film where the riddle is solved. Thomas throws the imaginary ball back into the court and watches the game resume. The look of realisation on his face is all too apparent as the game CAN BE HEARD taking place out of shot.

There is a ball, there are rackets and this is a real game of tennis. What we have seen up until this point is the photographer's perception of reality: the murder, the mysterious woman in the park, the photographic evidence and the body.

The following exchange between Hemmings and Redgrave is the key to the film:

Thomas: Don't let's spoil everything, we've only just met.

Jane: No, we haven't met. You've never seen me.


194 of 229 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 274 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed