7.6/10
50,417
281 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
3,755 ( 40)

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Prime Video

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 7.9/10 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
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
The Passenger (1975)
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
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
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
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
La Strada (1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart
Amarcord (1973)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
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:

Michelangelo Antonioni's first British film 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

Antonioni originally wanted The Who for the club scene because he wanted Peter Townsend's famous smashing of his guitar. The Yardbird's manager, Simon Napier-Bell, very much wanted his group in the movie instead. In the documentary "Blow up of 'Blow Up'", Napier-Bell tells how he advised the Who's manager, Kit Lambert, "Don't be a pushover." He advised Lambert to ask for £5,000 and approval of the final edit of the scene, knowing that Antonioni would throw him out. Afterwards, Napier-Bell called Antonioni and said that he'd heard things didn't go well with Lambert. He then said that Jeff Beck had been the first to start smashing his guitar, and that Townsend had copied Beck. He says in the documentary that he could tell Antonioni knew he was lying, but rather liked that he was. See more »

Goofs

When Jane and Thomas are discussing the photographic film in Thomas's house, there is a pillow with the number three on it propped up vertically against the back of a couch. A little later, this pillow has moved to the top of the back of the couch at the point where the arm meets it and no one has touched it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mime: Give me your money. Do it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

This new version of the opening title music is played on the English language track of the DVD. All other tracks on the DVD including the English one with the audio commentary keep the original music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Targets (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?
Written by John Sebastian
Sung by The Lovin' Spoonful
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.


196 of 231 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 281 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed