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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 »
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Popularity
2,867 ( 111)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 6 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:

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 »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 1967 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Blow-Up See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To loosen things up, David Hemmings decided to start the production with a bang. Literally. "In those days, when the money involved in making a picture was a lot less than it is now, it wasn't an uncommon opening ritual to test the mettle of a director [on a new production] by winding him up a little. In this case, we thought it would be a good wheeze to blow up a beautiful Mulliner Park Ward convertible Rolls-Royce. In one of the earliest shots, my character, Thomas...drives the Rolls away from a dosshouse where he's spent the night, snapping the run-down inmates. Thinking fast and with most of the crew ready to help, we suspended a pair of large steel plates under the engine and loaded them with nuts and bolts and any other oily metal objects we could find that looked like bits of engine. We also wired in under the bonnet a small, harmless bomb that would explode with a loud bang and a dense cloud of smoke." Having carefully planned the prank with the prop master who had a "wicked" sense of humour, Hemmings prepared for the first shot with the cameras rolling. "I drove the car round the corner into view and Props gave me the nod," he recalled. "I pulled a lever that had been rigged up for me under the dashboard and, instantly, a muffled explosion echoed off the walls of the drab brick buildings, immediately followed by a metallic clatter of detritus tumbling onto tarmac and a plume of blue-grey smoke spewing from under the bonnet of the vehicle. I snapped off the motor and came to a screeching halt." "An ominous silence followed the bang and the last rattle of metal. In the mirror I saw what looked like an entire engine scattered along the street behind me. It was so convincing, I almost believed the car had blown up." "Pierre Rouve, the producer, stood rigid at the roadside, as if paralyzed by cardiac arrest," Hemmings continued. "He had bought the car for the production from Jimmy Savile and I guess he was planning to keep it for himself afterwards. Now it looked like a write-off. The Maestro [Antonioni] himself barely winced. With a few tidy strides, he walked up to the sick-looking Roller, beckoning a spark to open the bonnet. He peered inside. Everyone on the set was laughing." "Antonioni slowly straightened his back and looked up at me where I still sat, pale and shamefaced, in the driver's seat. There was a shrewd, angry glint in his eye. 'Che cazzo fai?' he rasped icily. 'Stronzo! You have to learn now, David, this is not a picnic. We are here to work!' He knew perfectly well we'd been trying to wind him up, but now, a little late and with a nasty hollowness in my gut, I realized he was a very serious man indeed, entirely his own master, accountable to no one. And one of the greatest directors I ever worked for." See more »

Goofs

Shadow of camera crew visible when the photographer is driving home from the factory. 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 Hardcore (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Curiosity
Written and Performed by Herbie Hancock
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sixties Marvel
13 July 2004 | by jjlasneSee all my reviews

Blow Up is the quintessential 60' s movie with a roster of talented British actors, colourful mod fashions (now back in vogue), dreary post-war London locations and empty streets, groovy music by American composer extraordinaire Herbie Hancock and an Italian director and writer in love with the whole scene. Blow Up is the cinematic equivalent of the TR4 cabriolet, designed by Michelotti and manufactured by Triumph during the same period, and mixes the best of two rather different cultures. The movie offers the right amount of nudity, sensuality and perversion without offending the prude status quo of swinging Olde England. David Hemmings plays a character who is by all accounts snobbish, homophobic, prejudiced, rude and macho. This pseudo thriller/whodunit unwinds rather slowly and with little dialogue and, I think, is just an excuse for Antonioni to show how weird the English were. A must see flick for the ones nostalgic or who missed the 60' s completely.


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