7.4/10
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174 user 120 critic

Blow Out (1981)

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A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writer:

Brian De Palma
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Popularity
4,055 ( 179)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Jack
Nancy Allen ... Sally
John Lithgow ... Burke
Dennis Franz ... Manny Karp
Peter Boyden Peter Boyden ... Sam
Curt May Curt May ... Donahue
John Aquino John Aquino ... Detective Mackey
John McMartin ... Lawrence Henry
Deborah Everton ... Hooker
J. Patrick McNamara ... Detective at Hospital
Missy Cleveland Missy Cleveland ... Coed Lover (as Amanda Cleveland)
Roger Wilson ... Coed Lover
Lori-Nan Engler Lori-Nan Engler ... Sue
Cindy Manion Cindy Manion ... Dancing Coed
Missy Crutchfield Missy Crutchfield ... Dancing Coed (as Missy O'Shea)
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Storyline

This stylish Brian De Palma thriller plays off the theme of the unsuspecting witness who discovers a crime and is thereby put in grave danger, but with a novel twist. Jack Terry is a master audio technician who makes his living by recording unique sounds for grade-B horror movies. Late one evening, he is recording sounds for use in his movies when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he does not know whom he can trust. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Blow Out took them to the edge of terror . . . his questions took them way beyond [Video Australia] See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

When Burke murders a girl who looks like Sally, to establish the fictitious serial killer's MO, and turns her over to look at her face, the dead girl blinks. In the next close-up of her neck, it pulses just as the film cuts to a distant shot. See more »

Quotes

Sally: Are yuh leavin'?
Jack Terry: Yeah, I gotta go, but, um, whatta yuh say when you get outta here, we have a drink sometime... hmmm - in a glass?
See more »

Connections

References The Conversation (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Wonderfully written and directed story...
4 October 2005 | by dwpollarSee all my reviews

1st watched 10/03/2005 - 8 out of 10(Dir-Brian De Palma): Wonderfully written and directed story by Brian De Palma about a sound man who records an accident(we think) at a bridge while doing his job of recording sounds for a recent movie gig. We find out the accident involved a Governor who happened to be running for President of the United States and the title character(Jack played by John Travolta) just happened to rescue another person from the vehicle(who was a lady of the night played by Nancy Allen) and the Governor dies. What ensues is a major attempt to cover up some of the facts while Jack tries to piece together what he heard and saw for evidence of the foul play. He believes he heard a shot that blew out the tire of the vehicle and with an amateur photograph's pictures rigs together a pretty convincing portrait of the truth. Travolta is great in what I consider one of his best acting stints but Nancy Allen is tolerable at best. This is the only real negative to this otherwise well made and pieced together thriller that works to the very end and deserved more recognition than it received. I think everyone(audiences and critics alike) expected something different from someone who was known mainly for horror movies before this but this movie started a string of well-received movies coming from him and is definitely one


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