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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.

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4,928 ( 850)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jack
... Sally
... Burke
... Manny Karp
Peter Boyden ... Sam
Curt May ... Donahue
John Aquino ... Detective Mackey
... Lawrence Henry
... Hooker
... Detective at Hospital
Missy Cleveland ... Coed Lover (as Amanda Cleveland)
... Coed Lover
Lori-Nan Engler ... Sue
Cindy Manion ... Dancing Coed
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:

Murder has a sound all of its own! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,747,234, 28 August 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The underwater components of the car crash on the bridge set piece were shot in a huge tank in California. Nancy Allen suffers from claustrophobia and hence had a hard time with being trapped in the car in the underwater scenes. See more »

Goofs

As the Burke character (John Lithgow) speaks to his contact from the "secure" public phone in downtown Philadelphia, the same maroon MGB convertible is seen directly across in the same metered space throughout the conversations that take place on different days. See more »

Quotes

Jack Terry: I'm trying to save our asses!
Sally: I'll look after my *own* ass, thank you.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just Out In The Woods Recording When..........................................
11 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

John Travolta is a sound engineer out in the woods during the dead of night trying to record some woods type noises for the latest film he's working on when he sees an accident in which a state governor is killed, a potential presidential candidate. He also records the distinct sound of a gunshot before the car went off a bridge and into a creek at night. Travolta also dives into the creek and rescues Nancy Allen, but is unable to save the male in the car. He finds out later about his VIP status.

Director Brian DePalma obviously used a twist on the tragedy at Chappaquiddick as the basis for Blow Out. The title comes from the official police investigation where they say the car had a blowout which caused the accident, but Travolta insists on his version. And his sticking to the story is making a lot of people uncomfortable.

Travolta does a nice job in a film role that a generation or two earlier James Stewart might have done, the average every man who gets heroic status thrust upon him. He's an ordinary man, but he wants the truth to come out.

Look also for some good performances by Dennis Franz as a sleazy photographer and John Lithgow as a very thorough killer who really loves his job. He not only wants to hide his murder in a forest, he plants his own forest so to speak.

Brian DePalma keeps the tension moving at all times in a manner worthy of Hitchcock. It was a good part for John Travolta, one of the last he would get acclaim for for some time.


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