A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.
Release Year: 1981
Rating: 7.2/10 (13,546 voted)
Brian De Palma
Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow
This stylish Brian DePalma 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 is a sound recordist who works on 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 doesn't know whom he can trust.
J. Patrick McNamara
Detective at Hospital
(as Amanda Cleveland)
The Blow Out took them to the edge of terror . . . his questions took them way beyond [Video Australia]
Release Date: 24 July 1981
Filming Locations: 30th Street Station – 3001 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Box Office Details
(28 August 1981)
Did You Know?
In the French version, John Travolta's voice was dubbed by Gérard Depardieu.
Jack is able to recreate the footage of the car crashing by cutting out selected frames in the newspaper and turning them into a film reel. These photos would not be enough, as film reels require 24 frames a second to appear as a seamless moving image.
So you got your choice. You can be crazy or dead.
An enjoyable mix of `Blow-Up' and `The Conversation'
Jack is a sound editor for small films. When he is out one evening
recording background noises, he inadvertently records a car crash which
kills a politician running for the US Presidency, although Jack saves a girl
in the car. When pressured to say that the politician was alone, Jack finds
that his recording may prove that it was murder and not an accident.
However someone is cutting off the loose ends around the
A clever rework of Blow-Up that is given a thriller twist and visual style
by De Palma. The story is quite straight forward and doesn't contain too
many twists and turns. However it does have a good premise at it's core and
it builds to a suitably low-key ending.
De Palma works well with the material at some points it's a little
obtrusive, but he certainly can frame a shot. From his use of foreground
and background focusing to the scene where Travolta realises what he has on
tape he has style to spare. He handles the ending well but perhaps feels
he wants to be like Coppola a bit too much.
Pre-career dip Travolta gives his best performance before Pulp Fiction he
plays the everyman really well and is totally convincing. Allen is a little
too squeaky and irritating, but get past this and she's OK. Franz is
on-form as a sleazy opportunist, while Lithgow is chilling as a ruthless,
Overall it occasionally feels like there is more style than substance but
everyone holds their end up and the result is a solid, enjoyable thriller
that maybe pays a bit too much homage to other work.