7.4/10
34,341
160 user 113 critic

Blow Out (1981)

Trailer
1:16 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,078 ( 145)
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen
Body Double (1984)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young actor's obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry
Sisters (1972)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A journalist witnesses a brutal murder in a neighboring apartment, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Raising Cain (1992)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The oncologist wife of a prominent child psychologist suspects her husband has an unhealthy scientific obsession with their child, unaware of what - or who - is really going on inside his head.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer
Obsession (1976)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A wealthy New Orleans businessman becomes obsessed with a young woman who resembles his wife.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold, John Lithgow
Home Movies (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about ... See full summary »

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nancy Allen, Mary Davenport, Kirk Douglas
Femme Fatale (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
The Fury (1978)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former CIA agent uses the talents of a young psychic to help retrieve his telekinetic son from terrorists, who want to use his mental powers for evil.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress
Carrie (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving
Greetings (1968)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An offbeat, episodic film about three friends, Paul, a shy love-seeker, Lloyd, a vibrant conspiracy nut, and Jon, an aspiring filmmaker and peeping tom. The film satirizes free-love, the ... See full summary »

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Jonathan Warden, Robert De Niro, Gerrit Graham
Hi, Mom! (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Vietnam vet moves into an apartment and views in other people's windows across the street, meets one of the women, and discovers black theater.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Robert De Niro, Allen Garfield, Lara Parker
Edit

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)
Edit

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 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 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 July 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Personal Effects  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Brian De Palma has said that Blow Out was a very arduous movie to film. See more »

Goofs

Film crew visible during overhead shot after Jack crashes through police barricade. See more »

Quotes

Jack Terry: Jesus, that's terrible.
Mixer: That's a terrible scream. Jack, what cat did you have to strangle to get that?
Jack Terry: The one you hired. That's her scream.
Mixer: You mean you didn't dub that?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Giant Gila Monster (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The scream!
2 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

Brian DePalma was at the height of his film career when he undertook the direction of "Blow Out". Some comments to this forum have compared it to other distinguished films like Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" and Michaelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up", a comparison that seems to make sense, in a way, but Mr. DePalma, who wrote his own screen play, is an intelligent man who didn't need to copy anything from those masters of the cinema.

In fact, "Blow Out" has kept its impact as a thriller mystery with its political overtones as it mixes crime with the lives of influential people that might give viewers a point of reference between the movie and actual historical facts.

We are given an introduction to Jack's line of work as we watch scenes of the porno film that he is working on as a sound technician. The only thing that is needed is a real scream which the many actresses, either on the film itself, or being auditioned, can't produce. Whatever comes out of those women's throats are wimpy sounds, not a horror yell for help.

Jack, who is out one night recording sounds for future ventures, captures the shot that causes the "blow out" and makes a car plunge into a creek. Jack abandons everything and jumps to rescue whoever he can save. He is only successful in bringing Sally out of the water. This is the beginning of Jack's involvement into the mystery behind the actual fact.

Mr. DePalma's thriller is visually stylish. He photographed the movie in Philadelphia. The film has the excellent Vilmos Zsigmond behind the camera. The atmospheric music by Pino Donoggio serves the movie well.

John Travolta's career was in decline when he made this movie. He gives a terrific performance as the sound effect man who stumbles in a conspiracy to eliminate the witnesses to the accident. Nancy Allen is not as effective as Sally, the young prostitute at the center of the story. Being married to the director might have helped her land the part, which with some other actress might have paid off better. John Lighgow is perfectly creepy as Burke, the evil man. Dennis Franz has the pivotal part of Karp, the man who was able to photograph the whole incident.

"Blow Out" is a must see for all Brian DePalma's admirers.


65 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 160 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Horror and Thriller Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular horror and thriller movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed