Blow Out

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Blow Out

Blow Out poster.jpg

IMDB Page (external link)
Writer: Brian De Palma
Starring: John Travolta,
Nancy Allen,
John Lithgow,
Dennis Franz
Director: Brian De Palma
Music by: Pino Donaggio
Distributor: Filmways
Release Date: July 21, 1981 (U.S. release) (USA)
Runtime: 108 min.
Language: [[English language|English]]
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Blow Out is a 1981 film by Brian DePalma starring John Travolta as Jack Terry, a movie sound effect technician from Philadelphia who, while recording sounds for a low-budget horror film, accidentally captures audio evidence of the possible assassination of the Pennsylvania governor who was planning to run for President.

While John Travolta's performance is usually praised, the performance of his co-star Nancy Allen (in the role of Sally, a prostitute who was riding in the governor's limousine when he was killed) is considered to be the weakest part of the film. Also in the movie are Dennis Franz as sleazy private investigator Manny Karp, a Zapruderesque figure and John Lithgow as the coldblooded assassin Burke.

The movie is also noted for its tragic ending. Jack races through Philadelphia's "Liberty Day" parade in an attempt to keep Sally from being killed by Burke, but he is unsuccessful. Because he has wired Sally for sound, he immortalizes her by using her scream on the soundtrack of a movie he has been editing.

Critical reaction

Initial reaction to the film was mixed. Famously, Harlan Ellison walked out of a Writers Guild Film Society screening, stating that DePalma's movie "consciously and gratuitously debased the human spirit." However, in the 90s, Quentin Tarantino consistently promoted the movie, and listed "Blow Out" as one of his favorite three films, along with Rio Bravo and Taxi Driver. This endorsement has led to a critical reappraisement of the movie.


  • The title and themes of the film are an homage to Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup.
  • In the French version, John Travolta's voice was dubbed by actor Gérard Depardieu.

External links

it:Blow Out pt:Blow Out

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