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Blow Out (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-Ray]

John Travolta , Nancy Allen , Brian De Palma    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Brian De Palma's 1981 thriller is something of a homage to Michelangelo Antonioni's masterful Blowup, though there are hints of Francis Ford Coppola's paranoia-inducing Conversation sprinkled throughout. John Travolta plays a sound-effects man who witnesses what appears to be a tragic car accident killing a presidential candidate. The audio tape he happened to be recording at that moment (adding to his collection of natural sounds), however, suggests but doesn't prove that a murderous conspiracy is afoot. Trying to tease a shred of evidence from murky doubt, Travolta's character turns to a hooker (Nancy Allen) for help and stumbles into a web of evil spun by a right-wing kook (John Lithgow). De Palma's fetishistic fascination with obscured truth in a universe ruled by chance makes Blow Out one of his most operatic films. It's also perhaps one of his most revealing about the inherent decadence of creating verisimilitude for art. Sometimes knocked for its outrageous camera technique, Blow Out contains several exciting sequences that underscore De Palma's amped-up admiration for many of Hitchcock's best moves. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

In the enthralling Blow Out, brilliantly crafted by Brian De Palma (Sisters, Carrie, Scarface), John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction) gives one of his greatest performances, as Jack, a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a political assassination. He enlists the help of Sally (played by Carrie’s Nancy Allen), a possible eyewitness to the crime who may be in danger herself, to uncover the truth. With its jolting stylistic flourishes, intricate plot, profoundly felt characterizations, and gritty evocation of early-1980s Philadelphia, Blow Out is an American paranoia thriller unlike any other, as well as a devilish reflection on the act of moviemaking.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director Brian De Palma • New hour-long interview with De Palma, conducted by filmmaker Noah Baumbach • New interview with star Nancy Allen • Cameraman Garrett Brown on the Steadicam shots featured in the film within the film • Select on-set photos from photographer Louis Goldman • Original theatrical trailer • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow and Pauline Kael’s original New Yorker review

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't forget it Nov. 16 2003
I saw «Blow Out» for the first time when I was 8. Couldn't forget it.
I saw «Blow Up» for the first time when I was 10. Couldn't forget it.
I saw «The Conversation» for the first time when I was 25. Couldn't forget it.
The reason these movies stay in your mind is simple. See the three of them and you'll understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un classique du genre! Sept. 24 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Cet excellent suspense de Brian de Palma vaut le détour si vous ne l`avez pas encore vu.John Travolta est parfait dans le role d`un preneur de son témoin d`un accident un soir.Le reste je vous laisse le découvrir.Intense!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travolta excels in an early role May 7 2011
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Blow Out
Directed by Brian De Palma
Starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow and Dennis Franz

Criterion | 1981 | 108 min | Rated R | Released Apr 26, 2011

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

English SDH

Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Jack Terry (Travolta) is a sound-effects man who works on B-movies for a Philadelphia-based studio. One night, he decides to go out to record some new effects. He captures the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, a frog croaking, an owl hooting and a couple's conversation. They mention that someone is watching them from a nearby bridge.

Jack inadvertently records a car accident and a gunshot heard before it veers off the road into a creek. He runs over and leaps into the water, pulling a woman from the car, but too late to save the man she is with. The woman, Sally (Allen), survives the accident with no apparent injuries. The dead man turns out to be Governor McRyan, a potential presidential candidate.

The police write the crash off as an accident, but Jack knows what he heard and reconstructs the scene in his mind by listening to his recording. We find out that someone caught the crash on film and sold it to various publications. Jack matches the images to the sounds and is certain the crash was caused by a bullet hitting a tire. None of the authorities seem interested so he seeks Sally's help to prove his theory.

De Palma builds suspense throughout and a plot to discredit the Governor is gradually revealed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLOW OUT-- another De Palma masterpiece!! Jan. 13 2002
While it may be deriative of other films (Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW and even De Palma's own BODY DOUBLE and DRESSED TO KILL), this still stands as one of his best.
A movie sound man (John Travolta in one of his best performances), inadvertantly records an accident while recording effects for a new film-- one that kills the governor. He saves the other passenger, a hooker (Nancy Allen in another great performance that reminds one of her hooker character in DRESSED TO KILL) who tries to help him solve the case.
Meanwhile, a killer is on the loose, killing off Nancy Allen look-alikes in a most brutal fashion-- strangling them, and then stabbing a picture of the liberty bell on their stomachs. Travolta and Allen try to put the pieces of the puzzle together by putting together a film of the accident, which is purposefully erased to make it look like Travolta is full of crap.
The killer calls Allen to meet her at a subway so she can give him the tapes of the accident, disgusing himself as a TV reporter. Travolta figures out a way to rig a microphone onto Allen so he can hear everything they are saying from his car. When he hears the guys voice, he knows it is not that reporter, and he races to find them before it is too late...
In some ways, this is a very complex, disturbing, suspenseful, and often confusing thriller. But that's that way it was meant to be. And you'll see that, at the end, the pieces of the puzzle all really do fit together (despite a very sad ending, you'll figure it out, through the tears).
MGM does a great job on the presentation on BLOW OUT, giving you a choice of widescreen or fullscreen on a two sided disc. Unfortunately, the only extra is the theatrical trailer, and that is a major disappointment on the issue of the DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great De Palma film! Jan. 22 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
One of Brian De Palma's best films gets the Criterion treatment, and it's worth the wait! A very tense thriller that stays with you for quite some time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Service April 9 2012
By Ricky_D
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A rare and hard to find movie. I'm so greatful that it's still available. Service was fantastic, couldn't ask for anything better.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, but Annoying at the Same Time June 8 2004
Having heard before hand, that Brian DePalma's "Blow Out" was like a tribute to Antonioni's "Blow Up", i was definately intreagued. "Blow Up" is one of the greatest art films I've ever seen, and knowing that tributes are never as good as the original, i knew not to expect too much.
Basically, "Blow Out" involves a sound man (Travolta) recording sounds in a park at night, when a speeding car has what seems to be a blow out, crashes through a fence and into a lake. Travolta is able to rescue the woman, but the man behind the wheel was dead before he could be helped. Upon listening to the tape he'd made that night, Travolta recovers what he believes to be two sounds. Naturally, he can't help but get involved, and try to solve the case.
I Enjoyed Blow Out for the obvious reasons; good acting, complex script, lots of well-drawn suspense. And, if you've never seen or liked Antonioni's "Blow Up", the review can end here for you. You'll probably enjoy this version. Despite my complaints in the next paragraph, i really liked this movie.
However having seen and enjoyed "Blow Up", it looked to me like Brian De Palma did what everyone was tempted to do, but that no one should have done. Made "Blow Up" a Hollywood movie. "Blow Up" actually has a lot a great suspense and intreague, but the end is sure do disappoint those who need a clean-cut ending, which is to say, most theatre goers. Basically, they smushed the plot of "Blow Up" down about 30 minutes, added some more murders and people skulking around shadowy rooms, and then gave it a conclusive ending.
Needless to say, it's frusterating to see a great piece of art turned into a decent Hollywood movie. But hey, if you like a good suspense thriller, this works.
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