Blow-Out (1981)

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By Scott Ross

Brian De Palma’s finest movie. Blow-Out was unfairly accused of being a Hitchcock/Antonioni rip-off (of Rear Window and Blow-Up, to be precise) but is in fact an exciting, ultimately sobering meditation on voyeurism and the unreliable evidence of one’s own senses.

John Travolta (never better) is a sound engineer who inadvertently records a political murder, endangering both his life and that of a likable hooker (Nancy Allen). It’s full of De Palma’s exhilarating camera tricks and his uncanny ability to generate real dread. The beautifully ironic ending is so agonizing it’s liable to stay with you for days.

Text copyright 2013 by Scott Ross

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