Episode 174: Blow Out (1981)

In our latest episode of “That Sure Was 1981” we’re taking on a movie from . . . 1981! Ha! Bet you didn’t see that coming! What an unexpected twist, what a thrill ride! This short of shocking stuff is par for the course in Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out.” And what’s the big twist in this movie? John Travolta is in it and he DOESN’T DANCE! Not even once! Eat your heart out, M. Night Shyamalan! Ok, this thriller isn’t exactly packed with twists but it does give us a glimpse into the dark, twisted world of . . .  movie sound editing! Oddly enough, this is more interesting than you’d think.  John Travolta plays the very slappable Jack, alongside Nancy Allen, who plays Mrs. Brian De Palma . . . I mean, Nancy, right, Nancy.  This is before she took on her famous role as Officer Lewis in “Robocop.” That role was famous, right? We’ve also got John Lithgow being absolutely terrifying and lots of De Palma signature camera work (who doesn’t love split-screen shots? Anyone? Anyone?).  So give a listen as this movie, and our podcast, teaches you that you can’t really trust what you think you hear.  Or smell.  I swear, that was Bumpy, not me. Honest.

Poll question: What movie do you think is great just the way it is; no plot threads to pull at, no weak performances, no explanations for things that don’t make sense.  This is a movie you wouldn’t touch at ALL.  Not necessarily perfection, but something that when you watch it, you think “they just got everything right.”

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3 thoughts on “Episode 174: Blow Out (1981)”

  1. Aguirre the Wrath of God with Klaus Kinski and directed by Werner Herzog. I saw it who know how many time at Harvard Sq theatre and I refused to get a DVD player until it was released on dvd. Seeing the not worn to death copy on de just made me love it even more as the cinematography was so amazing. I actually watched it on a loop for an entire day while I was working once.

    1. You and your Werner Klemperer! Oh, wait…Herzog. To be fair, I’ve never watched one of his films, but you seem really passionate about him. Maybe I should check him out. Thanks for the answer, the listen and the kindness, Vince!

      1. If you want suggestions, ask. Some of his films are amazing, some are just plain weird and some are terrible. He recently did a couple of documentaries that are really thought provoking to say the least. His last on technology was just dumb.

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