mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

November 12, 2013

Episode 140: Blow Out (1981)

Special Guests: Dennis Franz, Nancy Allen,
Fred C. Caruso, & Bill Mesce Jr.

Brian DePalma's Blow Out takes on Antonioni, Coppola and Zapruder. The 1981 film stands as John Travolta's finest performance.

We're joined by Jamey Duvall of Movie Geeks United.

Buy Blow Out on DVD
Buy The Conversation on DVD
Buy Blow Up on DVD
Listen to The DePalma Thriller series at Movie Geeks United
Listen to our episode on Phantom of the Paradise
Visit the De Palma A La Mod fan site
Learn more about the weSPARK Cancer Support Center
Read Bill Mesce's Sight on Sound column
Buy Bill Mesce's Overkill: The Rise And Fall of Thriller Cinema

The Blow Out Soundtrack - Pino Donaggio
"A Good Scream" - Joohyun Park, Elizabeth Hedman

Listen/Download Now:

Bonus Interview with Bill Mesce:

All 15 Split Diopter Shots in BLOW OUT from Vashi Nedomansky on Vimeo.


  1. Thanks again for a wonderful podcast. The insights from all of your guests gave great details as to how this film was developed, shot, and the critical reaction upon release. I was suprised to learn that this film did not do well B.O. wise. I remember it coming out in New York, the excellent reviews for Travolta and Lithgow, I had assumed it was yet another Travolta hit.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Frank,

      Thanks so much! Glad you liked it. Thanks for leaving a comment. Please pass it along to others, let other films fans know about the show who might also enjoy it.


      Rob St. Mary
      co-host of "The Projection Booth"

    2. Frank! Thanks so much for your donation! We appreciate your generosity!

  2. Great job as always. I had the pleasure of playing this movie at the twin screen theatre I worked at as a projectionist in the late 70s to early 80s. I believe the main reason the movie didn't do well is the studio either didn't know how to advertise it or had no faith in the project. This was one of the very few mainstream movies that we didn't get a one-sheet for and I honestly don't remember playing a trailer for this movie. I can't imagine a pan and scan version of this film. The opening title sequence with the words moving back and forth must have looked like a nightmare.


  3. Jack Terry’s tragic arc reminded me a lot of Jake Gittes from Chinatown. Both characters used to be in law enforcement until some tragic event where they failed to save somebody. Now they both work in professions that require them to utilize their skills but not their empathy. Suddenly they’re both uncovering a larger conspiracy where they meet a love interest who they try to save by the end but fail similarly to how they failed before. This leaves them even more jaded and cynical than they were at the beginning.
    I’m not sure if De Palma was perhaps influenced by Chinatown or if he just happened to have a similar idea.

    Side Note: I’m curious what Mike thinks of De Palma’s film Passion. That’s a movie that has a female lead character who we empathize with. I don’t think De Palma has ever been misogynistic the same way I don’t think Tarantino has never been either.