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Blow-Up (1966)

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's first English-language production was also his only box office hit, widely considered one of the seminal films of the 1960s. Thomas (David Hemmings) is a nihilistic, wealthy fashion photographer in mod Swinging London. Filled with ennui, bored with his fab but oddly-lifeless existence of casual sex and drug use, Thomas comes alive when he wanders through a park, stops to take pictures of a couple embracing, and upon developing the images, believes that he has photographed a murder. Pursued by Jane (Vanessa Redgrave), the woman who is in the photos, Thomas pretends to give her the pictures, but in reality, he passes off a different roll of film to her. Thomas returns to the park and discovers that there is, indeed, a dead body lying in the shrubbery: the gray-haired man who was embracing Jane. Has she murdered him, or does Thomas' photo reveal a man with a gun hiding nearby? Antonioni's thriller is a puzzling, existential, adroitly-assembled masterpiece.~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Sarah Miles
  • David Hemmings
  • John Castle
  • Jane Birkin
  • Gillian Hills
  • Peter Bowles
  • Veruschka von Lehndorff
  • Julian Chagrin
  • Claude Chagrin

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • A silver jacketed Janet Street-Porter can be seen wearing red/yellow striped PVC trousers and dancing to the Yardbirds during the club scene.
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Goofs

  • Shadow of camera crew visible when the photographer is driving home from the factory.
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Quotes

    • Thomas: Don't let's spoil everything, we've only just met.
    • Jane: No, we haven't met. You've never seen me.
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

100

Whether there was a murder isn't the point. The film is about a character mired in ennui and distaste, who is roused by his photographs into something approaching passion.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
100

Blowup daringly suggests that an image without politics isn’t an image at all.

Metacritic review by Ed Gonzalez
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
100

Blow-Up is moving and influential for the chasms it understands to exist between people, and for its perception of art as unable to bridge those divides.

Metacritic review by Chuck Bowen
Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine