Directed by: Brian De Palma
Written by: Brian De Palma (screenplay)
Starring: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, and Dennis Franz
It’s sad that Blow Out, perhaps the finest film I’ve seen from the 1980s if not certainly one of the top five, is a forgotten relic of that decade. Director Brian De Palma is known more for 1983’s Scarface, which looks like child’s play compared to this masterpiece. John Travolta is known for fading into obscurity until Pulp Fiction, yet in this film he gives his greatest performance.
In a decade where the political propaganda of Top Gun and the teen angst of John Hughes’ films are the lasting impressions of American cinema, it’s easy to see how a film like Blow Out that uses a dominant color palette of red, white and blue in a story of political corruption and murder, would fade away. Thanks to those people at The Criterion Collection, it has resurfaced and been redistributed for the generation that missed it so they can get swept up in its mastery.