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Blow Up (1966)

David Hemmings , Vanessa Redgrave , Michelangelo Antonioni  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)

Price: $49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Blow Up + Zabriskie Point + The Passenger
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Product Details

  • Actors: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin
  • Directors: Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Edward Bond, Julio Cortázar, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Carlo Ponti, Pierre Rouve
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000WN0ZK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,966 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blow Up" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Music-only track
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

This 1966 masterpiece by Michelangelo Antonioni (The Passenger) is set in the heady atmosphere of Swinging London, and stars David Hemmings as an unsmiling fashion photographer hooked on ephemeral meaning attached to anything: art, sex, work, relationships, drugs, events. When a real mystery falls into his lap, he probes the evidence for some reliable truth, but finds it hard to reckon with. Vanessa Redgrave plays an enigmatic woman whose desperation to cover something up only seems like one more phenomenon in Hemmings's disinterested purview. This is one of the key films of the decade, and still an unsettling and lasting experience. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

Taking photographs of a couple making love proves deadly when the photographer enlarges the image and discovers murder. The film and pictures are stolen from his studio and the body vanishes. In this elegant balance of deciet and trickery, the photographer must question the reality of what he has actually seen.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
157 of 159 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misguided censorship ruins the DVD October 3, 2008
Michelangelo Antonioni's view of Britain in the 1960's was a groundbreaking film that appeared at a time of turmoil and change in the lifestyles and mores of the Western world. Britain ruled supreme in pop music (Beatles, Stones, Animals) and in fashion (Mary Quant, Twiggy, Carnaby Street). The jazz stylings of Herbie Hancock were used as the soundtrack for the film, but the live Rock performance in the film was performed by the post-Clapton Yardbirds with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. To reflect the London fashion scene, Antonioni used the German model Verushka in a simulated photo shoot that has been called the sexiest scene in film history.

(As an aside, Verushka's real name was Vera and her father was one of the German army officers who attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1944; with the failure of the plot, he was executed and his family was interred in labor camps.)

When I first viewed this film in 1967, I was enormously impressed. The photography was brilliant and the audio was the first "surround-sound" I had ever encountered. (During the park scenes, I kept looking over my shoulder to see what birds had gotten into the theater!) When I again saw this film about 1975, it looked dated and out of fashion. Now, more than 40 years later, I see that it is a true period film that reflects much of the character and thinking of the time.

David Hemming's character in the movie (known as "Thomas") is not satisfied with his success as a fashion photographer and wants to become a "reality/documentary" photographer in the genre of Dorthea Lange or Henri Cartier-Bresson. To this end, he pretends to be a street person and spends a night in a doss house, a sort of cheap barracks accommodation with shared sleeping and bath facilities.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film adaptation of Julio Cortazar's "Blow-Up," perhaps Antonioni's best known work, represents a truly great adaptation of a short story, though the film on its own still stands as a great artistic acheivement. It is a remarkable example of an international work (an Italian director working with a British cast), a project which can easily go awry. David Hemings and Vanessa Redgrave both give excellent performances, but most important, it is a highly stylized somewhat avant-garde work, but in the end, the story has direct meaning and still makes perfectly clear sense- a true rarity. "Blow-Up's" value as a literary adaptation is only one virtue the film possesses, but this virtue includes several positive aspects. "Blow-Up" centers around a photographer named Robert, who, while walkng through the park one afternoon, photographs two lovers from a distance. The woman furiously demands that Robert hand over the negatives. Instead, he returns to hs studio to develop them. After studyng the photographs carefully, Robert discovers that the woman, working with a third firgure situated behind the hedge, is murdering the young man. As he studies the photos, Robert is watching an actual murder take place, but he is powerless to stop it, because it is only taking place in the photographs. Here, the line separating reality and imagination has become completely blurred. As events unfold, the photographer comes to realize that the entire sequence may have only taken place in his head. The recurring theme of both the short story and the film is that people ultimately construct their own reality. Read more ›
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87 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Significance of the Visible January 10, 2005
More than any other film that comes to mind, "Blow Up" illustrates the adage distinguishing the novelist from the filmmaker: the former's concern is to make the significant visible whereas the latter's passion is to bring significance to the visible. Little does it matter that the film's protagonist fails in that quest. Antonioni manages to make the search itself so absorbing that the "whodunnit" motif of the narrative is incidental to the journey itself. "Pictures don't lie" is another old bromide being put to the test by this film's unique thematizing of the photographic process itself, and Antonioni's accomplishment is to preserve the spirit if not the letter of the statement. We leave the film believing in the power of the photographed image even if both its meaning and content remain inconclusive.

Watching the film in the theater was a spellbinding and unforgettable experience. Anyone who has seen the director's out-of-control if not disastrous "Zabriskie Point" and subsequently decided to pass up "Blow Up" should definitely reconsider. Just a couple of caveats: the film does, in fact, transfer quite poorly to a small video monitor, bringing excessive attention to dated features of the pop cultural landscape of the late '60's London scene. Moreover, because video cameras are now the everyman's commodity, while cropping, editing, and enlargening images are common practice in modern-day consumer culture, some of the undeniable excitement experienced by David Hemmings with each of his successive blow-ups is bound to seem much more mundane. And perhaps by now we fancy we know more about photography than either Antonioni or Hemmings, especially after the failure of even instant replay to be definitive about whether a touchdown was scored.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars And, what do you think?
I liked it again... Classic film making to let you participate in reasoning and building your own conclusion. It's gray!
Published 1 month ago by mkct
5.0 out of 5 stars You hadda be there. Or simply watch and listen
If you lived through the times portrayed in this often puzzling and intriguing film,
you probably get it on a level that many people will miss. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. E. Morris
2.0 out of 5 stars Would not play on our machine
wrong format? we did not understand that this was made for another section of the world, and that it would not play here.
Published 2 months ago by Virginia Hadley
2.0 out of 5 stars The Yardbirds
I've read 'the unofficial biography of Jeff Beck'. It mentions that he and Jimmy Page are in this film performing with the Yardbirds when they were 22 years old. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DANIEL M STACHOWIAK
5.0 out of 5 stars Aesthetically Brilliant
The Photography is sublime and the spaces he chooses in the city have a lot of character without belonging to the touristic imaginary of London.
Published 3 months ago by unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars The swinging world of a 60's fashion photographer, with a twist.
It's a bit noir, it's a bit art flick, cool thriller with enough plot twists to keep you watching, it does have mimes in it and mimes tend to creep me out, but otherwise it's... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tyler Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars LAST GOOD HOLLYWOOD DRAMA
This movie depicting "swinging" London during the 1960s is probably the last Hollywood drama worth seeing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by The Curmudgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars Hory 60's Throwback
It has taken me many years to finally view this film. I must say I found Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage", a suspense thriller (1969), much more... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kya
5.0 out of 5 stars Outrageous & Magnificent: It Changed the World
One of the greatest films ever made, this is a vivid time capsule of London in the swinging sixties and --at the risk of sounding pretentious-- a superb intro to philosophy. Read more
Published 5 months ago by jcnflorida
2.0 out of 5 stars BLOW UP fizzled.
Disappointing. Difficult to understand why it was regarded so favorably back in the 60's. Slow, seems to go nowhere, and the sex which apparently caused some alarm at the time was... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mary Cook
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