Blow-Up (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

Blow-Up (1966)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, Edward Bond
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 17, 2004


Sarah Miles
as Patricia
Jane Birkin
as The Blonde
Gillian Hills
as The Brunette
Jimmy Page
as Himself with The Yar...
Jeff Beck
as Himself
Susan Brodrick
as Antique Shop Owner
Tsai Chin
as Thomas's Receptionis...
Susan Broderick
as Antique Shop Owner
Chris Dreja
as Himself
Harry Hutchinson
as Shopkeeper
Ronan O'Casey
as Jane's Lover in Park
Mary Khal
as Fashion Editor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Blow-Up

Critic Reviews for Blow-Up

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (8)

A prize '60s artifact, Michelangelo Antonioni's what-is-truth? meditation on Swinging London is a movie to appreciate -- if not ponder.

Full Review… | February 4, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

In Blow-Up [Antonioni] smothers this conflict in the kind of pompous platitudes the press loves to designate as proper to "mature," "adult," "sober" art.

Full Review… | February 4, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

This is so ravishing to look at (the colors all seem newly minted) and pleasurable to follow (the enigmas are usually more teasing than worrying) that you're likely to excuse the metaphysical pretensions.

Full Review… | July 31, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

There may be some meaning, some commentary about life being a game, beyond what remains locked in the mind of film's creator, Italian director-writer Michelangelo Antonioni. But it is doubtful that the general public will get the 'message' of this film.

Full Review… | July 31, 2007
Top Critic

As often with Antonioni, a film riddled with moments of brilliance and scuppered by infuriating pretensions.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The natural world is arrayed against the artificial scene; conscience is deployed against convention. If you've never seen Blow-Up, see it now, if only to see what part of the world was like 40 years ago.

Full Review… | June 7, 2006
New York Observer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Blow-Up


There is this one camera sequence that I love. Towards the end of the film the David Hemmings character goes back to the park to find the body gone. From his knees he looks up to the rustling leaves and the camera cuts to a shot of the leaves, apparently from his perspective but then the camera slowly pans down to Hemmings now standing in completely different spot. Gives me the willies every time.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

A well to-do artist finds that being well to-do doesn't forego the suffering latent in the job description: there are endless streams of pretty young things to despoil("they don't leave me alone!"), the unruly lower classes ("they can't get anything right!"), and maybe there was that murder he filmed in the park yesterday ... Antonioni musings on the act of artistic creation are similar to Frankenstein wherein what was formed might come back to kill you. The cast is very good, and the filming astounding for its time period. The 60's come off looking better than perhaps in any other film. Swinging London before Austin Powers laffed at it.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


A lot of people say that this is Michelangelo Antonioni's best movie and also far superior to Brian DePalma's semi re-imagining. I would have to say that I disagree severely on both accounts. While this has an interesting basic concept and some of those great longshots that Antonioni is famous for, the overall execution and plot doesn't really go anywhere and the characters are anything but interesting to watch. If you love sleazy/cocky British photographers, then you'd be in heaven. However, I found no interest in his conflict. I would say that by far my favorite part about the movie is the fact that you see the attempted murder without even knowing you do, that is pretty clever.
Now Brian DePalma took this idea and perfected it, while also putting his spin on it. Blow Out is by far the better work here in just about every way possible. Better acting and characters, imagery and shot technique that is completely revolutionary and memorable to say the least, but most importantly it has one of the greatest plot structures of any thriller. This movie is all over the place and ultimately blocks itself in.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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