Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
USA, 1981. Cinema 77, Geria Productions, Filmways Pictures, Viscount Associates. Screenplay by Brian De Palma. Cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Produced by George Litto. Music by Pino Donaggio. Production Design by Paul Sylbert. Costume Design by Vicki Sanchez. Film Editing by Paul Hirsch.
John Travolta is excellent as a movie sound mixer who is randomly taping wild sound when he witnesses a car drive off a bridge and into the river. After saving the car’s passenger Nancy Allen from drowning, Travolta listens to the tape he made of the accident and believes wholeheartedly that he can hear a gunshot taking out one of the car’s tires.
When it turns out that the now-dead driver of the car was a prominent politician, it sows the seeds of a conspiracy theory that sees both Travolta and Allen looking to prove a murder and avoid getting killed by those who would rather let the mystery remain undiscovered.
Great cinematography, fantastic editing and sound and two brilliant performances in the leads make for a very satisfying thriller with some really fun, highly tense moments. The fact that it’s de Palma blatantly ripping off Blowup does nothing to take away from the sheen of what is such a wonderful film.
The Criterion Collection: #562