Conspiracy Thrillers

Conspiracy Thrillers Movie Club: Blow Out

In Brian de Palma’s unconventional thriller, John Travolta just wants to expose the truth. He doesn’t get a happy ending.

John Travolta in 'Blow Out'.
John Travolta in Blow Out.


To learn more about and join Slate’s Conspiracy Thrillers Movie Club, visit

In the fourth episode of Slate’s Conspiracy Thrillers Movie Club, Sam Adams and film critic Carrie Rickey discuss Blow Out, an unconventional conspiracy thriller in which John Travolta gives one of his best performances. Adams and Rickey talk about the film’s far-fetched plotlines, its references to the Zapruder film and the Chappaquiddick incident, its unflattering portrayals of women, and how director Brian de Palma attempted to distance himself from his B-movie reputation.