Horror movie soundman Jack Terri (John Travolta) inadvertently records a car crashing into a river while working on a schlocky film called Co-Ed Frenzy.
He manages to rescue the female passenger – a young woman named Sally Bedina (Nancy Allen) – from the river but cannot save the driver, who he later learns was the governor of Pennsylvania.
When his recording reveals the unmistakable sound of a gunshot, Jack begins to suspect that the crash was no accident.
It’s laced with the director’s usual quota of Hitchcockian black humour and startling suspense, and Travolta is marvellous.
Nothing is what it seems in a paranoid mystery that’s overflowing with De Palma’s trademark high style and cinematic technique right up until the knockout, downbeat ending.
De Palma reunited old New York flames Nancy Allen, 30, and John Travolta, 26, for the first time since all three worked on Carrie in 1976. By this stage, Nancy was Mrs De Palma as well as Travolta’s screen love.
Brian De Palma