Blow Out

Actor: Deborah Everton

This is the second strangling in the movie and my favorite among them. It was filmed in what I believe is Grand Central Station.

The clip opens with John Lithgow getting Deborah’s attention inside a row of phone booths. He offers her $50 for a blowjob. She agrees, motions to him to give her a few minutes, and heads for the bathroom.

John follows her in and quetly takes position in an adjoining stall as she starts brushing her teeth. He then pulls a wire from his watch and wraps it around his gloved fingers. The camera shows a few close-ups between Deborah brushing her teeth and Lithgow waiting patiently for the moment to strike. Deborah senses something isn’t right, and when she finally looks up, is unable to react before John snares her. In one very smooth, deft move, he wraps the wire around her neck and lifts her off the ground. The camera then cuts to a close-up, peering under the stall at her feet as she starts kicking furiously. We don’t hear a peep from her at this point, and, unfortunately, don’t see anymore of her reaction, either, as the camera slowly pans away while her feet continue kicking. The scene ends on a wide shot of her feet from across the bathroom as they come to rest and dangle just inches above the bathroom floor.

This is one of the best stranglings I’ve ever seen, despite the fact that we don’t see Deborah’s reaction after the initial attack. If I had a Top 5 list of favorite stranglings, this scene would be on it, right under Amy Parrish’s scene in American Gothic. I remember buying it on VHS in the 80s and the excitement I felt years later when I learned it was available on DVD. I ordered a copy that day and could not have been happier to finally have it in widescreen. I upgraded to the Blu-Ray version several years after that.


The clip starts from the moment Lithgow propositions her for a blowjob from a phone booth immediately after her last John fizzles out. After she agrees to the $50 he offers her, the clip transitions to the moment she steps into the bathroom stall to freshen up.