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Blood Simple (1985)

Art House & International movie directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

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"Watch your step. This place can be a little rough."

  • Nov 1, 2009
A not so little known fact is that The Coen Brother's violent Texas drama, No Country For Old Men isn't they're first foray into the dusty and desolate landscape of The Lone Star State and it's dangerous and dirty side.  They're first movie took place there too and it's a real piece of film noir.

Blood Simple's ttile comes from the idea that it's impossible to commit a perfect murder.  Even when it looks like the evidance is gone, something comes up and throws a wrench into the works which only leads to more problems.

Julien Marty is a ornery salloon owner whoes fickle wife is unhappy and in the middle of an affair with one of Julien's bartenders.  Suspicious of the two he hires a sleazy P.I. to keep an eye his wife and lover.  When Julien gets the news, he takes matters into his own hands and when that fails he hires the P.I. again to do his dirty work with a stack of cash for payment.  The aftermath of this deal sets off a chain reaction of lies, betrayal, misunderstandings and murder.

Blood Simple some people would say is the premire indy film with it's weird visuals and sly narrative.  Thankfully things are kept a little tasteful without being weird and psychodelic.  Well, maybe just a smidge weird.

This movie has a distinction of having no character, save maybe ONE, a minor one that isn't dirty.  In true Noir fashion, there are no heroes here.

All the actors also, thankfully are great, especially Dan Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh.

Some people consider this the Coen's best movie.  I think it's great and I like almost all of their movies, but certainly not their best.  Later movies could pile on calamity and suspence even better and have events spiral out of even more control.  But thats for a place far up north in the cold bereft winter.

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October 21, 2010
Yes indeed, another great review for another great flick.
October 21, 2010
This was the first thing I thought of when I saw "No Country", it looked and felt similar.
More Blood Simple (1985 movie) reviews
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2009
Surly saloon owner hires dirty PI to spy on his wife cheating on him with a bartender. Twists and turns and nobody is on the level. Great.
review by . January 23, 2009
Blood Simple
Abby Marty (Frances McDormand) is running away from husband Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya), known simply as "Marty". She's hitched a ride with Ray (John Getz), who works for Marty at his bar. When they stop at a hotel the affair starts. Little do they know that Marty has a private investigator on them, Loren Visser (M. Emmett Walsh), taking pictures of their more intimate moments. Ray and Abby return to town instead of running away, but Abby refuses to move back in with Marty.     Marty, …
review by . July 14, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
The Coen Brothers, who ingeniously draw plot lines that come out of a hat, really deliver in `Blood Simple.' At the opening a narrator tells us in this DVD edition, this film is a prototype of the independent movie. It's easy to see why. `Blood Simple is simply one of the best twist of fate movies ever conceived. If you loved 'Fargo' or 'A Simple Plan,' then this movie is a must.    Taking place in Texas, Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya) owns a bar, but keeps most of his tabs on his …
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John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


A man hires a sleazy private eye to have his wife & her lover killed byt the killer decides that murdering the husband would be the perfect crime instead. Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 09/16/2008 Starring: M Emmett Walsh Dan Hedaya Run time: 96 minutes Rating: R

The debut film of director Joel Coen and his brother-producer Ethan Coen, 1983'sBlood Simpleis grisly comic noir that marries the feverish toughness of pulp thrillers with the ghoulishness of even pulpier horror. (Imagine the novels of Jim Thompson somehow fused with the comic tabloidWeird Tales, and you get the idea.) The story concerns a Texas bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who hires a seedy private detective (M. Emmett Walsh) to follow his cheating wife (Frances McDormand in her first film appearance), and then kill her and her lover (John Getz). The gumshoe turns the tables on his client, and suddenly a bad situation gets much, much worse, with some violent goings-on that are as elemental as they are shocking. (A scene in which a character who has been buried alive suddenly emerges from his own grave instantly becomes an archetypal nightmare.) Shot by Barry Sonnenfeld before he became an A-list director in Hollywood,Blood Simpleestablished the hyperreal look and feel of the Coens' productions (undoubtedly inspired a bit by filmmaker Sam Raimi, whoseThe Evil Deadhad just been coedited by Joel). Sections of the film have proved to be an endurance test for art-house movie fans, particularly an extended climax ...
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Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre: Foreign
Screen Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2001
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Circle Films
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