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Blood Simple (1985)

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

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Coen Brothers first film fails to take off

  • Jan 23, 2009
  • by
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, in the meantime, has decided to pay the slippery Loren $10,000 to murder Ray and Abby; but Loren figures it's a better deal to steal Abby's gun, murder Marty with it, and take the money anyway. Ray finds the body and Abby's gun and believes that Abby murdered Marty, so he attempts to hide the crime, becoming involved with it also. But Abby is innocent, and doesn't know what to do when Ray vaguely tries to tell her he's helped her out.

I wasn't that impressed with this first Coen Brother's film. It was rather deadpan, and whether on purpose or by accident it was too hard to tell. There just wasn't enough 'Ummph" in the movie for my tastes. There is such a thing as drawing out a scene too long, and that's what happens several times during the film. It's slow, and lacking in drama or suspense. There's a great plot here, it's just poorly executed. After being told how great the movie was, and after seeing what the Coen Brothers and Frances McDormand did with 'Fargo', I found 'Blood Simple' to be a disappointing let-down. Rent, don't buy.
Blood Simple

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January 24, 2009
Oh absolutely! Raising Arizona and especially Fargo are terrific. You can just tell this one was a freshmen effort.
January 24, 2009
At least they made better movies later on, right?
More Blood Simple (1985 movie) reviews
review by . November 01, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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 . 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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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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