Blood Simple (1985)

Blood Simple (1985)

Taglines: The first film by Joel and Ethan Coen.

Texas bar owner Julian Marty, who is generally regarded as not a nice person, hires shady private detective Loren Visser, who is able to obtain what Marty requests: evidence – in this instance, photographic – that his wife, Abby, and one of his bartenders, Ray, are having an affair. As Ray and Abby realize that Marty has found out about them, it allows them to plan for their future away from Marty, while be up front with Marty about the situation.

Marty, in turn, decides to hire Visser once again, this time to kill Abby and Ray, and dispose of their bodies so that they won’t be found. The out in the open affair and the contract hit lead to some actions based on self interest, and a standoff of sorts between the four players, which is compounded in complexity by some wrong assumptions of what has happened, with an innocent bystander, another of the Marty’s bartenders, Meurice, potentially and unwittingly adding to the scenario.

Blood Simple is a 1984 American neo-noir psychological crime thriller film written, edited, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was the directorial debut of the Coens and the first major film of cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld, who later became a noted director, as well as the feature film debut of Joel Coen’s wife Frances McDormand, who subsequently starred in many of his features.

The film’s title derives from the Dashiell Hammett novel Red Harvest (1929), in which the term “blood simple” describes the addled, fearful mindset of people after a prolonged immersion in violent situations. In 2001, a “Director’s Cut” DVD was released. It ranked #98 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills. The film also placed #73 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

Blood Simple Movie Poster (1985)

Blood Simple (1985)

Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Starring: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, Samm-Art Williams, Deborah Neumann, Raquel Gavia, Van Brooks, Loren Bivens
Screenplay by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Production Design by: Jane Musky
Cinematography by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Film Editing by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Don Wiegmann
Costume Design by: Sara Medina-Pape
Music by: Carter Burwell
Distributed by: Circle Films
Release Date: January 18, 1985