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. Written by
The title is based on a phrase from the Dashiell Hammett novel 'Red Harvest', in which "blood simple" is a term coined to describe the addled, fearful mindset people are in after a prolonged immersion in violent situations. Blood Simple writers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen later made Miller's Crossing (1990) which is loosely based on that novel. See more »
After Marty tries to attack his wife outside Ray's house, he walks across the lawn to his van. For a split second the camera rig comes into shot on the right hand side of the screen. See more »
Private Detective Visser:
The world is full o' complainers. An' the fact is, nothin' comes with a guarantee. Now I don't care if you're the pope of Rome, President of the United States or Man of the Year; somethin' can all go wrong. Now go on ahead, y'know, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help, 'n watch him fly. Now, in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else... that's the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas, an' down here... ...
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Try to watch this without talking to the characters...
I think this film, probably more than any other, causes me to talk to the characters on the screen in an exasperated way--something akin to the way you want to yell at the characters in a slasher movie not to run outside to investigate sounds.
The only difference is that this film is fantastic, whereas cheap slasher movies are not. Blood Simple is emotionally involving and the suspense is played to perfection. While the characters are completely clueless as to what has gone on around them, we know everything. What we don't know is what the characters are going to do next.
As in every Coen film, things quickly get out of control. Some people have commented that the characters here acted unbelievably, but I'd have to say that when you think about their situations, the reactions are completely compatible with the way the characters are set up. The problem is that nobody knows what's going on except the viewers.
Coen fans will notice many recurring themes from their other films (especially Fargo and The Big Lebowski) such as the use of headlights, passing motorists witnessing a crime, shower curtains and bathroom windows, detectives driving VW beetles, husbands hiring the wrong people to carry out a crime... I had a longer list in mind earlier while watching it but I've forgotten some. It's almost like these films all go together as a series of films depicting how similar situations would end up in different locations in America.
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