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Blood Simple. (1984)

R  |   |  Crime, Thriller  |  18 January 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 63,154 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 251 user | 171 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.


, (uncredited)


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Complete credited cast:
Samm-Art Williams ...
Deborah Neumann ...
Raquel Gavia ...
Van Brooks ...
Man from Lubbock
Señor Marco ...
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Old Cracker
Loren Bivens ...
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Radio Evangelist (voice) (as Rev. William Preston Robertson)


A bar-owner in Texas is certain that his wife is cheating on him and hires a private detective to spy on her. This is just the beginning of a complex plot which is full of misunderstandings and deceit. Ethan and Joel Cohen's first feature film. Written by Mark Logan <marklo@west.sun.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dead in the heart of Texas See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Simplemente sangre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$42,971 (USA) (7 July 2000)


$2,150,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(original version)| (director's cut)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First film directed by the Coen brothers. See more »


The lamp is seen standing through the sniper's scope after being knocked over. See more »


[first lines]
Private Detective Visser: [narrating] 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... ...
See more »


References Halloween (1978) See more »


I'm a Believer
Written by Neil Diamond
(played in the bar on the jukebox by Meurice and later over the final credits -- only in the video version)
See more »

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User Reviews

Texas Is a Five-Letter Word Too.
16 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Demented and dominant directorial debut for Joel Coen as he and brother/co-writer Ethan Coen weave a film noir-styled tale of bad coincidences and worse planning. Sound familiar? In a bleak Texas landscape the wife (Frances McDormand) of a bar owner (Dan Hedaya) has a torrid affair with one of her husband's employees (John Getz). Hedaya hires mysterious private investigator/windbag M. Emmet Walsh to spy on the duo and then re-hires him to kill the adulterers. Naturally though nothing is as simple or clear as it seems. An excruciatingly dull start takes a backseat finally to a tense little tease of a film that benefits from a deliberate pace and a haunting musical score. "Blood Simple" is so well realized that it would have worked just as effectively as a silent flick. The dialogue is just a distraction to the picture's creepy atmosphere and enigmatic Texas landscape. Walsh, always known as a character actor, dominates most within the production's unique ensemble. Could be called "Pre-Fargo". 4 stars out of 5.

28 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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