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
First film directed by the Coen brothers. See more »
When Private Detective Loren Visser steals Abby's gun, the supposedly unfired shells have clearly visible depressions in the primers and have obviously already been fired. 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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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.
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