7.6/10
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Blood Simple (1984)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
The owner of a seedy small-town Texas bar discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife. A chaotic chain of misunderstandings, lies and mischief ensues after he devises a plot to have them murdered.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
2,277 ( 381)
5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Getz ... Ray
Frances McDormand ... Abby
Dan Hedaya ... Julian Marty
M. Emmet Walsh ... Private Detective Loren Visser
Samm-Art Williams Samm-Art Williams ... Meurice
Deborah Neumann Deborah Neumann ... Debra
Raquel Gavia Raquel Gavia ... Landlady
Van Brooks Van Brooks ... Man from Lubbock
Señor Marco Señor Marco ... Mr. Garcia
William Creamer William Creamer ... Old Cracker
Loren Bivens Loren Bivens ... Strip Bar Exhorter
Bob McAdams Bob McAdams ... Strip Bar Senator
Shannon Sedwick Shannon Sedwick ... Stripper
Nancy Finger Nancy Finger ... Girl on Overlook
William Preston Robertson William Preston Robertson ... Radio Evangelist (voice) (as Rev. William Preston Robertson)
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Breaking up is hard See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While Ray is driving with Marty in the back seat, the DJ heard on the radio is John Lievsay. He says his replacement at 6:00 am will be Mike Miller. Skip Lievsay and Michael R. Miller were the sound editors on Blood Simple. See more »

Goofs

Bullet holes through the wall in the final scene keep changing. See more »

Quotes

[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... ...
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits list the main cast, but none of the crew. All of the crew credits are at the end of the film, starting with Joel Coen as director. See more »

Alternate Versions

For the 1998 restoration, the Coen brothers not only remixed and re-recorded new sound effects for the stereo soundtrack, but also made some minor trims to various scenes and dialogue:
  • Meurice asking a bar patron at the jukebox what night it is and, realizing it's "Yankee Night," he explains he's from Detroit, thus justifying his intervention of the patron's musical selection.
  • Ray sticking his cigarette in the stuffed warthog's nose at Marty's house, and the following lines: RAY: You gonna leave all this stuff? ABBY: It's all Marty's.
  • After Marty suggests to the P.I. the "incinerator" as a means of destroying the evidence of his proposed murder, the P.I.'s line: "Sweet Jesus, you're disgusting!" is deleted.
  • A couple lines from the landlady showing Abby the studio apartment (mainly assuring her Abby won't be bothered at that location) before she starts yelling at her ex-brother-in-law, are deleted.
  • As Marty opens his safe to retrieve the bounty money (and swap the photo) his line: "This is an illicit affair" has been removed, although he can still be seen mouthing it.
  • When the P.I. shoots Marty, a couple shots are removed of Marty and the P.I. staring at each other after the gunshot.
  • When Ray and Abby are discussing "what happened," in her studio apartment, and Ray feels cold enough to rise from his seat, the shot of him steadying the walrus piggy bank is removed and his dialogue is heard off-screen to cover this change.
  • When Abby goes to see Meurice about her concerns, the scene cuts as soon as she enters. In the original version, the scene continues and she is seen inside his place and he pours a drink while assuring her that Marty is not dead, even though she is very worried that he is. Some of the dialogue from inside the house is placed over the shot outside Meurice's door before Abby goes in, in the 1998 version.
  • A new page of credits is added at the end, covering the restoration.
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Connections

Referenced in Robot Chicken: Fridge Smell (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lady in Red
By Mort Dixon (as M. Dixon) and Allie Wrubel (as A. Wrubel)
Performed by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra (as Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra)
Courtesy of RCA Records
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User Reviews

 
A Dark Little Gem
12 September 1999 | by gbheronSee all my reviews

The Coen Brothers first commercial film tells a noirish tale of murder, double-cross, and betrayal in small town America. A greasy small-town Texas saloon owner discovers his wife is having an affair with one of his bartenders. He hires the private detective that documented the affair to kill the couple. But the PI has different plans, and then everything starts going wrong, very wrong. The acting is great especially M. Emmett Walsh as the double-crossing PI. The direction and camera work presage the Coens subsequent work.

This movie is a treat of a rental if you can find it. It's worth looking for.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 January 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Simple See more »

Filming Locations:

Pflugerville, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,971, 9 July 2000

Gross USA:

$3,851,855

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,227,849
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo (original version)| Dolby Digital (director's cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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