7.6/10
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Blood Simple (1984)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her lover. However, nothing is simple when blood is involved.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Reviews
Popularity
3,064 ( 14)
5 wins & 6 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

This picture was remade in 2009 by Chinese director Yimou Zhang as "A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop." See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

When Blood Simple was first released, two quotes appeared over black, before the opening credits. One was from Dashiell Hammet explaining what Blood Simple meant and the second was from Alfred Hitchcock about how difficult it really would be to kill a man. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Neo-Noir Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Dreams
By Don Gibson
Published by Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of MCA Records under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

User Reviews

 
Dan Hedaya was robbed. He should have been nominated for an Oscar for his role
28 March 2018 | by Ed-ShullivanSee all my reviews

The Cohen brothers did a marvellous job in delivering a suspenseful film noir in which a tavern owner named Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya) is betrayed by his wife Abby (Frances McDormand) who is having an extra marital affair with one of Julian's tavern employee's named Ray (John Getz). Julian wants to confirm his suspicions so he hires an overweight and slimy private detective named Loren Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) to follow his wife Abby to see if she is in fact involved in a sexual relationship with Ray.

Not only does Loren Visser confirm Julian's worst suspicions about his wife Abby's sexual relationship with Ray, Loren gleefully provides to Julian some compromising photographs of Abby and Ray that take Julian by surprise and lead to his wanting to confront his wife Abby about her affair. Julian's reaction to seeing those dirty photos sends him over the edge and when his attempt to physically pull Abby out of the arms of her lover Ray fails, Julian reluctantly seeks the assistance of the slimy private detective Loren Visser once again. Julian wants Loren Visser to murder his wife Abby and her lover Ray and do away with their bodies where no one will ever find them.

The plot thickens and the four main characters in this Cohen brother film noir being Abby (Frances McDormand), her lover Ray (John Getz), Abby's revenge filled husband Julian (Dan Hedaya), and the overweight slimy Private Detective Loren Visser (M. Emmett Walsh) who Julian hires carry this film from beginning to end with a generous amount of intrigue sprinkled in as well as to whom really betrays whom.

This is in my humble opinion an under rated film noir and respecting of more recognition than the over rated (1990) Millers Crossing. I thought Dan Hedaya's portrayal of the tavern owner Julian Marty whose employee barman and wife are having an illicit affair right under his nose and in his attempt to seek revenge results in his own destruction is poignant. The betrayal by all four of the key characters is what makes this Cohen brothers film deserving of belonging in the criterion collection.

I give this fast paced film noir a nine (9) out of ten (10) rating. Dan Hedaya was definitely robbed and should have been Oscar nominated for either a Best Actor or at least Best Supporting Actor for his emotional and vengeful portrayal of Julian Marty.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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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