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Blood Simple (1984)

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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.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
3,897 ( 165)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

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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:

The first film by Joel and Ethan Coen (2016 Re-Release) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 January 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Simplemente sangre 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,150,000
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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Directors' Cut is actually 3 minutes shorter than the feature release. See more »

Goofs

When Ray is talking to Abby in her apartment and explaining that if you shoot someone you need to make sure he's dead, the boom shadow is briefly but clearly visible on the bathroom door. 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... ...
See more »

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

In the original theatrical version, as well as the version shown on TV, the Four Tops song "It's the Same Old Song" is played on the jukebox and over the end credits. In the video version it is "I'm a Believer" by Neil Diamond. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments: Part II: 75-51 (2004) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Texas noir
28 March 2000 | by bat-5See all my reviews

Blood Simple is pure Coens. There are the usual bag of cinematic tricks, the twisting storyline, the seamy characters, and the occasional droplet of dark humor. The story concerns a bar owner who thinks his wife is cheating on him. He hires a sleazy private investigator to find out, and when he learns the truth, he wants them dead. Trouble is, things get kind of complicated when a murder occurs. The film creates a palpable feeling of tension, where you don't know what to expect next. Half the fun of this film is trying to figure out what will happen. A true testament of the well sturctured nature of the film, is the fact that there are only four main characters, and they hold your attention till the very end. And in traditional film noir fanfare, all of these characters have some sort of sordid business to attend to. The Coens drew on their experiences on Blood Simple and made the similar, but very different, Fargo. Watch Blood Simple for a good old fashioned film noir that will keep you guessing.


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