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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.

Dude, let's go bowling

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:

Dead in the heart of Texas 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

Shannon Sedwick: the lower part of her legs are seen playing "the stripper." Sedwick founded the musical comedy troupe Esther's Follies, and has become a matriarch of Austin, Texas' theatre community. She is best known in recent years for her musical portrayal of Hillary Clinton. See more »

Goofs

When Visser (the detective) is sitting at the table in the bar across from Marty (the first time) he lights his cigarette with his lighter and a shot shows his hand putting the lighter on the table. The hand looks like that of a younger man, and the huge ring on Visser's right hand is missing in that shot. 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 »


Soundtracks

El Sueno
By Camilo Namen
Performed by Johnny Ventura y su Combo
Courtesy of Rico Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Texas Is a Five-Letter Word Too.
16 June 2005 | by tfrizzellSee 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.


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