Blood Simple.

January 18th, 1985


Blood Simple.

No valid json found

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.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 7.8/10 (37,547 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Joel Coen

Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya

A bar-owner in Texas is certain that his wife is cheating on him and hires a private detective to spy on her. This is just the beginning of a complex plot which is full of misunderstandings and deceit. Ethan and Joel Cohen's first feature film.

Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

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

Taglines: Breaking up is hard

Release Date: 18 January 1985

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $42,971 (USA) (9 July 2000) (3 Screens)

Gross: $2,150,000 (USA) (March 1985)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (director's cut)

Did You Know?

Above Ray's bed is a copy of Mel Ellis' novel "This Mysterious River," which is about a petty crime that begins simply but eventually spirals out of control.

Continuity: In the opening scene, Ray and Abby's car is driving through a horrible rainstorm. When they suddenly stop to allow Loren's VW Beetle to pass, the exterior shots show no rain.

[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... you're on your own.

User Review

Try to watch this without talking to the characters...

Rating: 8/10

I think this film, probably more than any other, causes me to talk to the characters on the screen in an exasperated way--something akin to the way you want to yell at the characters in a slasher movie not to run outside to investigate sounds.

The only difference is that this film is fantastic, whereas cheap slasher movies are not. Blood Simple is emotionally involving and the suspense is played to perfection. While the characters are completely clueless as to what has gone on around them, we know everything. What we don't know is what the characters are going to do next.

As in every Coen film, things quickly get out of control. Some people have commented that the characters here acted unbelievably, but I'd have to say that when you think about their situations, the reactions are completely compatible with the way the characters are set up. The problem is that nobody knows what's going on except the viewers.

Coen fans will notice many recurring themes from their other films (especially Fargo and The Big Lebowski) such as the use of headlights, passing motorists witnessing a crime, shower curtains and bathroom windows, detectives driving VW beetles, husbands hiring the wrong people to carry out a crime... I had a longer list in mind earlier while watching it but I've forgotten some. It's almost like these films all go together as a series of films depicting how similar situations would end up in different locations in America.


Comments are closed.