View Full Version : Blood Simple
03-31-2003, 08:16 PM
Throwback to the noirs of the 1940s, particularly films like Double Indemnity that has a touch of macabre humor. Walsh steals the show as the sleezy detective, and the actor who plays the husband is convincingly creepy. Intense finale that is one of the finest in its genre. My favorite of the Coen Brothers film and one that has good direction, cinematography, acting, etc. A classic of post modern noir that is a must see for fans of this kind of film.
04-01-2003, 01:27 AM
I've loved this nasty little noir ever since its theater release. Most of the Coens' movies are forgettable lightweight fun, but BLOOD SIMPLE and MILLER'S CROSSING are too damn good to forget.
04-01-2003, 01:34 AM
The extended scene where Dan Hedaya's character is shot, dragged out onto the secluded field and eventually buried alive is one of the most intense and nightmarish scenes that I've ever seen in ANY film... I was literally holding my breath when he started pulling the trigger on that gun... THAT'S how you generate suspense...
Five stars... I think it's brilliant...
04-01-2003, 05:40 AM
Always found this film a little overrated. However it has its moments and the above burial is indeed rivetting!
04-01-2003, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Harvey Click
Most of the Coens' movies are forgettable lightweight fun.
you callin Barton Fink lightweight? Fargo? The Man Who Wasn't There?
04-01-2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by The Pro
you callin Barton Fink lightweight? Fargo? The Man Who Wasn't There?
04-02-2003, 11:22 AM
Together with BARTON FINK, I rate BLOOD SIMPLE as the Coen bros best to date.
Have you listened to the commentary track on BLOOD SIMPLE?Quite funny to begin with, but after a while, I switched off feeling rather annoyed.
Whats wrong with the sound on that fillum?
04-02-2003, 02:42 PM
I liked how they released a directors cut where they actually cut something....
...filmed in Austin BTW.
11-24-2004, 07:09 PM
A well made low budget noir that's in the tradition of 1940s noir films like Double Indemnity or Postman Always Rings Twice. Also a film that plays against elements from those two films. In DI and PART, there is the trusting husband figure who is done in, where in Blood Simple, he is anything but trusting, yet is done in on a scene that is very tense. In the two James M Cain films, there is a plot by the wife and lover figures to get rid of the husband and collect life insurance, where in this film it is the reversal, as Abby is really an innocent and not a famme fatale. The way this film turns elements of the two noir pictures mentioned is what gives it a flavor of originality. A brilliant debut of a very good film career for the Coen Brothers. Full of energy and vitality which in a sense I feel has not been repeated. As the Coen brothers evolve as filmmakers, so do their style of making films. With Blood Simple they show a flair for the noir and the macabre humor of the film. An impressive piece of American independant filmmaking. A crafty, well made neo noir that I think is among the best of the neo noir genre. Has all the ingredients that mark the noir genre yet adds some new ones to create something entertaining. I thought the Texas locale added to the atmosphere and gave the film a moody, macabre tone. The opening voice over monologue by M Emmet Walsh is a memorable one and says a lot about human nature, and the survival on your own quality. Some of the lines are very apt of the theme of the film. In Blood Simple(1985), there are some memorable scenes involving camera movement. When the camera moves, it does so with a flowing touch. What the camera movement of the film does is sustain a level of tension or suspense. The DoP work by future film director, Barry Sonnefield is very good. Another facet of the movie that gives it its touch.
Although a neo noir, there are some very creepy moments that are in the realm of the horror film. The one film that is as close as a full blown horror film the Coen Brother have done is Barton Fink. At times the horror elements is identical to that of Sam Raimi(Evil Dead), especially since he contributed in the making of this film. The horror aspects are done with style and and give the story a nightmarish quality that is nicely done. The buried alive and nightmare scene are two good examples of horror type moments that are executed with a flair for the macabre. The one character who is the most memorable one(besides Marty) is the sleazy P.I., Visser. A character played with a sense of humor and yet a quality of ruthlessness by M Emmet Walsh. It is a role that is perhaps his best, and most memorable. Visser is a character who tries to come out on top in any assignment he is asked to perform by a client. He is also a voyeur, which is a character trait that Dan Hedaya's character does not find too comforting. A film with many twists and turns that propel the film. Whether its double crosses or the revelation that the supposed dead is not really dead, and has to be buried alive. I think its twists and turns are what makes the film fun to watch. These twists and turns are done with some flair, and executed with an masterful touch. One of the interesting things about the character of Visser is how in the early part of the film, he serves as an omnipresent figure. The sense of humor counteracts to the serious nature and macabre tone. I think that the serious and the humorous balance out well here, where I don't think it worked well in Fargo(1996). Another actor who gives a memorable performance is Dan Hedaya as the jealous, sickly, very scary husband. A very good performance by a very good character actor. The film's sense of humor works because it either eases off some tension or just adds to it.
11-24-2004, 07:45 PM
The psychological mind games the husband, Marty plays over other characters is very effective. They are effective to the point where Ray begins to have suspicions about Abby, and his friend from the bar on Ray. Marty is a master manipulator who has planted a seed of fear into the mind of his wife that still affects her even after he is dead. It isn't until the end that Abby is able to overcome her fear of him. Unfortunately, Ray is unable to overcome the mind games played on him by Marty which I think leads to the path of his fate. The use of the prowling camera to suggest menace or build suspense is very effective. Or well used to built a scene to the highest level of tension such as in the scene where Marty attacks his wife outside of Ray's place. A certain mood or tone is given by the prowling camera which makes watching the film compelling. The shots to indicate the pov of the family dog is another good use of the powling camera. A hint of what's to come in later Coen Brothers films. The buried alive scene is a chilling, suspenseful moment that is one of the best I've seen in a Coen Brothers film. It is a scene whose get the body into the car before the truck passes by moment would be reworked in Fargo that results differently. It begins on a moment of unease and finishes off in a heart beating level of intensity. A scene that feels like something out of a Edgar Allan Poe short story. The level of suspense is also pretty high and Hedaya and Getz act in it very convincingly. The dream of the wife is another terrific scene where she comes face to face with her fear. It not only hints of what has happened to Marty but is a danger sign of what will happen to Abby. It finishes in a grosteque image of a dead husband throwing up a pool of blood. The scene works because of its horror and surrealist qualities. A scene that hints at the style, the Coen Brothers would use for Barton Fink.
One of the appealing things about the film is the surreal quality. With one such image such as the throwing of the "weapon" in the dream. The surreal approach is very effective in the scenes that they apply to. I've seen the version with the Same Old Song and the one with the I'm a Beliver song, and personally, I like the one with the Same Old Song tune. I just think it fits in with the theme of the film. With some interesting characters whether it is the insecure Ray, the jealous, sickly husband full of thoughts of repressed anger and violence, or the naive Abby. There are some interesting moments of psychic connection, especially between husband and wife. This is represented by the intercutting between Marty and Abby staring at a swinging fan. To depict their moments of contemplation. Other interesting characters includes the friend who also works at the bar, and Visser. The scenes with Walsh and Hedaya are good moments to counterpoint and show how different they are in personalities. The final scene opens tensely and finishes off with a line that is ironic as it is macabrely humorous. The use of suspense in the scene is also very good. The way that everything comes together is done with style and very entertaining. With memorable imagery such as the holes on a wall from gun shots. It is a scene where Abby is able to overcome her fear and gains some emotional strength at the same time. A line that anticipates Marty's demise is the "I thought you were dead" comment in one scene. The first of a few very good performances by Frances McDormand. She is very likeable in her role, as she adds a down to earth sexiness as well. There are some good moments of editing transitions like when Abby falls back from Marty office and lands on a bed. The other good moment is the transition from the figure on the answering machine to the figure on the spot of blood in Ray's car.
02-05-2006, 09:02 PM
Still holds up well as an indie noir.
02-06-2006, 11:52 AM
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant movie. Very highly recommended to any Maniacs that haven't picked it up, yet. Personally, I do find it Coens' best work. Damn good movie.
Apparently Tarantino liked it as well. He *ahem* pays this movie homage without ever telling is that he paid homage to it...as he does with all of his films...
In True Romance, Slater's horseshoe ring is on upside down...hence his luck is running out.
In Blood Simple, M Emmet Walsh's horseshoe ring is on upside down...luck running out...yeah, you get it.
Linens on the backseat of a car to cover up blood? Where? Oh yeah, Blood Simple.
Anyway, love this movie. Damn good. Damn damn good. Black comedy and suspense is perfectly gauged. Directing is precise. Acting is great. This movie stands out as one of my fave 10 of the 80's movies.
02-06-2006, 03:40 PM
I'm decidely mixed on the Coens in general, but when they're good, they're damn good. This is certainly my favorite of their films, but I also love Miller's Crossing and The Ladykillers, as well as Fargo.
02-06-2006, 03:47 PM
It seems to me that the Coen brothers blew their collective wads on the brilliant BIG LEBOWSKI. That film seemed to take everything out of them, and all that they've done since (and some of it is pretty good) has paled in comparison to their consistantly brilliant work prior.
11-10-2007, 02:37 PM
Blood Simple is a masterpiece.
11-12-2007, 02:30 PM
If anyone is curious, the only issue on DVD to date of the original theatrical version (not the Director's Cut that is currently the version on every other DVD) is the OOP, barebones UK R2 from Universal. The picture's 4:3 (pretty shoddy-looking, but open-matte as opposed to cropped), but can be had for a song if you're a Coen completist.
09-03-2008, 02:26 PM
September 16. Is it just a rerelease? Welcome, anyway.
Jeffrey Allen Rydell
09-03-2008, 06:26 PM
I'm sure it'll come to me how this leapfrogged from Universal to MGM...
09-03-2008, 09:05 PM
What's the deal with that cover art? Blecch.
09-04-2008, 12:04 AM
I've just re-watched the film after like 15 years, and I liked it better than before but it's still too long for such a simple story.
I liked the fact that the character of Hedaya turned out the more sympathetic of them all, not the "lovebirds". At least for me.
09-04-2008, 08:27 AM
Yeah, I agree - my sympathy always goes towards Hedaya in this. I never found Getz and McDormand to be overly likable in this, anyway.
09-04-2008, 02:41 PM
The original poster art for this is so nice.. understated B&W with red highlights.
I guess they want to make it look different.....
09-09-2008, 06:02 AM
Love this film. I like how it has the guise of being a typical kind of thriller, but goes into horror territory early on, with even a shaky-cam shot. Great film.
09-09-2008, 06:45 AM
I never found Getz and McDormand to be overly likable in this, anyway.
I think Getz and McDormand are supposed to be unsympathetic characters in this. That's why it works so well as the Jim Thompson adaptation that never was.
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