Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
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.
Blood Simple may very well be the most powerful and confidant debut film of the last 50 years. It's a paranoid stunner: a film full of paranoia as a terrific means of suspense building. But also it's a film that is so good that it seems to have been made by a paranoid director and writer who feared that they would only be able to make only one film, so they made that one film the best representation of their talent imaginable. It's an explosively controlled and terrifically engaging piece of irrepressible intensity; and in the Coen Brother's hands, it's a debut masterpiece.
The film shows a duo of Coens who know exactly what they're doing. If, like most debuts,…
Noir-November Challenge! Movie #47
Joel and Ethan Coen's directorial debut throws more curves at you than the legendary curveball master Sandy Kofaux!
I wanted to say M. Emmet Walsh really NAILED his role as the sleazy private eye but after recalling the infamous window sill scene perhaps that distinction truly belongs to Frances McDormand!
Fate dispenses a world of hurt on folks caught up in a shit storm of deception, lust and greed in this twisted southern gothic noir!
A few of these folks are suffering from a terminal case of the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing!
”If you point a gun at someone, you'd better make sure you shoot him, and if you shoot him you'd better make sure he's dead, because if he isn't then he's gonna get up and try to kill you.”
Smart, unpredictable, gripping and at times spine chilling, Blood Simple is the ultimate crime thriller and the marvelous debut of Joel and Ethan Coen, the genius brothers take the simple and even cliched story line of punishment and by adding their favorite elements turn it into an electrifying and fascinating neo-noir which with its dark humor and eye-catching violence never fails to surprise. Like other films from Coens here a simple matter that can be solved easily turns into series of…
As awful as I found The Counselor to be, something good will come of it.
The subsequent discussion/scrum in the comments led to discussions about Cormac McCarthy and then No Country For Old Men. Then I started thinking, "Now there's a film I need to rewatch. Hmm, there are some Coens I haven't seen yet as well. Really need to get round to Barton Fink. And A Serious Man. It's been a few years since I've seen Fargo as well. And The Man Who Wasn't There. I wonder...."
And thus the decision was made to wade through all of the films directed by one or both of the Coens in chronological order,…
As assured a debut as you will ever see. Blood Simple is a twisty, genuinely unpredictable thriller with a pitch black heart. The Coen brothers established themselves instantly as major talents in a mere ninety minutes of Southern noir style and invasive paranoia.
For a first-time viewing the other Coen work it most immediately brings to mind is No Country for Old Men. There is a devilish spirit of chaos at play in Blood Simple. It begins in darkness and rain and never lets up. If the night won't get you the day and its inexorable heat will. Hats waved in front of faces are a common visual beat, and Carter Burwell's oppressive pulsing score is accompanied by the thrum…
It had been years since I'd seen this, luckily after revisiting it remains my 2nd favorite from the Coens. Though they've made many other films, and all but 2 of them absolutely perfect, BLOOD SIMPLE still stands out as:
1. Their best use of soundtrack/sound design. They have put together some of the all-time best scores and soundtracks (my favorite is probably FARGO - goddamn!), but here they incorporate it as another "speaking" character. The sound of a lazily turning ceiling fan is made deeper and louder, becomes the sound of menacing footsteps or a slowly dying heartbeat.
2. Maybe their best "show don't tell", but of course the bits of dialogue pack a serious punch.
3. Their bleakest, and…
Where the Coen Bros. began, with a tense/seedy/thriller of a film. Things to be noted are its pacing throughout, like I said really pulling you into that tight corner of fear. Their great use of color and lighting and the fantastic performances from Frances McDormand & M. Emmet Walsh. I'll say, the first time I saw this I wasn't really taken in but upon a second and third viewing I came to see how damn good it is. It hits the dark mark that the brothers would later touch on again in several other of their films, but here is where it all started.
This film is not slow, it is deliberate. It may be their first film, but it feels fully developed as it they take on the film noir genre and add twists and turns that echo throughout their future works.
Seeing it in 35mm on the big screen is a treat - hat's off to the Alamo Drafthouse programming staff. This was movie one of five.
This is a very suspenseful and tense first film from the Coen brothers.
The Coens brothers debut. A noir with a black heart and ice running through the veins. A cheating wife, her lover, her vengeful husband and the detective hired to find them. And kill them. Plenty of atmosphere and some set pieces that blows your hair back, way back. What happens to Marty is the stuff of nightmares. The whole cast shines and veteran character actor M. Emmet Walsh is the sleaziest, sweatiest, murdering detective ever on screen. The scene involving a window and a knife is something that I've always thought that it would be my worst nightmare if it happens to me. A bloody masterpiece. One of the best the 80's delivered.
It was the directorial debut of the Coens and it shows. It also shows how fans of Hitchcock they are.
I hate HATE how the Coen's give you so much information, but keep all the characters in blissful, almost willful, ignorance?' It's like that Hitchcock quote about suspense and telling the audience there's a bomb under the table, then making them wait. Like How can I shout at the decisions ray's making when ray doesn't have the slightest idea what's going on? Though I do feel justified in anger about the body clean up, that was awful. I like to think I've seen enough movies and episodes of scandal to know how to properly dispose of a body. I couldn't get over the lighting in this it was incredible and whats more is I was shocked to see it WASN'T Roger Deakins, but instead the director of Men In Black one, two and three. I salute that man for doing so much for contemporary cinema.
With BLOOD SIMPLE, the Coen brothers burst onto the 1980s neo-noir scene, joining the likes of Michael Mann (THIEF) and James Cameron, whose tech-noir masterpiece THE TERMINATOR was released the same year. The Coens, however, preferred the folksy authenticity of a Texas barkeep and his cheating wife (played by Frances McDormarnd, who would go on to portray Marge Gunderson, the even more down-to-earth pregnant policewoman in FARGO) over the neon lights and booming soundtracks of Michael Mann or the comedic absurdism of David Lynch.
They borrowed from the best. The ceiling fan motif is reminiscent of the opening of APOCALYPSE NOW, the fast push-in is straight from THE EVIL DEAD (a movie on which Joel Coen served as assistant editor),…
The Coen brothers first film, Blood Simple, is unquestionably Coen. It has their signature slick writing and dialogue mixed with an ironic turn of events. In the case of this film a bar owner, Julian Marty, has hired a private investigator to investigate his wife as he suspects she is cheating on him. Indeed she is. So in a jealous rage he hires the PI to also murder them both. That's when the movie really gets crazy.
This is an interesting film for me because it stars M. Emmet Walsh as the private investigator. Up until this point I had only seen him as the grandfather from Home Improvement, so it's a treat to see him as something completely different.…
#22 of my collection rewatch.
My comment on this film:
"The Coen brothers' debut demonstrates their excellence when it comes to both general film and film noir. A brilliant performance from M. Emmet Walsh pushes the film into dark depths, and though it is far from their greatest film, it's still a great sign of things to come from this now well-known duo of directors."
Also, I would love it if you would go and check this video out. It's a tribute to the Coen brothers. It's very amateur and doesn't include The Hudsucker Proxy or Intolerable Cruelty, but it's still got its moments.
Another year, another update. 2012 List can be found here.
The following is a really extensive and great list of…