Blood Simple (1994) Australia
Blood Simple Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Studio:Universal Studios
Producer:Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Daniel F. Bacaner, Mark Silverman
Writer:William S. Gilbert, Melvyn Morrow
Date Added:2006-05-17
Picture Format:Widescreen
Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen  ...  (Director)
William S. Gilbert, Melvyn Morrow  ...  (Writer)
Jon English  ...  The Pirate King
Helen Donaldson  ...  Mabel Stanley
Toni Lamond  ...  Ruth
Derek Metzger  ...  Major-General
Tim Tyler  ...  Police sergeant
Susie French  ...  Edith (The Fabulous Singlettes)
Melissa Langton  ...  Kate (The Fabulous Singlettes)
Anna Butera  ...  Isabel (The Fabulous Singlettes)
Marc James  ...  Samuel
Simon Gallaher  ...  Frederic
Glynn Nicholas  ...  The Original Major-General Stanley
Jason Barry-Smith  ...  Pirate
Christophe Broadway  ...  Pirate
David Coombs  ...  Pirate
Robert Dale  ...  Pirate
Michael Falzon  ...  Pirate
Gary Jones  ...  Pirate
David Lowe  ...  Pirate
Emma Powell  ...  Booth Singer
Peter Rees  ...  Pirate
David Scotchford  ...  Pirate
Anthony Weigh  ...  Pirate in kilt
Jenny Wilson  ...  Booth Singer
John Getz  ...  
Frances McDormand  ...  
Dan Hedaya  ...  
M. Emmet Walsh  ...  
Samm-Art Williams  ...  
Summary: The debut film of director Joel Coen and his brother-producer Ethan Coen, 1983's Blood Simple is grisly comic noir that marries the feverish toughness of pulp thrillers with the ghoulishness of even pulpier horror. (Imagine the novels of Jim Thompson somehow fused with the comic tabloid Weird Tales, and you get the idea.) The story concerns a Texas bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who hires a seedy private detective (M. Emmett Walsh) to follow his cheating wife (Frances McDormand in her first film appearance), and then kill her and her lover (John Getz). The gumshoe turns the tables on his client, and suddenly a bad situation gets much, much worse, with some violent goings-on that are as elemental as they are shocking. (A scene in which a character who has been buried alive suddenly emerges from his own grave instantly becomes an archetypal nightmare.) Shot by Barry Sonnenfeld before he became an A-list director in Hollywood, Blood Simple established the hyperreal look and feel of the Coens' productions (undoubtedly inspired a bit by filmmaker Sam Raimi, whose The Evil Dead had just been coedited by Joel). Sections of the film have proved to be an endurance test for art-house movie fans, particularly an extended climax that involves one shock after another but ends with a laugh at the absurdity of criminal ambition. This is definitely one of the triumphs of the 1980s and the American independent film scene in general. --Tom Keogh