• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:September 14, 2021

Blood Simple.

BREAKING UP IS HARD.

bloodsimpleMarty (Dan Hedaya) hires a private eye to kill his wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz), but everything goes wrong in the dark Texas night. The Coen brothers’ debut piece is a low-budget film noir reminiscent of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), but lacking the absurd comedy that would become a trademark of theirs. Fans will indeed recognize the dark tone and rustic environs, which is often part of the brothers’ best work. A somewhat conventional thriller, but it looks great and there’s a lot of tension in the clever script. McDormand, Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh all deliver excellent performances, not least the gentlemen as two very disagreeable, colorful characters.

1984-U.S. 96 min. Color. Produced by Ethan Coen. Directed by Joel Coen. Screenplay: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen. Cinematography: Barry Sonnenfeld. Music: Carter Burwell. Cast: John Getz (Ray), Frances McDormand (Abby), Dan Hedaya (Marty), Samm-Art Williams, M. Emmet Walsh.

Trivia: Holly Hunter allegedly tried for the part of Abby, but decided not to take it.

Last word: “We never really thought of it as film noir, although it is. It’s plain, mean, ordinary people doing bad things to each other in the dark, so I guess that qualifies it as film noir. But we were really thinking, in a conscious way, about more of a… We both like James M. Cain stories, which sort of confuses the issue because a lot of his stories were subsequently made into film noir. To tell you the truth, we were thinking about what kind of thing we could do on a low budget. We knew we were going to be raising the money ourselves and that there wouldn’t be much money. The sort of claustrophobic, heavily plotted murder melodrama seemed tailor-made for something you might be able to do successfully on a small budget, in real practical terms.” (Ethan Coen, The A.V. Club)

 

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