Blood Simple

“Black humor, abundant originality and a brilliant visual style make Blood Simple a directorial debut of extraordinary promise. Joel Coen, who co-wrote the film with his brother Ethan, works in a noir style that in no way inhibits his wit, which turns out to be considerable.

“A lot of dying is done in Blood Simple, and almost none of it is done right. The plot concerns four people - a bar owner, his wife (Frances McDormand), the bartender whom the wife runs off with, and the private detective hired to kill the runaway couple.
“Their paths cross, re-cross and tangle to the point where the plot becomes a series of ingenious mistakes and misapprehensions. For all the plot's potential ghoulishness, Mr. Coen often interjects the kind of visual cleverness that underscores the playful mood. The film's final shootout, though grisly, also manages to have its share of bizarre humor and even beauty.

“Mr. Coen, unlike many people who have directed great-looking film noir efforts, knows better than to let handsomeness become the film's entire raison d'etre. In addition to its stylishness, Blood Simple has the kind of purposefulness and coherence that show Mr. Coen to be headed for bigger, even better, things.”- New York Times, 1984

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