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Blood Simple

194 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This critically-acclaimed thriller set in rural Texas combines chilling suspense with offbeat humor to create an all-American version of the classic "film noir." Abby (Frances McDormand) is cheating on her saloonkeeper husband, Marty (Dan Hedaya). The object of her affections is Ray (John Getz), one of Marty's bartenders. Marty hires Visser (M. Emmet Walsh), an unscrupulous detective, to kill them but Visser has other, more lucrative plans of his own. So begins a calculating round of double and triple crosses that build to a bloodcurdling, surprise-filled climax. It's an evil-minded masterpiece from the exciting filmmaking team of Joel and Ethan Coen. In Blood Simple, when someone's gone...it's never for good!

Special Features

  • Feature Commentary with Kenneth Loring of Forever Young Films
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Frances McDormand, John Getz, Dan Hedaya
    • Directors: Joel Coen
    • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal
    • DVD Release Date: September 18, 2001
    • Run Time: 96 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00005LC4P
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,073 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Blood Simple" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Robin McDonald on July 18, 2001
    Format: DVD
    Fortunately for everyone a decision was made to re-release Blood Simple in theaters. 16 years ago when it was in first run I was barely aware of it. There were so many good reviews of the film I decided to go catch it. Blood Simple was the best film I saw in 2000. Until now there has been no DVD available in the U.S. A very grainy poor quality pan and scan copy is being sold in the UK. It just isn't an option to purchase a pan and scan with this movie. The Coen brothers gorgeous cinematography makes full use of the entire frame. It is a noir style film so much of the imagery is in darkened bars and at night. But the color and light in the movie is really beautiful. This film has deserved a good treatment and now with this Director's cut it is finally getting one. One of the odd things about this Director's cut is it is the same length as the original version. Footage has been taken out and not added. The missing time is made up with an introduction by the Coen Brothers explaining that the film has been re-edited to take advantage of new technological advances not available when the film was first shot. This is sort of a joke similar to the opening of Fargo where a title card states, "Based upon a true story". Fargo is not based on a true story. They just thought it would be a better story if people thought it was true when they watched it. Ha Ha. Blood Simple's re-edit was a simple edit to tighten up the pace which was sometimes a little slow in the original version.
    Made for only two million dollars Blood Simple is a stunning achievement, all the more so because it was the Coen's first film. Stylish photography plays with not just light and shadow as in most noir, but color as well. But what drives this film is suspense mistrust and double dealing.
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    255 of 299 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Beach on April 10, 2003
    Format: DVD
    Blood Simple is one of the all-time great independent films. As a devotee of this film it goes without saying that I know nearly every line of dialogue and every cut. Well... if you too are a fan , my advice to you is: PASS ON THIS EDITION! I was absolutely shocked to see that this film had been re-edited! And NOT for the better. In fact, this was not a new edit in the traditional sense (scene shifting; scene re-edits etc.). All they did with this version was to simply lop off lines from the existing original final cut! That's right. They just shortened scenes, most often taking the form of the scene ins and outs (first and last lines in each scene). For instance, M.Emmet Walsh's last line to Marty in the VW when he contracts Walsh. Or how about the humorous placing of Getz's cigarette in the stuffed wild boars mouth at Marty's house? Or the exchange between Samm-Art Williams and the redneck at the juke box. Those lines are now gone completely. And remember that version of The Monkee's "I'm A Beliver" which was used in that scene? Its been dumped for a Four Tops tune. This is just a few in a long list of disturbing changes. As a film editor, I asked myself, what imporovements were made with these new cuts? The answer is a resounding, NONE!
    My point is this. If you buy this DVD expecting the same old Blood Simple in a new, crisp DVD edition, you will be sorely disappointed. You will be constantly distracted by the jarring edits rather than being able to enjoy the film... Again, worthless.
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    31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Schneider on June 5, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    With a story that makes "Double Indemnity" look like the quickest way to get from point A to point B, a couple of my very favorite filmmakers turned the film noir conventions 360 degrees. Yes, that means it ended up back where it started, but much better as a result of the the trip. A good film noir needs a couple key elements, not the least of which are several layers of double crosses and misunderstandings. It also needs the one key clue that could clear or incriminate a murderer. To those ends, Joel and Ethan Coen created yet another little world in which several clues are left unused or misunderstood, and the double crosses are the bread and butter of one very crafty, though seedy, private eye. John Getz, Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh, and Dan Hedaya are all 102% perfect in their roles. Barry Sonnenfeld delights with his cinematography, and the Coens have fun messing with the viewer. They set out to make a darkly funny, very twisted noir and they succeeded. The real stars are the Coens, much like with any of their movies (exceptions made for John Turturro or John Goodman in any of their roles, of course). Joel and Ethan are master craftsmen of cinema usually overlooked by mainstream audiences. Their debut, "Blood Simple," not only showcased the promise of their talent, but was a tour de force on its own terms. Along with "L.A. Confidential," "Blade Runner," and "Hard Eight," "Blood Simple" proves that film noir is not dead. Because it is, as this film proves, very hard to kill something, and have it stay dead....
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    31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Scott W on October 2, 2001
    Format: DVD
    As a big fan of the film since it was released in 1985, I was looking forward to seeing Blood Simple transferred to DVD. A cleaned-up widescreen transfer, and maybe a little cleaner audio, were all good things that I wanted to see happen; and with the Director's Cut, it did happen. However, I think the edits that were made in this version of the film may displease fans of the original -- I know they displease this fan.
    I won't go into a laundry-list of the cuts. They are, for the most part, the removal or trimming of some funny bits and gags that don't really contribute to telling the story; but they do, in my opinion, contribute to the quirky charm of the film without consuming a great deal of time on screen. Also trimmed are some uncomfortable silences that develop between people in certain scenes; making them not so uncomfortable, I guess, but I don't see this as an improvement.
    Most disconcerting to me are some of the music changes. One that particularly disappointed me is when Ray first confronts Marty on the back steps of the bar. In the original version, a slow-tempo instrumental country-western tune is playing inside the bar, and after transitioning to the outside, the same song is heard muffled in the background with the bass still booming. As anyone who has ever stood outside a nightclub can tell you, this is exactly what you hear -- the lower frequencies propagate better than the higher frequencies. The editors have seen fit to change this to a vocal piece of music that is reduced in volume as the view changes to the outside, but without the realistic frequency balance. I don't understand why this change was made.
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    When?
    MGM went through some financial trouble, but now I think they made a deal with Sony (I think) for distribution of their titles. MGM went around buying up films of defunct movie companies such as ORION (Blood Simple, The Terminator, Silence of the Lambs) and were mismanaged and now they are in the... Read More
    Mar 29, 2011 by Jacob Almond |  See all 2 posts
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