Blood Simple

7.61 h 35 min1985R
HD. The Coen brothers film debut follows three Texans involved in a complex triangle of lust, jealousy and greed.
Joel Coen
John GetzFrances McDormandDan Hedaya
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
M. Emmet Walsh
Joel CoenEthan CoenDaniel F. BacanerMark Silverman
The Criterion Collection
R (Restricted)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.5 out of 5 stars

1353 global ratings

  1. 72% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

joel wingReviewed in the United States on June 24, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Cohens 1st movie but it's so slow and plodding you get bored
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Blood Simple was a crime drama and the debut of the Coen Brothers who wrote, produced and directed the film. The movie is about an affair between Abby (Frances McDormand) and Ray (John Getz) and her jealous husband Marty (Dan Hedaya). The movie is about betrayal and mistrust, but not the way you think.

The movie has a very deliberate and slow pace. It also doesn’t have the quirky writing that the Coen Brothers were known for.

At first it seems like the traditional story of an angry husband seeking revenge upon his cheating wife. Then it takes a twist and a turn and things don’t work out the way the audience expects. There’s a murder and a cover up. The problem is that even then, when things should start moving the pace barely picks up. It’s still so plodding.

Overall it seems like the Cohens hadn’t found their voice yet.
12 people found this helpful
arthur l. zehReviewed in the United States on November 4, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
even on the crappy 19 inch Sylvania color TV I watched it on ...
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First time I saw this was shortly after it was released on video. I never saw it in the theatre, but wish that I had; even on the crappy 19 inch Sylvania color TV I watched it on my jaw was on the floor. There really wasn't anything else like it, and it established a Coen standard that only rose with successive productions. I still love this movie, and never tire of watching it. I have all the dialogue memorized, including the opening monologue, so I can entertain myself during my daily commute.
27 people found this helpful
WarrenReviewed in the United States on April 30, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
... the Coen brothers - and I found it absolutely wonderful. The movie was a great thriller
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I'd never seen this movie - the first by the Coen brothers - and I found it absolutely wonderful. The movie was a great thriller, and the Blu-Ray transfer was wonderful. But perhaps the greatest benefit was the very lengthy discussion between the Coen boys, and their cinematographer, about the making of it. The things that went well, and the things that didn't. To me, this is what the extras should be like - something to add to the viewing experience. Not a trailer, and certainly not what gets trotted out far too often - interviews with eveyone on the film saying how wonderful everyone else is. I can write these in advance - to me they add nothing to the movie watching experience. So, congratulations to Criterion. This is certainly a movie worth including in your library.
29 people found this helpful
Paul PetersenReviewed in the United States on December 24, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Stunningly Thrilling
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A masterpiece. A thriller with twists and turns that just don’t stop and leaves you stunned. Made my wife and I instant Coen Brothers fans. We watched it the first time on a 9” black and white tv. Previous releases weren’t very high quality but this one appears to be properly derived from the master.
11 people found this helpful
BookMomReviewed in the United States on May 18, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thoroughly original
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The first Coen brothers' movie, and first with the amazing Frances McDormand. It is perfectly weird, original, engrossing, beautifully filmed and funny. Don't let the title put you off (as it did me for far too long). It is not at all bloody/gory.
3 people found this helpful
Mike SturakReviewed in the United States on January 6, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Blood Simple (1984) M Emmett Walsh, Dan Hedaya, John Getz, Frances MacDormand

Rated R.

Tagline: Dead in the heart of Texas.

A chilling black "comedy" in the who-gets-to be-dead-next tradition.
It's been said that when blood is involved, nothing is simple.
Dark and oddball is quite a niche to be carved.
In a nut shell:
When you kill something, you might want to make sure that it stays dead.
This is the the first Indie film produced by the Coen brothers. Their movies are somehow always impossibly magical and bizarre, with more twists than a licorice stick.
Their trademark curve ball, when you expect a fast ball, is also in evidence in this debut motion picture. They are famous for exploring a dark universe where their characters are plunged into strange intrigue and an even stranger world which is forever revolving outside their grasp, with no way visible for them to cope, yet somehow they do... consequences be damned.
Greed and adultery and murder produce an icy concoction but some folks are mighty thirsty for this irredeemable brew and can hardly wait to chug it down. Chilled to the bone, of course.
Tense and facinating, gut wrenching and unpredictable.
Some hearts are beyond cold. Some are sub zero.
Dark as pitch and nastier than sin has a right to be.
Definately not a film for granny-O or the Cinderella set.
14 people found this helpful
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 11, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A film noir masterpiece from the Coen Brothers.
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This is where it all started for the Coen Brothers and for those of us who are fans of their work. In retrospect, it seems as if every other film of theirs has grown, conceptually and thematically, from the kernel that is this terrific "modern" film noir. The writing and directing are fully blown - no learning curve for these guys. If there is a weak spot, at all, it's in the casting of the male lead. But everyone else is terrific and the movie is really, on its own terms, a masterpiece of film making.
12 people found this helpful
Rita L. StanfieldReviewed in the United States on June 27, 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Dialog edited.
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Well this was a nice ripoff for $21.50. They have the nerve to call this "Director approved". Give me a break. I know this movie. I even recorded it on VHS when it was first on cable. Big chunks of dialog have been edited out. And not due to obscenities. I have no idea why. Going in the trash in the morning. It will feel good. Next time I want to throw away money I will avoid being misled by shifty DVD makers and just hand out a $20 bill to some poor street person. At least then I can feel good about it. Criteion should be ashamed. But I know they're not.
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