Blood Simple 1984 Criterion Collection
If the great American directors from the 1940s and 1950s were still making noir films during the 1980s, their work probably would have looked very similar to the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple. This may sound like a bizarre speculation, but this film oozes the kind of special ambience that is present in many of the early noir classics.

The elements of noir are all present – dollars, deaths, desires and dames, together with unexpected twists that affect both the characters and viewers. Sex, death and cash connect in a world where the line between normality and criminality is thin. A private dick is essential if any of these matters are to be resolved. The detective in question is Loren Visser (M. Emmet Walsh), hired by bar owner Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya) to find out whether his wife Abby (Frances McDormand), whose concept of monogamy is decidedly suspect, is having a tempestuous affair with Ray (John Getz). She is. Photographic confirmation of her infidelity leads to Marty commissioning Visser to kill the pair, but the detective has plans of his own, and shoots Marty, seeking to frame Abby and take the cash. When Ray discovers the 'corpse', he tries to get rid of the evidence but it appears that Marty isn't as dead as Visser thought. Still, Ray buries him anyway. And so begins a game where no one is certain who can trust whom and the dead may not be as dead as initially assumed.

The film is best appreciated on the second viewing where the brilliance of the Coens’ screenplay becomes more noticeable. Most of the film’s plot revolves around four major characters, each of them suffering from their own set of paranoia; they think that they know everything, but the truth hides under a veil of illusion. The Coens shoot most the film in murky shadows and deliberately darken the surroundings to create an environment which is bleak, sinister, and sometimes, hostile.

The film is also paced much slower than one would expect. This is a double-edged sword because while it gives discerning viewers ample time to marvel at the directing talents of the Coens, it can also frustrate viewers who just want to be entertained.


Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh
Country: USA
Genre: Crime, Thriller

Extras:

Filmmakers:

1. Shooting Blood Simple - in this brand new featurette, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen and cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld recall how and where various sequences from Blood Simple were shot, how they tested various lighting options, and some specific ideas about the film's visual design before and during the shooting process. The featurette was produced in May 2016. In English, not subtitled. (71 min, 1080p).

2. Conversation with Dave Eggers - in this new filmed conversation, writer/screenwriter/publisher Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, A Hologram for the King) discusses the difficult production history of Blood Simple and the professional career of directors Joel and Ethan Coen. The conversation was filmed in May 2016. In English, not subtitled. (35 min, 1080p).

Actors:

1. Frances McDormand - in this brand new video interview, actress Frances McDormand recalls how she was cast to play Abby in Blood Simple, which was her very first acting role, and explains how her personal life and career changed after the film was released. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in June 2016. In English, not subtitled. (26 min, 1080p).

2. M. Emmet Walsh - in this brand new video interview, actor M. Emmet Walsh recalls how he became involved with Blood Simple, and discusses the character he plays, some of his unique 'hooks' that defined his acting style at the time, the film's tone and atmosphere, his interactions with Joel and Ethan Coen, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in June 2016. In English, not subtitled. (17 min, 1080p).

Sound and Music - in this brand new interview, composer Carter Burwell and sound editor Skip Lievsay discuss their professional relationship with Joel and Ethan Coen, which began with Blood Simple, and the importance of music and sound effects in their films. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in May 2016. In English, not subtitled. (24 min, 1080p).

Trailers - in English, not subtitled.

1. Find-raising trailer. (3 min, 1080p).
2. Original Theatrical Trailer (2 min, 1080p).
3. Rerelease Trailer. (2 min, 1080p).

2 x DVD9 | NTSC 16:9 | 01:35:50 | 5.41 Gb + 7.09 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 01:35:55 | 44.3 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

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