The film Blood Simple by the Joel and Ethan Coen is one of the Coen brothers first films.
It is the first major film of cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld who became a well known director, he later did the Men In Black films. The film also was the first film for Joel Coen’s wife Frances McDormand who starred in a lot of his films. The film did not perform great in the box office, with a 1,500,000 budget they only made 3,851,855 in the box office (wikipedia). Regardless Blood Simple is now a well known film with it having been released 2 more times with minor touch ups. The first time in 2001 when the Coen brothers wanted to fix some of their editing mishaps, it was called the director’s cut and the second in 2016 brought it to blu-ray and with a 4k digital transfer and also gave some special features.
It was called the collector’s edition.The film takes place in a small town in Texas. Just like many other film noir films the main focus of the story is adultery. Abby (Frances McDormand) was growing tired of her husband, Marty. So Abby was having an affair with Ray (John Getz).
A bartender at one of Marty’s tavern. however, Marty is suspicious of them and hires Visser (M. Emmet Walsh),a private investigator to find out if his hunch was correct. Visser then then returns with proof of Abby’s infidelity and agrees to take out both Abby and Ray and provide proof when it is done.
However Visser altered the photos of Abby and Ray’s death and they are both still alive. A large difference between this film and most other thrillers is the way that the Coen brothers only let the audience know all of the information so that they can watch helplessly as the characters make choices based on false information. The plot of the film is expertly planned out with crucially important misunderstandings woven in so well and comes across amazingly natural.The Coen brothers did an exquisite job picking the talent for the film. Many of the talents were early in their careers such as Frances McDormand. The Coen brothers played to the strengths of the actors such as how M.
Emmet Walsh throughout his career was able to make himself evil in everything his character does and you see that skill used a few times in the film. When you take into account what the characters know during the film they behave rationally and naturally showing the quality of both the acting and the script. The Coen brothers also did an excellent job choosing their technical director: Barry Sonnenfeld. Sonnenfeld was hired after being the director of photography on the oscar nominated film In Our Water. In the film Sonnenfeld works with the Coen brothers to create some very exquisite shots such as in the scene where Marty tries to take Abby From Ray’s house. It is shot using the shaky camera technique.
The camera rushes toward Marty and Ray almost like a dog. They even added the sound of a dog panting to the shot.