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Blood Simple

Hugely enjoyable film noir in which a Texan bar-owner hires a seedy private eye, first to spy on his wife, then to kill her and her lover. Instead, the eye (a marvellous performance from Walsh), having collected his fee, executes a variation on the contract. Whereupon things take off in a maelstrom of misunderstanding that spreads guilt and fear like a plague through the characters, and escalates a nightmarish terror (premature burial, murder by battery, crucifying impalement) that owes some debt to the horror comic. A remarkably assured debut for Coen, formerly assistant editor on The Evil Dead.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joel Coen
Screenwriter: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: John Getz
Frances McDormand
Dan Hedaya
M Emmet Walsh
Samm-Art Williams
Deborah Neumann
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