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Blood Simple [DVD] [1984]

John Getz , Frances McDormand , Ethan Coen , Joel Coen    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: £18.63
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Frequently Bought Together

Blood Simple [DVD] [1984] + The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) [DVD] + Miller's Crossing [1990] [DVD] [1991]
Price For All Three: £26.41

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Product details

  • Actors: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh, Samm-Art Williams
  • Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Producers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Daniel F. Bacaner, Mark Silverman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jan 2001
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W4H4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,415 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The debut film of director Joel Coen and his brother-producer Ethan Coen, 1983's Blood Simple is grisly comic noir that marries the feverish toughness of pulp thrillers with the ghoulishness of even pulpier horror. (Imagine the novels of Jim Thompson somehow fused with the comic tabloid Weird Tales and you get the idea.) The story concerns a Texas bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who hires a seedy private detective (M Emmett Walsh) to follow his cheating wife (Frances McDormand in her first film appearance) and then kill her and her lover (John Getz). The gumshoe turns the tables on his client and suddenly a bad situation gets much, much worse, with some violent goings-on that are as elemental as they are shocking. (A scene in which a character who has been buried alive suddenly emerges from his own grave instantly becomes an archetypal nightmare.) Shot by Barry Sonnenfeld before he became an A-list director in Hollywood, Blood Simple established the hyperreal look and feel of the Coens' productions (undoubtedly inspired a bit by filmmaker Sam Raimi, whose The Evil Dead had just been coedited by Joel). Sections of the film have proved to be an endurance test for art-house movie fans, particularly an extended climax that involves one shock after another but ends with a laugh at the absurdity of criminal ambition. This is definitely one of the triumphs of the 1980s and the American independent film scene in general. --Tom Keogh,

Product Description

This knowing homage to 40s film noir is the first feature from eccentric movie-making duo the Coen brothers. A Texan bar owner (Dan Hedaya) hires a hitman (M. Emmet Walsh) to kill his wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). The plan backfires when the contract killer, having already collected his fee, executes a variation on the hit and a series of nightmarish murders ensue.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie poor DVD 26 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Blood Simple is a truly great noir movie. It is a movie to be savored not only for its story but for the intricate and clever cinematography that matches its dark plot and setting. The current DVD was truly an unworthy effort. This is a smokey dark movie. The many night scenes are marred by graininess. Anyone who remembers the vibrant colors and clarity that characterized the film's recent re-release director's cut in the theaters last year will be sorely disappointed with this DVD. But the biggest travesty is that it is pan and scan only. This is a a movie that uses negative spaces and the width of the screen to establish relationships and set mood. You can't just whack it off picture elements in this movie and get the emotional spectrum Blood Simple delivers. At least the British have produced a DVD. Where is Universal's print? It kills me they are nowhere in producing a worthy DVD that finally gives this film the treatment it deserves? Blood Simple was re-released last year this is the time to strike while the film is still fresh in the memory of it many fans. Sadly I do not see anything in the works. While this would be an ideal film for Director's I would settle for a good print with widescreen.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good film, Bad DVD. 6 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Great Coen Brothers film, but unfortunately a poor DVD. I was very disappointed to discover that this film is not in widescreen, but a poor 4:3 version taken from what looks like a very old and poor print. You may as well get it on VHS.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood simple is........... the work of pure genius! 20 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is the perfect example of a totally underrated masterpiece! Less obvious comic than the Coen's susequent films, this has a degree of beyond-black humour, but is mostly a study of the way things go wrong when people don't use their heads. "Who looks stupid now?" is an appropriate send off line delivered from a murderer to a victim, as all the dumbness naturally leads to death.
This has everything that a good film must have; a good story, good direction, good acting, great music and enough twists to keep the jive bunny happy! The razor-sharp debut of Oscar nominated Joel and Ethan Coen will have you on the very edge of your seat. This is a great film and is definately one of the best crime films ever made....ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor transfer spoils a classic film 14 May 2011
By Nigel Mc TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I agree with other reviewers who have critised the poor video quality of this dvd. This is such a pity because it does detract from what is an otherwise classic film. Admittedly quite gory in places but also quite comic because of the ineptness of these petty criminals. If ever you want a good reason why you should not put your hand where you cannot see it then this film will provide the answer - in stark gory detail! It is not difficult to spot the early talent of the Coen brothers and Francis McDormand. The film is a revelation which deserves 5 stars but must lose 2 stars for the appalling quality of the video transfer.

I see that the film is due to be released on Blu-ray and it will be interesting to see the quality of that re-mastering.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this dreadful Region 2 release!!! 10 April 2010
Pan and scan, terrible sound and picture quality.

Either buy a region 1, or get the Coen Brother's Collection 4 DVD box set which contains the only decent widescreen version of this film available in the UK, good sound and clear as crystal picture quality.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Transfer & Wrong Ratio 4 Dec 2009
The movie is absolutely classic & you have to own it if you're a film buff. This DVD, however, has 2 flaws. The first is the fact that although the original aspect ratio was 1.85:1, this DVD delivers the pan & scan 1.33:1 ratio. The second flaw is the below average overall quality of the image. The transfer was made from a grainy & dull copy. You want something better than this.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it region 1! 20 April 2004
Yes this is a great film, and especially when considering it as a debut(although it is actually one of the last of the Coen Brothers' films Isaw). It is a travesty that the available DVD in the UK is so poor - andat one time so expensive too. But do yourselves a favour - I don't knowwhy it isn't available in the UK but the American edition is widescreen, afairly decent print and with (presumably) the special edition editsmentioned before.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real masterpiece... even better than "Fargo" 26 July 2006
I watched this movie three times and really liked it. Coen Brother's cinematic debut is a wonderful example of how to let the pictures tell most of the story. In essence, the story is real simple: A greasy and sleazy bar owner hires an even sleazier private eye to kill his wife and her paramour. But things do not turn out quite as planned. There are enough twists and turns to keep a viewer guessing even after the movie is over. Especially, second part of the movie is a first-grade thriller with violent, bloody, suspenseful, and endless twists. The last word: an absolutely fantastic film - one of the best I have ever seen. Dark entertainment at its best!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Bought this but it didn't play on any of my machines. Dissapointed to sat the least!
Published 20 days ago by DJB7
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Coen effort shows promise but lacks that special something
Despite loving pretty much all of the brothers’ subsequent output, I found this early effort dull and uninspired, despite some potentially interesting ideas. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
4.0 out of 5 stars BLOOD SIMPLE
Published 1 month ago by EZ21491660
2.0 out of 5 stars old and stale
old and stale is all i can say about it and I dont like the way you review has changed
Published 4 months ago by Mr Pedantic
4.0 out of 5 stars poorquality
Great film ,pity about the DVD. Grainy filming and poor quality sound. when you try to turn
up the sound it just buzzes. Same as in SEVEN and Open Range. Very annoying. Read more
Published 10 months ago by W. Macaulay
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Texas noir
Blood Simple is a little rough here and there - some of the cinematography sticks out as being pretty lame in a sea of great looking shots, some of the music is awful (that version... Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. Moncrieff
5.0 out of 5 stars i told you about this
you sent me regeon 1 that will not play i have two all all regon players that will not play it thanks bye
Published 16 months ago by brian roberts
2.0 out of 5 stars Not this one
Yes, the film is wonderful - I remember seeing it at the London Film Festival back in 1984, and some of the scenes are still etched in my memory, nearly thirty years later. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ian Watters
5.0 out of 5 stars French Region 2 Version Viewed.
You know in Greece they cut off the head of the messenger who brought bad news.

Blood Simple is directed, written and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Spike Owen
2.0 out of 5 stars This is a badly worn/grainy version - it spoils an interesting film
This is the 2000-released version of the film, which presents the 4:3 ratio version of the film without cropping the edges of the screen. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by Miami
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