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  • Blood Simple [DVD] [1984]
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Blood Simple [DVD] [1984]

34 customer reviews

Price: £10.70
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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]
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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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W4H4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,533 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Feb. 2001
Format: DVD
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Hounslow on 20 April 2004
Format: DVD
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 April 2001
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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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jan. 2001
Format: DVD
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian on 7 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD
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.

Sadly, yes, this is not the DVD you are looking for unless you want the few seconds that they removed when doing the tighter edit that's on the box set version. Otherwise, you've got a 4:3 pan and scan version, with visible damage at the start and end of each reel, and lots of film grain every time the lights go down.

Although I already had the other three films on the four film box set, I bought that one just to have the better version of this.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. You can therefore see the film in its full size. Unfortunately it is a very worn/grainy film and as bad in quality as a counterfeit DVD. Universal cannot lecture on counterfeit DVDs when they produce DVDs that are just as bad. Although this is a badly worn/grainy film, it has very high light contrast which is good so that in light scenes you can pick out little details on clothes etc a little better. However in dark scenes you can hardly make out anything and it looks bad. The overall presentation looks a little too grainy and worn, which is somewhat surprising given that it is only a 2000 release. There clearly is an issue of poor quality regarding this DVD which should be addressed.

You can purchase a "widescreen" digitally remastered version only by purchasing the 2010-released DVD box set called The Coen Brothers Collection. However, although the DVD box set widescreen version of the film is indeed smoother, it is also defective because it has significantly centre-cropped the picture so that you don't see the original image full size and you don't see everything the filmmakers intended. The cropped-edges can only be seen by comparing the full size 4:3 version with the widescreen cropped version side-by-side.

Until Universal sort out the issues regarding how the film can be presented on DVD in its original form properly, Blood Simple - a terrific film with an abrupt ending - will remain a film that is of poor physical condition. In an ideal world the DVD would be withdrawn rather than sold for £5.79 as at the time of writing.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Serkan Silahsor on 26 July 2006
Format: DVD
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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