The neo-noir crime thriller Blood Simple (the title is a line from Dashielle Hammett's novel Red Harvest) not only marked the feature film debut of Coen brothers Joel (director, co-writer) and Ethan (producer, co-writer), but also the screen debut of Joel's wife Frances McDormand, who went on to star in several of their films (most notably her Academy Award-winning performance as Marge Gunderson in 1996's Fargo).
Directed by Joel Coen, 1984, 97 min.
"In the first film of brothers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, M. Emmett Walsh plays Visser, an unscrupulous private eye hired by Texas bar owner Marty (Dan Hedaya) to murder Marty's faithless wife Abby (Frances McDormand) and her paramour, Ray (John Getz), one of Marty's employees. But Visser is no more up-front with Marty than with anyone else; he makes some slight modifications of the original plan so that it better serves his own best interests. After a surprise double-cross and the murder of one of the important players, matters spiral out of control, and the plot gyrates through a complicated string of darkly humorous events. False assumptions, guilt, and fear all lead to a frantic attempt to conceal evidence and the heart-pounding, irony-filled denouement. Blood Simple was re-released in the summer of 2000 with a digitally-remastered soundtrack and -- at the Coens' behest -- a few minutes of dialogue trimmed." - Hal Erickson (AllRovi)
Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:00pm
Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201