50 Years of SIFF: Blood Simple

Blood Simple

USA | 1984 | 99 min. | Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

November 12 - December 2, 2023

50 Years of SIFF

The owner of a seedy small-town Texas bar discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife in this now classic neo-noir from the Coen Brothers.

Joel and Ethan Coen’s darkly comic road trip through misfit America began with this razor-sharp, hard-boiled neo-noir set somewhere in Texas, where a sleazy bar owner who discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife releases a torrent of violence with one murderous thought. Actor M. Emmet Walsh looms over the proceedings as a slippery private eye with a yellow suit, a cowboy hat, and no moral compass, and Frances McDormand’s cunning debut performance set her on the road to stardom. Blending elements from pulp fiction and low-budget horror flicks, Blood Simple reinvented the film noir for a new generation, marking the arrival of a filmmaking ensemble that would transform the American independent cinema scene.

  • Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Principal Cast: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 99 min.
  • Producer: Ethan Coen
  • Screenplay: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Cinematographers: Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Editors: Roderick Jaynes, Don Wiegmann
  • Music: Carter Burwell
  • Filmography: Joel Coen: The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021), Intolerable Cruelty (2003) Ethan Coen: Drive-Away Dolls (2023), Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in MInd (2022) The Coen Brothers: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), Hail, Caesar! (2016), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), True Grit (2010), A Serious Man (2009), Burn After Reading (2008), No Country for Old Men (2007), The Lady Killers (2004), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Big Lebowski (1998), Fargo (1996), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Barton Fink (1991), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Raising Arizona (1987), Blood Simple (1984)