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Blood Simple (1984)

January 17, 2010

Abby (Frances McDormand) is cheating on her husband, Marty who owns a bar in Texas, with Ray who is a bar tender. Private eye Loren Visser (M. Emmett Walsh) is hired to follow Abby and he reports back to an unhappy Marty.
Marty pays Abby a visit but Abby beats him off. Marty hires Loren to kill Abby and Ray and then goes on a fishing trip. Loren takes Abby’s gun and shoots them both in bed. He delivers the picture of the bullet ridden bodies to Marty. When Marty pays Loren, Marty shoots him (with Abby’s gun?).
Then Ray walks in to the bar – he’s not dead. It was all a set up. Ray walks in and sees Marty’s dead body and a gun fires and goes flying across the floor. He picks up the gun. He then tries to clean up the blood, he must think Abby did it. He takes Marty’s body in his car but Marty is not dead and he crawls out of the car. Ray then buries him alive. Meanwhile Loren burns the doctored pictures but he can’t find his monogrammed lighter. Ray goes back and tells Abby that he has finished what she started but she has no idea what he is talking about and then Marty calls on the phone!
Abby thinks Ray killed Marty and Ray thinks Abby had tried to kill Marty. No one knows what is going on. Ray finds the doctored photos. Loren shoots and kills Ray with a rifle from outside. Then he aims at Abby but misses. We hear the footsteps, like in a Hitchcock film.  When Loren puts his hand through the window Abby put a knife through it pinning it to the window sill (a homage to The Godfather like the fish?). Loren finally gets his other hand through the wall to lift out the knife. Abby gets a gun and waits for him and fires through the door. She thinks she has shot Marty, but it was Loren.  She says “I’m not afraid of you Marty.” Loren laughs, before dying, and says “If I see him, I’ll be sure to give him the message.” Then the movie abruptly ends.
The Coen’s brothers first movie was a great neo-noir. Twists and turns you could never see coming. Just really good.
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