Blood Simple
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -2 1/2

In this re-released 1984 suspense/thriller, Ray (John Getz) and Abby (Frances McDormand) run off together for a night of adulterous fun. Of course, Abbys husband, Julian (Dan Hedaya), is in the dark, wondering where his wife is and why his chief bartender, Ray, is missing his shift. But Julian has suspected some fooling around, so he has a private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) on the case. When presented with photographic proof of the affair, Julian opens his safe to make payment. However, the PI has other plans and quickly shoots Julian and empties the safe. But Julian is not dead and when Ray comes to the bar later, he stumbles on the nearly dead husband of his lover. This sets in motion a series of events that are both tension filled and gruesome. BLOOD SIMPLE is a well-told, well-directed story by the Coen brothers, who also wrote and directed the popular 1987 film RAISING ARIZONA and 1995s, FARGO . This re-edited directors cut shows the promise and talent one might expect from these filmmakers. The acting is solid and the popularity of later films should draw fans to this very good, older work.

Ray and Abby are already enmeshed in their adulterous relationship as the movie begins. While neither of them seems very repentant, the film does imply adultery as unacceptable. Therefore, Ray and Abby continually worry about being caught, and Julian becomes incensed when he has real evidence of the affair. One brief scene shows the two engaged in sexual intercourse. No nudity is shown, but it includes motions. Another sexual encounter is implied later on as well. One character makes racist comments toward a black man, but violence and language are the big negatives in this movie. In one excruciating scene, a character is buried alive and shown struggling to push the fast falling dirt off. Another scene graphically shows a man stabbed in the hand, and later pushed into a window that cuts him badly. Gutter vocabulary includes nine f-words and six s-words along with a few regular profanities. Foul language, graphically violent scenes, and sexual content make BLOOD SIMPLE simply too objectionable to recommend.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: USA Films, 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Summary
Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 4, Moderate 7
Obscene Language: Many (16) times - F-word 9, s-word 6, other 1
Profanity: Few (3) times Regular (GD 2, J 1)
Violence: Several times Moderate, graphic once (man kicked, men shot, man buried alive, man cut and stabbed badly)
Sexual Intercourse: Few times Implied and graphic (implied once, once with motions but no nudity)
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (references to sex)
Drug Abuse: Several times (cigarette smoking, alcohol)
Other: Some characters make racist statements; adultery implied as wrong
Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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