Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Blood Simple (1984)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Blood Simple (1984)

In this Coen Brothers' off-beat, diabolical, violent, neo-noir crime drama - their directorial debut film, about a vicious triangle of revenge, greed, lust and deception involving a married couple (the wife was cheating and her husband hired a PI to kill his wife's younger lover, but everything went awry)

  • the opening sequence - a voice-over narration by super-sleazy, private detective Loren Visser (M. Emmet Walsh): "The world is full of complainers. The fact is, nothin' comes with a garantee (sic). Now I don't care if you're the pope of Rome, President of the United States, or man of the year. Somethin' can always go wrong. Go ahead, you know, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help and watch him fly. Now, in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else. That's the theory anyway. What I know about is Texas. And down here, you're on your own"
  • the scene of a secret trysting at a small-town motel where incriminating pictures were taken of illicit sex between two lovers; the photos were presented by Visser to the cuckolded husband, Texas strip-bar owner/boss Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya), in his office; he was upset with seeing the photos of his own wife (Frances McDormand in her screen debut) with his own bartender employee Ray; Visser made it even more difficult by mentioning: "I know where you can get those framed...Just doin' my job...Call it a fringe benefit...Most of the night. They'd rest every few minutes, then they'd get started again... Quite somethin'...It ain't such bad news. I mean, you thought he was colored. You're always assumin' the worst...Give me a call whenever you wanna cut off my head. I can always crawl around without it"
The 'What's Funny" Discussion
Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya)
Ray (John Getz)
  • the "What's Funny" discussion between Julian Marty and his cheating bartender employee Ray - warning that he should stay away from his wife Abby, that he no longer worked there (that he should presumably quit), and that he was denied his final two-week's pay: "She's an expensive piece of ass. But you get a refund if you tell me who else she's been sluicin'..."; he mocked Ray for thinking he was the only one having an affair with Abby: "What's funny is that I had you two followed because if it's not you she's sleepin' with, it's someone else. And what's really gonna be funny is when she gives you that innocent look and says, 'I don't know what you're talkin' about, Ray. I ain't done anything funny.' But the funniest thing to me right now is that you think that she came back here for you. That's what's f--kin' funny!"
  • the scene in Visser's car (with a boob-blinking nude baby-doll figurine hanging from his rear-view mirror - "Isn't that wild?"), when Visser told Marty (with a broken finger) about a man he knew who had two broken hands: "...Now he's got two busted flippers. So I says to him, I said, 'Creighton, I hope your wife really loves you. 'Cause for the next five weeks, you can't even wipe your own god-damn ass.' That's a test. Test of true love"; Visser was hired for a "not strictly legal' job as an assassin by the very "irritated" Marty to spy on and kill his cheating wife Abby who was having an affair with his own employee-bartender Ray; Visser agreed: "Well, if the pay's right, I'll do it"; although he accepted for $10,000, he was doubtful of Marty's mental condition and called him an idiot: "Hell, you've been thinkin' about it for so much, it's driving you simple....I'm supposed to do a murder - two murders, trust you not to go simple on me and do somethin' stupid. I mean really stupid. Now why should I trust you?"
  • the double-cross and betrayal - the unscrupulous Visser's assassin-for-hire plot to kill the couple was faked (he presented 'doctored' photos of the dead couple to Marty in his office); when Visser was being paid $10,000 from the safe, he used Abby's stolen, pearl-handled .38 gun to shoot Marty in the chest - then left the distinctive gun at the scene of the crime to frame Abby; there was a quick metaphoric image (a recurring shot) of hooked, rotting and putrifying fish on Marty's desk; as Visser left, he muttered: "Who looks stupid now?"
  • the scene of Ray discovering Julian Marty's mortally-wounded body in the office (and assuming that Abby had attempted murder); in an absolutely horrifying sequence, he attempted to cover up the homicide he thought Abby had committed by driving Marty's body to a a barren and remote dirt field, where he went ahead and buried the still-alive bar owner; later, Ray admitted to Abby: "I cleaned up your mess"
  • the sensational climax - sniper Visser shot Ray from behind as he entered Abby's apartment; when she heard ominous footsteps of an intruder approaching toward her and thought it was her husband Marty seeking revenge; during a tense cat and mouse pursuit, as he reached out of a bathroom window toward the next room's outer window, she smashed the window down on his right hand and impaled it on the window sill with a knife; as he struggled to pull his hand free, he shot bullet holes into the wall until his gun clicked empty - letting through beams of light into the adjoining room where Abby was standing; while Visser's hand was writhing in pain, he crashed through the wall with his other hand, and blindly groped for the knife handle to remove it and free himself
  • the final scene when Abby fired at Visser through the bathroom door, heard his body drop to the floor, and then delivered a matter-of-fact statement to him: "I'm not afraid of you, Marty"; as Visser lay dying on the floor in the bathroom with a gunshot to the abdomen, he burst into guffaws of laughter with the film's final line: "Well, ma'am, if I see him, I'll sure give him the message"; he died with a view of the sink's dripping plumbing above him
Visser's Painful Death
Reaching to Another Window
Impaled Gloved Right Hand on Window Sill
Collapsing With Abdomen Gunshot on Bathroom Floor
Dying Under the Bathroom Sink

First Image During Visser's Voice-Over: A Two Lane Road with Scrap of Tire Tread

Incriminating Tryst Photos

Visser's Female Figurine

Visser's Tale: "A Test of True Love" - Hired to Kill Abby

The Exchange of Money ($10,000) For the Couple's 'Murder'

Visser's Murder of Marty with Abby's Gun

Image of Putrifying Fish

Ray's Live Burial of Abby's Husband Julian Marty

Visser's Sniper Murder of Ray

Abby's Shot at Visser Through Bathroom Door: "I'm not afraid of you, Marty!"


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