Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

No Country For Old Men (2007)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

No Country For Old Men (2007)

In the Coen Brothers' dark Best Picture-winning crime drama and western thriller based upon Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel about a bad drug-deal gone wrong in early 1980s West Texas:

  • in the film's initial scene, old-time Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) made weary observations about the lack of value of human life during the opening images: "I was Sheriff of this county when I was 25 years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman, father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time, him up in Plano and me out here. I think he's pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old time Sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough'd never carry one - that's the younger Jim. Gaston Borkins wouldn't wear one up in Comanche County....The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that I'm afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willin' to die to even do this job. But, I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet somethin' I don't understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He'd have to say: 'O.K., I'll be part of this world.'"
  • a young deputy (Zach Hopkins) was strangled and murdered by the amoral, thrill-killer Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), using his handcuffs as a garrote from behind; after the killing, Chigurh reacted with a grinning, satisfied exhalation, and then walked away from the bloody, scuffed-up floor from the flailing boots of the struggling man to escape
  • there were relentless efforts of brutal sociopathic hitman Anton Chigurh, who had escaped police custody and jail, to recover a satchel with $2 million dollars from the aftermath of the failed drug deal - the money was retrieved by Vietnam veteran and Texas resident Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin)
  • in the film's infamous coin-toss wager scene, Chigurh threateningly offered a Texaco gas station manager an enigmatic choice, in a cat-and-mouse conversation: ("What's the most you've ever lost in a coin toss?...The most you ever lost in a coin toss....Call it...Yes...Just call it....You need to call it. I can't call it for you. It wouldn't be fair....You've been putting it up your whole life - you just didn't know it. You know what date is on this coin?... 1958. It's been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it's here. And it's either heads or tails. And you have to say. Call it....Everything...You stand to win everything, call it.")
Infamous Coin-Toss Sequence
  • the enigmatic Chigurh (one of the scariest villains ever created) killed other victims with a compressed-air cattlegun as he pursued the satchel with the money, held by Moss
  • during their exciting chase and cat-and-mouse pursuit game between Chigurh and Moss, the latter waited in his border town hotel room for the arrival of Chigurh to collect the money - Moss had the funds in a satchel (not knowing it had signaled his exact location with a hidden radio transponder to hired killer Chigurh); in the tense scene, Moss discovered the transponder and knew Chigurh would arrive momentarily for a showdown there; he sat readied with his shotgun after turning out the light and peering under the door; the two engaged in a vicious and bloody struggle that ended on the street and left Moss severely wounded (with a gunshot wound on his right side), and Chigurh shot in the leg
  • in the concluding scene, the evil and remorseless killer Chigurh confronted Vietnam veteran and Texas resident Llewelyn Moss's young and innocent wife Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald) in her bedroom, before her murder (off-screen); she spoke first: "I knew this wasn't done with. I ain't got the money. What little I had is long gone and there's bills a-plenty to pay yet. I buried my mother today. Ain't paid for that neither....I need to sit down. You got no cause to hurt me...You don't have to do this...(she refused the coin toss) I knowed you was crazy when I saw you sitting there. I knowed exactly what was in store for me... I ain't gonna call it...The coin don't have no say - it's just you" - she was predictably murdered (off-screen), signified by Chigurh leaving the house alone
  • in the sorrowful ending sequence - retired Sheriff Ed Tom Bell recollected a second dream about his father to his wife Loretta (Tess Harper) - a metaphor for mortality in life shortly after the brutal and senseless deaths of his Vietnam vet friend Llewelyn Moss (by Mexicans) and Moss' wife Carla Jean by psycho-killer Anton Chigurh: ("..The second one, it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin' through the mountains of a night. Goin' through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin'. Never said nothin' goin' by - just rode on past. And he had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down. When he rode past, I seen he was carryin' fire in a horn the way people used to do, and I-I could see the horn from the light inside of it - about the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin' on ahead and he was fixin' to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold. And I knew that whenever I got there, he'd be there. And then I woke up")

The Strangulation of Deputy

The Cat and Mouse Game for the Money Between Moss (Josh Brolin) in Hotel Room and Chigurh

Carla Jean: "You got no cause to hurt me...You don't have to do this."

Chigurh's Confrontation with Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald) - Chigurh's Coin-Flip Offer Rejected

Ending: Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones)


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