Blood Simple (1984)

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Blood Simple, the debut feature for both the Coen brothers and Frances McDormand, borrows heavily from classic film noir iconography while staking out territory all its own.

Twisting this material into a menacing Texan nightmare – brilliantly rendered by cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld – this early work already demonstrates the Coens’ flair for working playfully with genre.

Neon signs and car headlights bleed into a simmering undercurrent of darkness and dust in this tale of adultery, revenge and manic obsession scored by the great Carter Burwell.