Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1984. River Road Productions, Foxton Entertainment. Screenplay by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen. Cinematography by Barry Sonnenfeld. Produced by Ethan Coen. Music by Carter Burwell. Production Design by Jane Musky. Costume Design by Sara Medina-Pape. Film Editing by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Don Wiegmann. Independent Spirit Awards 1985. National Board of Review Awards 1987.
The Coen Brothers got off to a great start with their popular film debut, an excellent tale of murder and adultery in the style of the great 1940s film noirs. Frances McDormand leaves her husband to run away with bartender John Getz, but they don’t have far to go before her husband (Dan Hedaya) hires a ruthless private investigator (M. Emmet Walsh) to go after them. Walsh is hired to kill them but has other things on his mind when he finally comes into contact with the dangerous lovers, and from there things get very complicated. The Brothers Coen would get better at refining their style and character development (the best being in Fargo), but for a first stab this one is definitely worth a go.