Thirty-two years ago — and 17 movies ago — Joel and Ethan Coen released their first feature, the salty pretzel of a crime thriller, Blood Simple. The film, starring Frances McDormand in her movie debut, is being rereleased this summer thanks to Janus Films, which, along with the Criterion Collection, undertook a visual restoration, supervised and approved by both Coen brothers and cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld.
Janus has released this new poster, all neon and noir, for the rerelease. The image is from a moment that comes one hour into the movie, at about the 30th plot twist. The dark, diabolically comic turns in the story can be tricky to explain, even when you’ve seen the movie more than once. But suffice it to say the finger in that aluminum splint (in the second image, below) belongs to a sleazy bar owner (played by Dan Hedaya) and his injury sets up one of the funniest lines of dialogue in the movie: In an earlier scene, when a rotund private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) asks with a helium laugh, “Stick your finger up the wrong person’s a–?” Walsh, an American character actor nonpareil, deservedly won the inaugural Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor.
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Check out that scene, below. Blood Simple opens on July 1 in New York and San Francisco before expanding across the country throughout July and August.