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How the Daniels Made Swiss Army Man (a.k.a. the Daniel Radcliffe Farting Corpse Movie)

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Toward the end of filming Swiss Army Man, it was time to tackle one of the movie’s most difficult shots. It involved a bear, fire, and numerous stuntpeople, and, co-director and co-writer Daniel Kwan tells mental_floss, “it was day three or four of our overnight shoot, so we were kind of already losing our minds.”

“Losing our minds,” echoes the film’s other director and writer, Daniel Scheinert.

“We could never shoot the bear while the actors were on set,” Kwan continues. “We had to shoot [the scene] in pieces. It was really tough, but … pretty much everything was really difficult to shoot. It was all hard.”

The duo, who go by the name Daniels, met at Boston's Emerson College in 2008 and started making videos together shortly thereafter—first, short films (in one, posted to Vimeo in 2009, they face-swapped half a decade before it was cool), then bizarre-but-delightful music videos (DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” and Chromeo’s “When the Night Falls,” among others). Swiss Army Man, out nationwide today, is their first feature. In the opening scene, Hank (Paul Dano) rides a flatulent corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) like a jet ski off a deserted island. And things only get weirder—and more wonderful—from there.

“The film is one big narrative experiment, I guess,” Kwan says. That experiment, according to Scheinert, was, “how can you make an accessible movie with this as a premise? Can we make someone cry with a fart? And can we make our moms like it, even though it’s about boners? That was our goal.”

Swiss Army Man began not as a feature, but as a short film. Kwan and Scheinert would often pitch each other “stupid ideas,” Scheinert says, and the one that would eventually become Swiss Army Man was Kwan’s: A man, stranded on a deserted island, finds a dead body. He feeds it beans, then rides the fart-powered corpse off the island with tears in his eyes while a gorgeous score swells in the background.

Scheinert was immediately on board, despite Kwan’s protests. “Literally, there’s no point to it,” he told Scheinert. “It is a meaningless little story.” But Scheinert would not be dissuaded. “What are you talking about? It’s beautiful,” he responded. “It’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever pitched to me. We have to make it.”

But the concept was too expensive for a short, so they shelved the idea—until a couple of years later, when it resurfaced. As they were fleshing the story out, trying to figure out how to make it work, “20 of our old ideas suddenly squished together,” Scheinert says. “What if the corpse is coming back to life, and [the live guy] has to explain to the corpse why they need to get home in order to get the corpse’s help? [And he’s] reenacting memories and trying to, in the middle of the forest, explain life to a super-powered corpse while surviving?” Their Swiss Army Man would be not just a companion, but a jet ski (Kwan’s idea became the movie’s opening scene), a canteen (recalling imagery from Daniels’ 2011 short, My Best Friend’s Sweating), a compass (via an erection—an effect you might recognize from the “Turn Down for What” video), an axe, a shotgun, and other equally weird and awesome things.

Many people who heard the premise, Kwan says, said it sounded perfect for a short film. But the duo knew it could only work as a feature. “The thing that made us realize this was probably going to be our first feature is when we just had too many ideas for it,” Kwan says. “And we were like, ‘OK.’”

“At least,” Scheinert reasoned, “we won’t get bored.”

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What does a script look like when one character can’t emote or move on his own, and must often move in tandem with the other main character? The Daniels knew exactly what they wanted, but it wasn’t easy to explain. “We’d have to put in kind of weird paragraphs in the middle of the script that’d be like, ‘Just so you know, his lips aren’t moving here or they are moving here, or he’s on vines,’” Scheinert says. “‘We say walk, but he never walks.’ ‘We say that we’re in a bus, but it’s not a bus. We never go to the bus.’ We had to be really explicit.”

They also put together what Kwan calls “a huge image … treatment board kind of thing” that they would eventually weave into the script, with pictures every few pages and suggested music to listen to. “On paper, logically, these ideas are so ridiculous and not something you would ever waste your time on,” he says. “To get the tone, the idea, and what we were going for, we had to infuse it with music and imagery so people could feel the contradiction and the beauty of those contradictions. It was a multimedia experience in order to get people in the right headspace, because on paper it’s insane.”

Because of the content of the script, Daniels didn’t just send it out to anyone. “We were very slow to ask anybody to be involved,” Scheinert says. According to Kwan, “We had to be careful, because this script could turn a lot of people off. So we had to pick our people wisely.”

But that worry was largely for nothing: Dano and Radcliffe were the first guys they asked to be in Swiss Army Man, and casting them, Scheinert says, was the easiest thing about making the film: “All we had to do was ask, and they said yes. And we were like, ‘Holy s***.’”

According to Kwan, Dano had seen their stuff just a week before they sent him the script. “He emailed his manager and was like, ‘I want to know what these guys are up to,’” he says. “The next week, we just happened to send him the script because we had already been talking about sending it to him. It just kind of aligned in a way.”

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Dano tells mental_floss that when he read the script, he immediately started telling his friends about it, “Being like, ‘there’s this thing that’s like, dead bodies, and all these farts ...’ I thought it was brilliant. I was pumped.”

Radcliffe was not as familiar with Daniels and their work as Dano was, but he loved the script. “It’s just exciting to read something that’s so original,” he tells mental_floss. “You go, ‘Great, there are still people out there who are into making crazy movies.’ But also, it’s craziness with such intellect and heart, as well. I was just excited.” After he accepted the role, the Daniels took a cast of Radcliffe's face to make a dummy in his likeness. They also made a cast of his butt. (Scheinert recalled in a featurette that when they asked, Radcliffe told them, If I don't let you do my butt, I have no idea who you're going to use. So I want you to do my butt.)

With their main actors cast, Daniels retooled the script. “We didn’t write it for them, but we rewrote it for them,” Scheinert says. “They evolved into our dream duo.” Manny, for example, went from a sarcastic corpse to “a wide-eyed sweetheart, because that’s what Daniel Radcliffe is like,” Scheinert says. “And we were like, ‘If we put this sweet boy at the middle of our movie, less people will walk out.’”

Dano notes that “the physical arc [Daniel] created for this character was pretty impressive,” and, according to Radcliffe, he had lots of help from the Daniels, who, on set, often demonstrated how they wanted things to look themselves.

“It was a lot of fun,” Radcliffe says of creating the corpse’s movement, which starts out stiff and gets less so as the film goes on. “I got a huge amount of help there from the Daniels. They knew exactly what they wanted out of Manny at every stage. [For example], if I was ever talking slightly too well they’d come in and say ‘Hey, can you take the edge off? You sound a little too articulate.’ When you know that the directors know exactly what they want it really frees you up to try stuff, because you know that if you’re ever doing too much or too little, they’ll pull you in the correct direction.”

The cast and crew shot Swiss Army Man over the course of five weeks. They were on a tight budget and schedule with many, many constraints—all things that are rough on a regular indie. But Swiss Army Man includes musical numbers, elaborate props built from things found in the woods, scenes involving small woodland creatures and a Daniel Radcliffe dummy, and highly physical action sequences. “We were just stretching every dollar as far as it could go, and calling in as many favors as possible,” Kwan says. No wonder they were exhausted when it came time to shoot the scene with the bear.

There were times, throughout the process, when being a directing team came in handy. Early in their careers, there was a sharp delineation between their duties—a former improv guy, Scheinert would talk to the actors, while Kwan handled things like story structure and special effects—but over time, they’ve learned a lot from each other and these days perform all duties interchangeably. “We also take turns pushing each other to make sure we aren’t settling,” Kwan says. “Every step of the way there’s something that can make you stop and go, ‘Maybe we shouldn’t do this.’ And I think having someone to tag team with—who says, ‘No, this part is really important and I will fight you for it’—is really important, because [you can] step back and let that person [take over].”

Despite their constraints, the directors still changed things constantly on set, according to Scheinert, which made things both more fun and more challenging. “I think a lot of our most successful projects were ones that we didn’t get bored of,” he says. Kwan agrees: “We kind of set ourselves up with a long runway with a lot of hurdles, knowing that that will help the process. So this film probably had more hurdles than we should’ve had.”

The duo was problem-solving during pre-production, production, and through the edit, according to Scheinert. “In post-production we’d be like, ‘Oh, we finally cracked it!’” he says. “And then, we’d screen it, test it on a couple of folks, and realize, ‘Oh, we just jumped one hurdle and found a new one.’”

Aside from hoping to make audiences cry with a fart (and gaining their moms’ approval), Daniels had another goal in mind for Swiss Army Man. “We wrote and shot it trying to make it worthy of the theater,” Scheinert says. “We’re not going to compromise on the aesthetics. The effects are going to look good. It made it harder, but I think we kind of pulled it off.”

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Swan, Daniel Radcliffe, and Paul Dano at the Sundance Premiere of Swiss Army Man. Photo courtesy Getty Images.

Immediately after Swiss Army Man premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the film took on a particular label. But now, as their movie goes into wide release, Scheinert and Kwan say that it does not weird them out, or even disappoint them, that Swiss Army Man is known as “The Daniel Radcliffe Farting Corpse Movie.”

“We can tell [when] an idea has a sound-bitable description, and it’s always good,” Scheinert says. “It’s so valuable because it creates a shorthand, and people will talk.”

And they heard some of that talk at Sundance. “Two people [were] walking down the street, and one of them goes, ‘Oh, have you heard about that farting boner Daniel Radcliffe movie? It’s actually good,’” Kwan says. “I love contradictions, because they force people to look at the world in a different way. So it’s exciting if people hear that that’s the label, but [the film is] worth their time and it’s something beautiful. That’s a really great anomaly, I think, that we’ve pushed out into the world.”

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11 Things You Didn't Know About Dolly Parton
Brendon Thorne, Getty Images
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Over the past 50-some years, Dolly Parton has gone from a chipper country starlet to a worldwide icon of music and movies whose fans consistently pack a theme park designed (and named) in her honor. Dolly Parton is loved, lauded, and larger than life. But even her most devoted admirers might not know all there is to this Backwoods Barbie.

1. YOU WON'T FIND HER ON A DOLLYWOOD ROLLER COASTER.

Her theme park Dollywood offers a wide variety of attractions for all ages. Though she's owned it for more than 30 years, Parton has declined to partake in any of its rides. "My daddy used to say, 'I could never be a sailor. I could never be a miner. I could never be a pilot,' I am the same way," she once explained. "I have motion sickness. I could never ride some of these rides. I used to get sick on the school bus."

2. SHE ENTERED A DOLLY PARTON LOOK-A-LIKE CONTEST—AND LOST.


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Apparently Parton doesn't do drag well. “At a Halloween contest years ago on Santa Monica Boulevard, where all the guys were dressed up like me, I just over-exaggerated my look and went in and just walked up on stage," she told ABC. "I didn’t win. I didn’t even come in close, I don’t think.”

3. SHE SPENT A FORTUNE TO RECREATE HER CHILDHOOD HOME.

Parton and her 11 siblings were raised in a small house in the mountains of Tennessee that lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. When Parton bought the place, she hired her brother Bobby to restore it to the way it looked when they were kids. "But we wanted it to be functional," she recounted on The Nate Berkus Show, "So I spent a couple million dollars making it look like I spent $50 on it! Even like in the bathroom, I made the bathroom so it looked like an outdoor toilet.” You do you, Dolly.

4. SHE WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR RHINESTONE.


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Parton is well-known for her hit movies Steel Magnolias and 9 to 5, less so for the 1984 flop Rhinestone. The comedy musical about a country singer and a New York cabbie was critically reviled and fled from theaters in just four weeks. But while her co-star Sylvester Stallone has publicly regretted the vehicle, Parton declared in her autobiography My Life and Other Unfinished Business that she counts Rhinestone's soundtrack as some of her best work, especially "What a Heartache."

5. SHE IS MILEY CYRUS'S GODMOTHER, SORT OF.

"I'm her honorary godmother. I've known her since she was a baby," Parton told ABC of her close relationship with Miley Cyrus. "Her father (Billy Ray Cyrus) is a friend of mine. And when she was born, he said, 'You just have to be her godmother,' and I said, 'I accept.' We never did do a big ceremony, but I'm so proud of her, love her, and she's just like one of my own." Parton also played Aunt Dolly on Cyrus's series Hannah Montana.

6. SHE RECEIVED DEATH THREATS FROM THE KU KLUX KLAN.

A photo of Dolly Parton on stage
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In the mid-2000s, Dollywood joined the ranks of family amusement parks participating in "Gay Days," a time when families with LGBT members are encouraged to celebrate together in a welcoming community environment. This riled the KKK, but their threats didn't scare Dolly. "I still get threats," she has admitted, "But like I said, I'm in business. I just don't feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody."

7. TO PROMOTE LITERACY, SHE STARTED HER OWN "LIBRARY."

In 1995, the pop culture icon founded Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with the goal of encouraging literacy in her home state of Tennessee. Over the years, the program—built to mail children age-appropriate books—spread nationwide, as well as to Canada, the UK, and Australia. When word of the Imagination Library hit Reddit, the swarms of parents eager to sign their kids up crashed the Imagination Library site. It is now back on track, accepting new registrations and donations.

8. PARTON'S HOMETOWN HAS A STATUE IN HER HONOR.

A stone's throw from Dollywood, Sevierville, Tennessee is where Parton grew up. Between stimulating tourism and her philanthropy, this proud native has given a lot back to her hometown. And Sevierville residents returned that appreciation with a life-sized bronze Dolly that sits barefoot, beaming, and cradling a guitar, just outside the county courthouse. The sculpture, made by local artist Jim Gray, was dedicated on May 3, 1987. Today it is the most popular stop on Sevierville's walking tour.

9. THE CLONED SHEEP DOLLY WAS NAMED AFTER PARTON.

In 1995 scientists successfully created a clone from an adult mammal's somatic cell. This game-changing breakthrough in biology was named Dolly. But what about Parton inspired this honor? Her own groundbreaking career? Some signature witticism or beloved lyric? Nope. It was her legendary bustline. English embryologist Ian Wilmut revealed, "Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn't think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton's."

10. SHE TURNED DOWN ELVIS.

After Parton made her own hit out of "I Will Always Love You," Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, reached out in hopes of having Presley cover it. But part of the deal demanded Parton surrender half of the publishing rights to the song. "Other people were saying, 'You're nuts. It's Elvis Presley. I'd give him all of it!'" Parton admitted, "But I said, 'I can't do that. Something in my heart says don't do that.' And I didn't do it and they didn't do it." It may have been for the best. Whitney Houston's cover for The Bodyguard soundtrack in 1992 was a massive hit that has paid off again and again for Parton.

11. SHE JUST EARNED TWO GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS.

Parton is no stranger to breaking records. And on January 17, 2018 it was announced that she holds not one but two spot in the Guinness World Records 2018 edition: One for Most Decades With a Top 20 Hit on the US Hot Country Songs Chart (she beat out George Jones, Reba McEntire, and Elvis Presley for the honor) and the other for Most Hits on US Hot Country Songs Chart By a Female Artist (with a total of 107). Parton said she was "humbled and blessed."

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15 Fascinating Facts About Blood Simple
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Ethan and Joel Coen hadn’t made a feature film of their own until they set out to write, direct, produce, and edit Blood Simple, a bloody Texas-set noir about a cuckold husband named Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya) who hires a private detective (M. Emmet Walsh) to murder his cheating wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). The filmmakers wanted a small budget like a horror film, but preferred making an entertaining B-film. Before production started, the Coens created a two-minute trailer and showed it to investors, which allowed them to raise an impressive $750,000 (which was half of the final budget).

In January of 1985, the movie was released in theaters and grossed $2,150,000. In its 2000 theatrical re-release, the movie added another $1.7 million to its box office haul. The low-budget film set the standard for the wave of American indie films to come, and it established the Coens as two of the most important voices in cinema. It also launched the careers of Frances McDormand and cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld (who would later turn to directing).

Here are 15 facts about the noir thriller, which arrived in theaters on this day in 1985.

1. ITS TITLE WAS INSPIRED BY DASHIELL HAMMETT’S RED HARVEST.

“It’s an expression he used to describe what happens to somebody psychologically once they’ve committed murder,” Joel Coen told Time Out. “They go ‘blood simple’ in the slang sense of ‘simple,’ meaning crazy. But it’s left up to the audience to ponder the implications; they’re never spelled out in the film itself.”

2. THE COENS SPECIFICALLY WROTE THE PART OF LOREN VISSER FOR M. EMMET WALSH.

Blood Simple started something else that we’ve done pretty much on every subsequent movie, which was that we’ve always written parts for specific actors,” Joel Coen said in the book My First Movie. The brothers knew Walsh from the film Straight Time, in which he played a sleazy character. “Actually, it was a more interesting character than what we came up with in Blood Simple inasmuch as it was more ambiguous,” Joel said. They offered him the part without having him audition, but ran into a dilemma. “All I remember is we didn’t know what the hell to call him,” Ethan said. “I mean, what the hell do you call him when you meet him? M?”

3. THE COENS—AND MANY OF THE CAST AND CREW—HAD NEVER BEEN ON A FILM SET BEFORE.

Joel Coen admitted in My First Movie, “The first day of shooting on Blood Simple was the first time I’d ever been on a feature movie set in any capacity, even as a visitor.” Coen had previously worked as an assistant editor on horror films, including 1981’s The Evil Dead. Coen mentioned how Sonnenfeld would throw up after looking at the dailies, because he was so nervous working on the film. “Everyone was in the same boat,” Joel said. “The gaffer had never gaffered a feature. The sound guy, the mixer on the set, had never mixed a feature.”

4. THE COENS CHOSE TO MAKE A FILM NOIR BECAUSE OF THE GENRE’S PRACTICALITY.

Dan Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh in 'Blood Simple' (1984)
Janus Films

The Coens liked hard-boiled fiction authors James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, and used them to their advantage in writing the script. “It’s certainly a genre that is entertaining, and we also picked it for very practical reasons,” Ethan said. “We knew we weren’t going to have a big budget. The financing would not allow it. We could build something on the genre and the appeal it has.”

“It’s also a genre that allows you to get by rather modestly in some ways,” Joel added. “You can limit the number of characters, put them into a confined set. There’s no need to go for large-scale effects or scatter them through the film, and those cost a lot of money. So it was a pragmatic decision that determined what film we would make.”

5. BUT THEY DIDN’T WANT TO PARODY FILM NOIR.

In a 1985 interview, featured in the book The Coen Brothers: Interviews, Ethan said, “When people call Blood Simple a film noir, they’re correct to the extent that we like the same kind of stories that the people who made those movies like. We tried to emulate the source that those movies came from rather than the movies themselves.” They didn’t want to make “a venetian blind movie,” but movies like The Conformist and The Third Man inspired the look of Blood Simple.

Because of the comedic elements in the film, some people might think the movie is trying to parody the thriller genre. “On one hand, it is a thriller, and, on the other, it is funny,” Ethan said. “But certainly the film is supposed to work as a thriller and I don’t think it would work as both at once.”

6. THEY BORROWED AN INVESTMENT TACTIC FROM SAM RAIMI.

Their friend Sam Raimi had shot a trailer for his film The Evil Dead and raised $60,000 toward the budget after showing it to investors. “He financed the movie using a common thing that people making exploitation movies had used, which was a limited partnership,” Joel said in My First Movie. “What we also borrowed from Sam and the other models was that I presented more of an action exploitation type movie than it ended up being, and in fact than we knew it would be.”

The Coens didn’t know many people, so they decided to take a projector and the trailer to entrepreneurs’ homes in New York, Texas, and Minnesota. “If you call people up and say, ‘Can you give me 10 minutes so I can present an opportunity to invest in a movie?’ They’re going to say, ‘No, I don’t need this,’ and hang up the phone,” Joel said in My First Movie. “But it’s slightly different if you call and say, ‘Can I come over and take 10 minutes and show you a piece of film?’ All of a sudden that intrigues them and gets your foot in the door.” Eventually, all 65 investors made a profit from their investment.

The investor trailer finally surfaced online and features Bruce Campbell in the Dan Hedaya role.

7. NONE OF THE MAJOR STUDIOS WANTED TO DISTRIBUTE IT.

The Coens took time editing the film, and started shopping the movie around in 1984. Warner Bros. rejected it, but an indie company agreed to distribute it with a slight change. “We took it to Crown International Pictures and the guy would say, ‘If you have some nudity you can put in there maybe we can distribute it,’” Joel said in My First Movie. “We saw everybody from the studios to the lowliest sleaze-bucket distributors in L.A. And they all said no.” Circle Films picked up the movie after seeing a screening of it at the Toronto Film Festival. When the movie came out with good reviews, Warner tried to buy it from Circle to no avail.

8. M. EMMET WALSH COULDN’T BLOW SMOKE RINGS.

At first the actor was skeptical of starring in a movie where he probably wouldn’t make any money, but he gave the Coens a chance. Joel asked Walsh if he could blow a smoke ring from cigarette smoke and he said he would try. “I just couldn’t do it,” Walsh said. “I worked and worked on it, but I started to make myself sick.” The Coens brought in a smoke machine to make the smoke rings but the machine broke during filming. “The script gal says, ‘Give me a damn cigar. I grew up with five brothers smoking behind a barn,’” Walsh said. “So they give her a cigar and she starts making these incredible smoke rings. I said to myself, ‘My God, this is how you make a movie!’ Later on, I went outside and saw her puking her brains out. That was Blood Simple.”

9. THE COENS HAD AN INCIDENT WITH ONE OF THEIR POTENTIAL INVESTORS.

“There was one investor we went to and we hit his car, parking,” Ethan said in My First Movie. “And we had this big debate out on the driveway [about] whether we should tell him we hit his car before the sales pitch or after the sales pitch. We decided that we wouldn’t tell him until we showed him the movie and made the sales pitch.” The investor decided against investing in the film.

10. FRANCES MCDORMAND REFUSED TO BE “THEATRICAL” IN THE MOVIE.

John Getz and Frances McDorman in 'Blood Simple' (1984)
Janus Films

Up until she starred in Blood Simple, the future Oscar-winner had mainly done theater and some TV. In an interview with William Dafoe for Bomb Magazine, she told him her approach to playing Abby Marty. “The only choice I made was not to be theatrical,” she said. “I never moved my face and my mouth’s always open like I’m terrified—I was a lot of the time. I just did whatever they told me to do, which was perfect for the character, but it’s not like I made that decision as a character choice. It was from not knowing what to do.”

11. JOEL COEN WOOED FRANCES MCDORMAND WITH LITERATURE.

Coen and McDormand fell in love while making Blood Simple and got married a couple of years later, after production wrapped. McDormand told The Daily Beast about the moment when she roped him in. “I’d only brought one book to read to Austin, Texas, where we were filming, and I asked him if there was anything he’d recommend,” she said. “He brought me a box of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler paperbacks, and I said, ‘Which one should I start with?’ And he said, ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice.’ I read it, and it was one of the sexiest f*ckin’ books I’ve ever read. A couple of nights later, I said, ‘Would you like to come over and discuss the book?’ That did it. He seduced me with literature. And then we discussed books and drank hot chocolate for several evenings. It was f*ckin’ hot. Keep it across the room for as long as you can—that’s a very important element.”

12. THE COENS RELEASED A SHORTER VERSION OF THE FILM.

Blood Simple got the Director’s Cut treatment in 2001, but instead of adding material to the re-release of the movie, the Coens removed a few minutes from it. “We always thought it was rather kind of clumsy, the editing,” Joel told Hollywood.com. “It was interesting to go in and try to tighten the movie up.” “Before, the original version was like an old lady with a walker, and now it just has a cane,” Ethan said. The newer version also brought back the Four Tops’ “It’s the Same Old Song,” which had been in the original theatrical release but had been replaced with Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer” in the VHS release.

13. THE COENS THINK THE MOVIE IS “PRETTY DAMN BAD.”

A scene from 'Blood Simple' (1984)
Janus Films

Fifteen years after Blood Simple’s release, the Coens reflected upon their first feature, in the 2000 book My First Movie. “It’s crude, there’s no getting around it,” Ethan said. “On the other hand, it’s all confused with the actual process of making the movie and finishing the movie which, by and large, was a positive experience,” Joel said. “You never get entirely divorced from it that way. So, I don’t know. It’s a movie that I have a certain affection for. But I think it’s pretty damn bad!”

14. ZHANG YIMOU REMADE THE FILM.

Director Zhang Yimou—who directed House of Flying Daggers and Heroremade Blood Simple in 2009 as A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop. The move is set in a Chinese noodle shop in a desert, and in similar fashion, the plot centers on a man trying to kill his wife and her lover.

15. BLOOD SIMPLE BEGAT RAISING ARIZONA AND FARGO.

Two years after Blood Simple was released, the Coens wrote-directed their follow-up, Raising Arizona, which wasn’t anything like Blood Simple. “In essence, after having completed Blood Simple, we wanted to make something completely different,” Ethan said. “We didn’t know what, but we wanted it to be something funny that had a very quick rhythm. We also wanted to use Holly Hunter, who has been a friend of ours for a long time. So it really wasn’t the story that was the origin of the project, but Holly Hunter, her personality and, by extension, the character we had conceived for her to play. In contrast, Blood Simple took shape from an idea for a screenplay.” It should be noted Hunter provided her voice on an answering machine in Blood Simple.

More than a decade after Blood Simple came out, the Coens released Fargo. The Coens’ dealings with investors for Blood Simple inspired the film’s businessmen. “It was raising money for Blood Simple that we met all of these business guys who could wear the suits, get bundled up in the park and slog out in the snow and meet us in these, like, coffee shops,” Joel said in My First Movie. “We came back to that whole thing in Fargo: the car salesman, the guy who owns the bowling alley, you know, whatever.”

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