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Blood Simple: Director's Cut on DVD in April

7 March 2013

Just in case you're new to cult film, Blood Simple was the first film from the celebrated filmmaking team of Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country for Old Men), a witty and stylish film noir telling the story of the owner of a seedy small-town Texas bar who discovers that one of his employees is having an affair with his wife. A chaotic chain of misunderstandings, lies and mischief ensues after he devises a plot to have them murdered.

Starring an assembly of great character actors (John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh among them), this DVD release is the Director's Cut, which is three minutes shorter than the original 1985 theatrical release. The Coens reduced the running time with tighter editing, shortening some shots and removing others altogether. In addition, they resolved long-standing rights issues with the music.

According to the press release, and I've not been able to contradict it yet, this will be the first time the Director's Cut of Blood Simple has been available on UK DVD. The question is simple: why has it taken so damned long? It was released on US DVD back in September of 2001, that's over eleven years ago! And in August 2011 the US were also treated to a Blu-ray release. And yet we're only just getting the DVD? What's going down here?

Anyway, if you haven't already imported one of the US copies, Blood Simple: Director's Cut will be released on UK DVD on 15th April by Studiocanal at the RRP of £15.99.

The only extra will be a trailer. Again we seem to lose out to out American cousins, where both the DVD and Blu-ray also included a commentary by Kenneth Loring of Forever Films, but as anyone who heard it will know, this was actually a gag commentary whose humour ran stale after only a few minutes, so I'm not mourning its absence here.

We've no cover artwork yet, but here is the original trailer: