Then & Now Movie Locations: No Country For Old Men
Philip French: A thriller steeped in gore that is perhaps the Coens' finest achievement to date. returned to west Texas with another thriller, No Country for Old Men, Eagle Pass, Del Rio and Langtry, the place on that dark underside of The once grand hotels built for cattle dealers are now crumbling. Film locations for the Coens' No Country For Old Men (), in Texas, New Mexico No Country For Old Men film location: the 'Eagle Pass' hotel: Plaza Hotel. Release date. May 19, () (Cannes); November 9, ( ) (United States). Running time. minutes. Country, United States. Language, English. Budget, $25 million. Box office, $ million. No Country for Old Men is a American crime thriller film written and directed by Joel and Moving to a hotel in the border town of Eagle Pass, Moss discovers.
The second concerns Llewelyn Moss Josh Brolin, looking very like the young Nick Noltea Vietnam veteran, living in a trailer park with his young wife Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald with a convincing west Texas accent.
The third strand follows the terrifying Anton Chigurh Javier Bardema lank-haired, cow-eyed, quietly spoken killer who's after the money and the dope. Of no immediately identifiable race, he's resourceful, relentless, psychopathic, a primeval figure seemingly sent by the devil to challenge the human decency of Sheriff Bell.
No Country for Old Men Script at IMSDb.
His weapon of choice is a cattle gun, normally used in abattoirs. The fourth strand features Woody Harrelson as a sprightly, recklessly confident Vietnam veteran turned bounty hunter sent to get Chigurh.
From brutal start to ironic finish the movie's tension is constant.
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The action sequences - chases, shootouts, killings - are handled with great verve and directness. I recall at a preview of Peckinpah's The Getaway a studio executive talking about 'fun violence'. The violence here, though exciting, isn't fun. The Coens show us the pain of gunshot wounds and reality of death. The suspense lets up only for eloquent dialogue between Sheriff Bell and other law enforcers about the changing nature of crime and civic morality from the frontier days to the new world of drug dealing and the permissive society.
The sequence in which he visits a crippled old ex-sheriff inevitably recalls Gary Cooper's Marshal Kane dropping in on his predecessor in High Noon. But Sheriff Bell is planning retirement, not a final showdown.
Magnificently photographed by a frequent Coen collaborator, the British cinematographer Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men is perhaps the Coens' finest achievement to date. Like the not dissimilar Fargo, it's one of their least eccentric and laidback, but it does contain characteristically unforgettable moments and images. As the scene opens in a long shot, the screen is filled with the remote location of the rest stop with the sound of the Texaco sign mildly squeaking in a light breeze.
The sound and image of a crinkled cashew wrapper tossed on the counter adds to the tension as the paper twists and turns. The intimacy and potential horror that it suggests is never elevated to a level of kitschy drama as the tension rises from the mere sense of quiet and doom that prevails.
And that has as much to do with what we hear as what we see. No Country for Old Men lacks a traditional soundtrack, but don't say it doesn't have music.
The blip-blip-blip of a transponder becomes as frightening as the famous theme from Jaws. The sound of footsteps on the hardwood floors of a hotel hallway are as ominous as the drums of war. When the leather of a briefcase squeaks against the metal of a ventilation shaft, you'll cringe, and the distant echo of a telephone ringing in a hotel lobby will jangle your nerves.
His ruminations on a teenager he sent to the chair explain that, although the newspapers described the boy's murder of his year-old girlfriend as a crime of passion, "he told me there weren't nothin' passionate about it. Said he'd been fixin' to kill someone for as long as he could remember. Said if I let him out of there, he'd kill somebody again. Said he was goin' to hell. Reckoned he'd be there in about 15 minutes.
And their impact has been improved upon in the delivery. When I get the DVD of this film, I will listen to that stretch of narration several times; Jones delivers it with a vocal precision and contained emotion that is extraordinary, and it sets up the entire film. In the end, everyone in No Country for Old Men is both hunter and hunted, members of some endangered species trying to forestall their extinction.
Scott observes that Chigurh, Moss, and Bell each "occupy the screen one at a time, almost never appearing in the frame together, even as their fates become ever more intimately entwined. Occasionally, however, he will allow someone to decide his own fate by coin toss, notably in a tense early scene in an old filling station marbled with nervous humor. Our first blurred sight of Chigurh's face As he moves forward, into focus, to make his first kill, we still don't get a good look at him because his head rises above the top of the frame.
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His victim, the deputy, never sees what's coming, and Chigurh, chillingly, doesn't even bother to look at his face while he garrotes him. But he added that they "have found something that has heightened and deepened their identity as film-makers: Certain virtuoso sequences feel near-abstract in their focus on objects, sounds, light, colour or camera angle rather than on human presence Notwithstanding much marvellous deadpan humour, this is one of their darkest efforts.
There is, to begin with, the sheriff's voice at the beginning of the film, which accompanies the images of Chigurh's arrest. This initial weaving together of the figures of Chigurh and the sheriff is further developed later on in the film, when the sheriff visits Llewelyn Moss' trailer home in search for Moss and his wife, Carla Jean. Chigurh has visited the trailer only minutes before, and the Coen brothers have the sheriff sit down in the same exact spot where Chigurh had been sitting which is almost the exact same spot where, the evening before, Moss joined his wife on the couch.
Like Chigurh, the sheriff sees himself reflected in the dark glass of Moss' television, their mirror images perfectly overlapping if one were to superimpose these two shots. When the sheriff pours himself a glass of milk from the bottle that stands sweating on the living room table—a sign that the sheriff and his colleague, deputy Wendell Garret Dillahuntonly just missed their man—this mirroring of images goes beyond the level of reflection, and Chigurh enters into the sheriff's constitution, thus further undermining any easy opposition of Chigurh and the sheriff, and instead exposing a certain affinity, intimacy, or similarity even between both.
He further added that "we couldn't conceive it, sort of soft pedaling that in the movie, and really doing a thing resembling the book They've put violence on screen before, lots of it, but not like this.
Not anything like this. No Country for Old Men doesn't celebrate or smile at violence; it despairs of it. But it's also clear that the Coen brothers and McCarthy are not interested in violence for its own sake, but for what it says about the world we live in As the film begins, a confident deputy says I got it under control, and in moments he is dead.
He didn't have anywhere near the mastery he imagined.No Country for Old Men - The Eagle Pass Hotel
And in this despairing vision, neither does anyone else. You could even say they know the value of understatement: At one point they garner chills simply by having a character check the soles of his boots as he steps from a doorway into the sunlight. By that time, blood has pooled often enough in No Country for Old Men that they don't have to show you what he's checking for.
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The movie's violence isn't pulpy and visceral, the kind of thing that hits like a fist; it's brutal, and rather relentless, but there are still several layers of comfortable distance between it and us.
At one point a character lifts his cowboy boot, daintily, so it won't be mussed by the pool of blood gathering at his feet No Country for Old Men feels less like a breathing, thinking movie than an exercise.
That may be partly because it's an adaptation of a book by a contemporary author who's usually spoken of in hushed, respectful, hat-in-hand tones, as if he were a schoolmarm who'd finally brought some sense and order to a lawless town.
Doom explains how the violence devolves as the film progresses. The strangulation in particular demonstrates the level of the Coens' capability to create realistic carnage-to allow the audience to understand the horror that violence delivers Chigurh kills a total of 12 possibly more people, and, curiously enough, the violence devolves as the film progresses.
During the first half of the film, the Coens never shy from unleashing Chigurh The devolution of violence starts with Chigurh's shootout with Moss in the motel.
Aside from the truck owner who is shot in the head after Moss flags him down, both the motel clerk and Wells's death occur offscreen.
Wells's death in particular demonstrates that murder means nothing. Calm beyond comfort, the camera pans away when Chigurh shoots Wells with a silenced shotgun as the phone rings. It is Moss, and while they talk, blood oozes across the room toward Chigurh's feet. Not moving, he places his feet up on the bed and continues the conversation as the blood continues to spread across the floor.
By the time he keeps his promise of visiting Carla Jean, the resolution and the violence appear incomplete. Though we're not shown Carla Jean's death, when Chigurh exits and checks the bottom of his socks [boots] for blood, it's a clear indication that his brand of violence has struck again. In both movies, a local police officer is confronted with some grisly murders committed by men who are not from his or her town.
In both movies, greed lies behind the plots. Both movies feature as a central character a cold-blooded killer who does not seem quite human and whom the police officer seeks to apprehend. In an interview with David Gritten of The Daily TelegraphGritten states that "overall [the film] seems to belong in a rarefied category of Coen films occupied only by Fargowhich The similarity to Fargo did occur to us, not that it was a good or a bad thing.
That's the only thing that comes to mind as being reminiscent of our own movies, [and] it is by accident. For Richard Gillmore, it "is, and is not, a western. It takes place in the West and its main protagonists are what you might call westerners. On the other hand, the plot revolves around a drug deal that has gone bad; it involves four-wheel-drive vehicles, semiautomatic weapons, and executives in high-rise buildings, none of which would seem to belong in a western.
Devlin finesses the point, calling the film a "neo-western", distinguishing it from the classic western by the way it "demonstrates a decline, or decay, of the traditional western ideal The moral framework of the West The villains, or the criminals, act in such a way that the traditional hero cannot make sense of their criminal behavior. The wanderer, the psychopath, Anton Chigurh, is a man who's supernaturally invincible.
Joel Coen found the film "interesting in a genre way; but it was also interesting to us because it subverts the genre expectations. On the one hand, there is a western in which the westerner is faced with overwhelming odds, but between his perseverance and his skill, he overcomes the odds and triumphs In film noir, on the other hand, the hero is smart more or less and wily and there are many obstacles to overcome, the odds are against him, and, in fact, he fails to overcome them This genre reflects the pessimism and fatalism of the American psyche.
It is a western with a tragic, existential, film noir ending. According to Richard Gillmore, the main characters are torn between a sense of inevitability, "that the world goes on its way and that it does not have much to do with human desires and concerns", and the notion that our futures are inextricably connected to our own past actions.
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Anton Chigurh is the most amoral, killing those who stand in his way and ruling that a coin toss decides others' fate. The third man, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, believes himself to be moral, but feels overmatched, however stalwart he might personally be, against the depravity that surrounds and threatens to overwhelm him.
Not only behavior, but position alters. One of the themes developed in the story is the shifting identity of hunter and hunted.
Scott Foundas stresses that everyone in the film plays both roles,  while Judie Newman focuses on the moments of transition, when hunter Llewelyn Moss and investigator Wells become themselves targets.