No Country For Old Men’s Opening Scene Had To Be The ‘Most Violent’ Moment In The Film

In a video on the making of “No Country For Old Men,” co-director Joel Coen, alongside stunt coordinator Jery Hewitt and makeup artist Christien Tinsley, talked about the planning that went into making the opening scene the most violent of the film. According to Hewitt, the movie’s production team was caught off-guard by just how vicious a run-of-the-mill strangling scene could be:

“The thing that surprised all of us at one point was the opening violence, strangling the deputy with the handcuffs. And it was like, ‘Oh, it’s a tussle-y kind of fight thing. No big deal.’ Oh, man.”

The quietness of the film’s opening minutes makes the violence that follows feel much more jarring, and the level of thought and detail that made it feel as realistic as possible is impressive. Strangling scenes are a dime a dozen in films, but the Coen brothers were sure to get the point across to Tinsley about their intentions to make this one distinct in a bloody way. The makeup artist explained:

“I was talking to Joel, and he goes, ‘We’re gonna choke him. And he’s gonna die. His neck’s gonna split open, there’s gonna be some blood. And this has to be the most violent scene in the film. This has to be the most horrific, torturous, sort of choking scene ever seen.'”

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