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NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

About The Production
At once a modern legend and a literary maverick, Cormac McCarthy was already renowned for his extraordinary stories set against the changing American West when he published No Country For Old Men in 2003. The book, featuring one of his most visceral, multi-layered and contemporary stories, was an instant success. A sinewy, suspenseful, humor-spiked thriller, McCarthy's page-turning tale of an honest man who happens upon $2.4 million in cash on the Texas borderlands is a story of headlong pursuit. It's also a provocative meditation on good and evil in a modern West that has grown into a land more violent and lawless than the mythic frontier of yore. 

At the heart of the story lie some of McCarthy's most evocative themes, which he has explored in ten novels that have become classics: the fast-approaching end of an entire way of Western life; the last stand of honor and justice against a broken world; the ongoing human struggle against the sinister; the dark comedy and violence of modern times; the interplay of temptation, survival and sacrifice; and, added into the mix, a touch of sustaining love and a sliver of hope in the darkness. 

McCarthy's complex characters and symbolic themes were writ so large in No Country For Old Men it was clear that it would take filmmakers with their own equally distinctive skills for rich, wry and resonant storytelling to transform the power of what was on the page into striking images and crisp dialogue. It's hard to imagine a better match for the dusky wit and stark humanity of McCarthy's characters than Joel and Ethan Coen – who burst onto the American cinema scene with the influential comic noir classic BLOOD SIMPLE and have gone on to forge some of the most inventive motion picture tales of our times including RAISING ARIZONA, MILLER'S CROSSING, BARTON FINK, the Oscar®-winning FARGO, THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE and O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? With this film, the Coens marry McCarthy's voice – complex, nuanced, layered and often humorous – with their own unique vision; the result is incredibly compelling and action-packed cinema. 

The Coens first became aware of McCarthy's novel through producer Scott Rudin. "He brought it to us thinking we might have an affinity for it,” remembers Ethan, "and we did like the book. We also thought we could do something with it.”

"It's as close as we'll ever come to doing an action movie,” adds Joel. "It's a chase story – with Chigurh chasing Moss and the Sheriff bringing up the tail. It's a lot of physical activity to achieve a purpose. It's interesting in a genre way; but it was also interesting to us because it subverts the genre expectations.”

The Coens now set about adapting the story into a taut cinematic structure, emphasizing the darkly humorous and humanly revealing interplay between Llewelyn Moss, who discovers millions of dollars in the wreckage of a drug deal gone wrong, and the two antithetical men who are tracking him: the chilling psychopath Chigurh, on the one extreme, and the town's profoundly decent Sheriff Bell, on the other. The result was a film that would take the Coens forward into new territory. 

"There is a good deal of humor in the book, although you wouldn't call it a humorous novel, exactly,” says Joel. "It's certainly very dark – and that was our defining characteristic. The book is also quite violent, quite bloody. So the movie is probably the most violent we've ever made. In that respect it reflects the novel, I hope, fairly accurately.” 

The screenplay's fresh view of McCarthy's distinctly American themes, its rapid-fire pace and its inky black comic tone rapidly drew a cast of some of the finest actors working in films today. 

Tommy Lee Jones, who was ultimately cast in the role of Sheriff Bell, initially read McCarthy's book shortly after it was published and was intrigued even then – and only more so whe

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