Iconic Scenes: No Country For Old Men – The Coin Toss Scene – Big Picture Film Club

For this Iconic Scene article, I ’ megabyte looking at a scene in the Coen Brothers classic No Country For Old Men, and what is generally called the “ Coin Toss Scene ” .

What’s Going On?

Anton Chigurh goes into a gasoline station to pay for his gasoline and get a nosh. It has already been demonstrated that Chigurh is an fabulously dangerous and faze homo, quite happy to kill. As the Gas Station Proprietor ( as IMDb refers to him and shall henceforth be called GSP ) engages in little talk with Chigurh he enquires about what the weather is like where he ’ sulfur from. This apparently innocuous gossip changes their interaction immediately. While keeping an even spirit Chigurh begins a barrage of questions regarding the serviceman, the gasoline place, and what time he goes to bed, and even without our cognition GSP is scared. The future question, “ How much have you ever lost on a coin convulse ? ” Chigurh flips a coin and insists GSP calls it, who is distinctly terrified and wants to know what the stakes are before he agrees to take part. In shortstop order GSP crumbles and calls heads, which it is. Chigurh ’ s tone switch and seems to back off, telling the valet to look after his golden quarter and not to keep it with the other coins, even though that ’ s all it is .


GSP - No Country For Old MenGSP looking very scared – No Country For Old Men // Credit: Miramax Films
As already stated there are entirely two characters : Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem and GSP played by Gene Jones. Bardem is an Oscar-winning colossus of acting and plays one of the three cardinal characters and the most obvious badly guy in the film. Jones is a character actor with a change CV and this is his only scenery in the film. This scene could be the best firearm of acting Bardem has ever done but nothing should be taken off from Jones, GSP is a pleasant, slightly bumbling figure, so wildly out of his depth when confronted with a man like Chigurh ( another character feels it necessity to bring up the bubonic infestation when discussing just how dangerous Chigurh is ). Jones is the ordinary person harmlessly leading his life until the personification of the bubonic infestation shows up and his placid life can be absolutely shattered. My darling consequence is when GSP calls the coin correctly and Bardem adopts a subtle variety of tone, particularly the raised eyebrows when saying “ barely a coin ”. It ’ randomness worth pointing out the scene is about entirely photograph with the camera stead so we see the back of one character and the face of the other, so we cut back between the two, then in truth there ’ s alone one person acting in the shoot and both do a fantastic speculate with all the attention focused on them.


The picture is 4 minutes 22 seconds long and from moment 17 it is an unbearably tense nightmare. Like therefore many big strain scenes there ’ s not actually much you could objectively point to as the cause of tension – there are no overt threats, there is no violence, no weapons are displayed. The negotiation could convey fair an annoyingly inquisitive person who doesn ’ metric ton have great social skills but from what we know of Chigurh, the manner of Bardem ’ s acting and the reaction of GSP this is a terrific experience. An idea I ’ ve always found capture and beginning encountered in The Hitchhiker ’ s Guide To The Galaxy is the estimate that if a person does something that you have no inning of reference point for then you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know how to react. If Chigurh had come in with a grease-gun to rob GSP or if he was drunkard and being aggressive GSP would understand the site – but he has no estimate what is going on. He knows he should be scared though. possibly as time goes by GSP would convince himself that it was nothing in truth, equitable an unusual run into .

Who Is Anton Chigurh?

No Country For Old MenThe terrifying Anton Chigurh No Country For Old Men // Credit: Miramax Films
apart from fair being a great setting, I think it is in the film to give us more understand of Chigurh. He isn ’ thymine just a mindless sociopath bringing death to everyone he meets – he has rules, something which is identical important later in the movie. once GSP has antagonised him with his motion there is the distinct likelihood Chigurh will kill him but he leaves it to chance, not only that, he insists GSP call it, preferably than himself. He has bound himself to the result of the coin flip and even though he ’ mho leaving a man who may very well pick up the telephone and call the police about the terrifying man who fair came into his gasoline place, he lets him survive. I think Chigurh besides believes in consequences, that all actions have consequences. He is hunting Llewyn Moss who stumbled into a drug cover and walked out with a fortune, does Moss deserve to die ? No, but he made a decision and he did something and consequences will come. GSP ’ s idle small spill the beans is fine until possibly you meet a person who doesn ’ metric ton want you thinking about where they ’ ra from and you have to live with the consequences of asking that question. No reasonable person would think asking about the weather is desirable of death but that international relations and security network ’ metric ton authoritative to Chigurh. At this point Chirgurh has business to be getting on with – he is dealing with drug cartels, crime organisations, the police and every snow leopard of common common sense would say – wear ’ t make any unnecessary fuss, don ’ triiodothyronine draw care to yourself. not Chigurh. He ’ s apparently will to kill a passerby which could bring down a manhunt on him because of his wind principles.

An Iconic Scene In An Iconic Film

I remember being riveted by this scenery when I saw it and being terrified for poor GSP. To show the amazing endowment of the Coen Brothers there is another setting later in this movie that is about as tense, this one being the demand diametric, with no dialogue and Josh Brolin watching the shadows move outside his door .
Also Read: Anatomy Of A Scene : The Godfather – Restaurant Scene
Read More: Making A Coen Brothers Film

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