How well do you know "No Country For Old Men"?

Torrance Grey

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

This Western noir from 2007 won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture -- and gave everyone nightmares about Javier Bardem as a psychopathic hit man with the world's worst pageboy haircut! Now, test your recall of this new classic with our quiz!

In which state does "No Country for Old Men" take place?

Any of the above states could serve as the setting for a modern Western. But to writers and filmmakers, there's just something that says "Western noir" about Texas.

The movie was based on a novel by which writer?

McCarthy is one of the heavyweights of modern American literature. He gained particular notice for 1985's "Blood Meridian."

What is the name of the hit man played by Javier Bardem?

We only learn Chigurh's name halfway through the movie. Understandably, a second character repeats the name as "Sugar?"

Which character narrates the movie?

The movie opens with some thougthful, low-key musings by Sheriff Bell, about the job that his father and grandfather held before him, and what it requires of the job holder.

What is the name of Josh Brolin's character?

Llewelyn Moss is the man who stumbles on $2 million in drug money. This sets off the chase that takes up most of the movie.

In what military conflict did Moss serve?

If you hadn't guessed it until now, this identifies "No Country for Old Men" as a period piece, since Moss looks no older than 40. In fact, McCarthy's novel was set in 1981.

Of what county is Ed Tom Bell sheriff?

While some authors prefer to fictionalize their locales, McCarthy did not. Terrell County is a real place, bordering Coahuila, Mexico, to the north.

What is Anton Chigurh's preferred weapon?

At first, it looks like Chigurh is somehow killing people with blasts of compressed air. Later in the movie, we find out that cattle are slaughtered with a retractable bolt gun, and that's what Chigurh has made from his oxygen tank and hose.

Who is the first person that we see Chigurh kill?

A deputy in a neighboring county to Bell's arrests Chigurh -- we never learn the infraction -- not knowing how dangerous he is. Chigurh, whose hands were cuffed in front, strangles the deputy with the handcuff chain, right in the sheriff's station.

What is Moss doing when he runs across the drug-deal scene?

Moss seems to hit an antelope, but the whole herd takes off running. In following them, Moss first sees a wounded dog, then several trucks parked in the desert with dead men lying in the open space between them.

What does the wounded man in the truck ask for?

The man asks for "agua," which is water in Spanish. Moss ignores his request -- he doesn't have a lot of sympathy for drug dealers, which he's sized the men up to be.

What does Moss ask the wounded man about?

Ignoring the man's plea for water, Moss demands to know where the survivor of the gunfight went. It's an odd request, but makes sense when Moss finds a briefcase full of cash with the dying "last man standing."

By what nickname does Chigurh call the gas station clerk?

Javier Bardem gives the word a very creepy, unfriendly spin. But then, the entire conversation -- during which it seems clear that Chigurh is going to kill the clerk -- is pretty disturbing.

On what game of chance does the clerk's life depend?

At a gas station, Chigurh amuses himself by pretending to take offense at everything the clerk says, and refusing to just pay for his gas and leave. The situation ends in a coin toss that the clerk wins. Though it's never said out loud, it's strongly implied the Chigurh would have killed him if he'd lost.

Why does Moss go back to the crime scene late at night?

Moss has a late-night attack of remorse. If he hadn't, none of the subsequent events would have taken place.

What does Moss leave at the scene on his second visit?

This is why the second visit was such a mistake. It's the vehicle-ID plate inside the truck's door that identifies him to both the bad guys and law enforcement. On his previous visit, he got away clean.

Where does Carla Jean's mother live?

Getting back to his home, Moss immediately sends Carla Jean to stay with her mother. He knows all kinds of trouble will soon be descending on his home.

What is the name of the first motel Moss checks into?

After sending his wife to stay with her mother, Moss checks into a cheap motel in Del Rio, Texas. There he stashes the briefcase with the cash in an air duct.

Why does Moss rent out a second and third motel room in Del Rio?

First, Moss hides from Chigurh in a second motel. Then he returns to the Regal and gets the room directly behind his, in order to access the air duct (and his briefcase) from the other side, a tricky maneuver that requires tent poles and the hook of a wire coat hanger.

Who played the bounty hunter Carson Wells?

"Bounty hunter" is an inexact term here. He's hired to track down the missing $2 million after Chigurh goes rogue. We don't know exactly what his line of work is, except that he operates outside the law.

Who played the man who hires Carson Wells?

Root is known for playing guys who are a bit loose in their shoes. This was a fairly straight role for the comic actor.

What does Wells tell his employer Chigurh doesn't have?

However, Wells says later that Chigurh has "principles," of a sort. He tells Moss that Chigurh does the things he does for reasons that go beyond money.

Where does Moss hide the briefcase when he crosses into Mexico?

Moss crosses on foot, and throws the briefcase over a high chain-link fence into the gully. It's not a great plan, but he's badly injured from a firefight with Chigurh and doesn't have a lot of options.

What does Moss buy from the young men at the border crossing?

Several college-age guys are coming back from Mexico on foot just as Moss is crossing over. He's pretty beat up from a shootout with Chigurh, and negotiates for the coat to cover his bloody clothes and a beer to ... well, you know.

Why does Chigurh blow up a car?

For a man who has no problem with murder, Chigurh takes the less violent route here. Instead of holding up the pharmacy, he blows up an unattended, parked car, and just strolls into the back of the pharmacy while everyone is outside.

Who comes to visit Moss in the hospital in Mexico?

Wells has come to suggest that Moss give up the briefcase, if only to save Carla Jean from Chigurh. The scene is one of those twangy, Southern, world-weary speeches that Harrelson does so well.

Where does Chigurh kill Wells?

Chigurh ambushes Wells on the staircase, and then shoots him in the privacy of his room. Yes, yet another motel room -- there's quite a few of them in "Old Men."

In what city does Moss arrange to meet Carla Jean and hand off the money?

Yes, Moss takes yet another motel room, this one in El Paso. By the time everything is over, there are about as many motel rooms in "Old Men" as in a season of "Supernatural."

How do the Mexicans know to come to the El Paso motel?

Things are already starting to unravel for Moss. Carla Jean has tipped Sheriff Bell off about their meeting place. But it's far worse when her mother tells a friendly Mexican gentleman, who offers to carry her luggage, where the two are heading.

Who gets the briefcase, in the end?

When Bell checks out the El Paso hotel room, there are coins on the floor and the grate of the air duct has been removed. Chigurh, knowing Moss's favorite hiding place, has retrieved the case.

What do people always say before he kills them, according to Chigurh?

Both Carson Wells and Carla Jean use this line when facing Chigurh. It only seems to amuse him.

Does Chigurh kill Carla Jean?

The movie leaves it an open question, but there's a significant hint in that Chigurh checks the sole of each boot on leaving the house. We've already seen him avoid stepping in blood at Wells's murder scene. (FYI, if you want a definitive answer, read the book).

"No Country for Old Men" ends with Ed Tom Bell talking about what?

Bell , who has retired, is telling his wife about last night's dreams. The second and more emotionally significant one was about his father riding ahead of him on horseback, at night, to light a fire. Bell says that he knew, in the dream, that his father would be waiting for him up ahead. (What could THAT be a metaphor for?)

Tess Harper, who played Bell's wife, was in what other acclaimed, Texas-set film?

Tess Harper got her break in "Tender Mercies," starring alongside Robert Duvall. Come to think of it, we can't figure out how Duvall missed being cast in "No Country for Old Men" -- he seems like a natural!

Who directed "No Country for Old Men"?

The Coens are probably best known for quirky, dark comedies like "Raising Arizona" and "Fargo." This film was more serious fare, like their early effort, "Blood Simple."

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