In one of the climactic scenes of No Country for Old Men we see Sheriff Bell arrive at Llewellyn's final hotel room. Inside we see Chigurh armed with his silenced shotgun, Bell noticed the door lock and realising that the man he was chasing the whole time was on the other side of the door, pulled out his weapon for the first time (after going unarmed the whole film). When Bell enters, we see that Chigurh has fled out a bathroom window with the cash he took from the vent (a detail Bell noticed).

My question is, why did Chigurh flee? Why didn't he kill/confront Bell like every other character he had faced? (Excluding the shop clerk and fat lady)

  • 4
    Chigurh wasn't in the same room he was next door
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 10:13
  • I watched the link in the answer but I'm not convinced. The angles seem like that sort of view would be possible, Anton is looking at the left hand side of the internal blown out lock (from the perspective of outside facing in), but Bell is clearly to the left of the neighbouring door, how could Anton see him? Also the vent holding the goods is inside bells room, and the vent doesn't go that room, so why would Anton be next door at all?
    – user43218
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 10:24
  • Actually I've just rewatched the scene and I see why I was wrong about the angles, the doors are right by each other so we're seeing Anton "mirrored", which is where the confusion came in. But I am still confused as to why he was in the room at all
    – user43218
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 10:31
  • I think you should look at the videos on YouTube, which give an alternate way of looking at the whole movie. Especially the motel room scene. Chigurh isn’t there at all. Bell is imagining he is there. In fact, the whole movie could be Bell’s version of what happened. Seek out the videos on YouTube. Great movies are those that leave you with both a great story, and also different ways of looking at what you’ve just seen. Commented Feb 14 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


Anton Chigurh at the surface seems like a cold, calculated killer. Underneath that he operates within a different set of rules. Rules that he himself created. The closest we get to an explanation is when Carson attempts to warn Moss about Chigurh.

To answer your question, the reason Anton didn't murder Sherrif Bell is because he didn't have to. If the window had not been there nor time to jump out it, then he would have killed the Sherrif for being in his way. For inconveniencing him. Simply put, Anton only kills people he is paid to kill, people who upset him or get in his way, people who compete with him, and friends or family of people who upset him or get in his way. Sherrif Bell did none of this and was of no consequence to Anton the entire film. By the time Sherrif Bell entered the motel room, Anton had no reason to be there anymore. With money in hand and a bathroom window, he quickly escaped without confrontation.

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