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Barton Fink (1991)

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A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
4,236 ( 1)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Turturro ... Barton Fink
John Goodman ... Charlie Meadows
Judy Davis ... Audrey Taylor
Michael Lerner ... Jack Lipnick
John Mahoney ... W.P. Mayhew
Tony Shalhoub ... Ben Geisler
Jon Polito ... Lou Breeze
Steve Buscemi ... Chet
David Warrilow David Warrilow ... Garland Stanford
Richard Portnow ... Detective Mastrionotti
Christopher Murney ... Detective Deutsch
I.M. Hobson I.M. Hobson ... Derek
Meagen Fay ... Poppy Carnahan (as Megan Faye)
Lance Davis Lance Davis ... Richard St. Claire
Harry Bugin Harry Bugin ... Pete
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Storyline

In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer's block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Between Heaven and Hell There's Always Hollywood! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some scenes of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barton Fink - È successo a Hollywood See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$268,561, 25 August 1991

Gross USA:

$6,153,939

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,153,939
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last line of 'Bare Ruined Choirs' -- "We'll be hearing from that kid, and I don't mean a postcard" -- is also the final line in Barton's screenplay, 'The Burlyman', although when the detective reads the script, the line reads, "We'll be hearing from that crazy wrestler, and I don't mean a postcard." See more »

Goofs

When Barton meets Charlie for the first time, the fan behind him on the desk changes speeds. The strips attached to the fan are first slack, then blowing out, then slack again. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Meadows: Hell, you've got it made writing for the pictures, beating out that competition, and me being patronizing! Is the egg showing or what?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo appears over silence; the "fanfare" is not played. See more »

Connections

Followed by Reading Barton Fink (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Black Joe
(uncredited)
aka "Poor Old Joe"
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung by Mayhew when he is drunk
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'll show you the life of the mind...
28 March 2000 | by thehumanduvetSee all my reviews

I am absolutely amazed at the fantastic taste of the imdb readership, having loved this film for years and always been told by people I'd told about it and persuaded to watch that it was no good, I finally find some other people out there who love it as much as me, posting (mostly) extremely positive comments...This is a fabulous film, dripping with a brooding, sticky atmosphere that draws you in to the clammy world of Barton Fink, sat in his hotel room listening to the creaking of the wallpaper as it dribbles moistly from the walls, searching for inspiration in his tacky painting and dusty typewriter...Perhaps it is a little dark for some tastes, but as black comedy goes this is the blackest and the most biting there is, the Hollywood system and New York theatrical snobbery lampooned with equal viciousness. Deep insight into the nature of the creative spirit, a plethora of fine performances bringing at first stereotypical characters to full life (despite the unreal, fable-like atmosphere created by the slimy, glistening colours reminiscent of the films of Jeunet&Caro...), and many moments of hilarity make this a perfect movie, one I would not hesitate in recommending to anyone despite the fairly high probability they will hate it. A lack of any underlying morality, an absence of absolutes of right and wrong, good and bad, give this film a unique feeling that it could go anywhere. The last twenty minutes are about the most powerful I have ever seen in anything, at the end of almost every scene I thought it could end there and be an amazing film, yet each further scene only added further depth and poignancy. The first time I saw it, it left me drained, mind spinning, hands shaking, barely able to reach for the remote to rewind it to watch it again...


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