Barton Fink
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Quotes for
Barton Fink (Character)
from Barton Fink (1991)

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Barton Fink (1991)
[Barton is ranting about elitist playwrights]
Barton: Who cares about the fifth Earl of Bathsdrop and Lady Higgenbottom and... and... who killed Nigel Grinchgibbons?
Charlie: I can feel my butt gettin' sore already!

Barton: Have you read the Bible, Pete?
Pete: Holy Bible?
Barton: Yeah.
Pete: Yeah, I think so. Anyway, I've heard about it.

Mastrionotti: What do you do, Fink?
Barton: I write.
Deutsch: Oh yeah? What kind of write?
Barton: Well, as a matter of fact I write for the pictures.
Mastrionotti: Big fuckin' deal.
Deutsch: You want my partner to kiss your ass?
Mastrionotti: Would that be good enough for you?
Barton: No, I - I didn't mean to sound...
Deutsch: What did you mean?
Barton: I - I've got respect for - for working guys, like you...
Mastrionotti: Jesus! Ain't that a load off!

Mastrionotti: Fink. That's a Jewish name, isn't it?
Barton: Yeah.
Mastrionotti: Yeah, I didn't think this dump was restricted.

Geisler: Look, you confused? You need guidance? Talk to another writer.
Barton: Who?
Geisler: Jesus, throw a rock in here, you'll hit one. And do me a favor, Fink: throw it hard.

Deutsch: All right, forget the heads. Where's Mundt, Fink?
Mastrionotti: He teach you how to do it?
Deutsch: You two have some sick sex thing?
Barton: Sex? He's a man! We wrestled!
Mastrionotti: You're a sick fuck, Fink.

[last lines]
Beauty: It's a beautiful day.
Barton: Huh?
Beauty: I said it's a beautiful day.
Barton: Yes. It is.
Beauty: What's in the box?
Barton: I don't know.
Beauty: Isn't it yours?
Barton: I don't know. You're very beautiful. Are you in pictures?
Beauty: Don't be silly.

Chet: Are you a trans or a res?
Barton: Excuse me?
Chet: Transient or resident?
Barton: Oh, I don't know. I'll be here indefinitely.
Chet: Res. That'll be $25.50 a week payable in advance. Checkout time is twelve sharp, but you can forget about that on account of you're a res. Now if you need anything, anything at all, just pick up your personal in-room telephone and talk to me. My name is Chet. Although we do provide privacy for the residential guests, we are also a full-service hotel including complementary shoeshine. My name is Chet.
[writes his name on a slip of paper in capital letters with an exclamation point and passes it to Barton]
Barton: Thanks...

Barton: W.P. Mayhew? The writer?
W.P. Mayhew: Just Bill, please.
Barton: [screaming] BILL! You're the finest novelist of our time.

Geisler: Mayhew, some help, the guy's a souse!
Barton: He's a great writer...
Geisler: A great souse!
Barton: You don't understand...
Geisler: Souse!
Barton: He's in pain, because he can't write...
Geisler: Souse! Souse! Can't write? He manages to write his name on the back of his paycheck every week!

Detective Deutsch: [questioning Fink about Mundt] What else?
Barton: Trying to think. Nothing, really. He... he said he liked Jack Oakie pictures.
Detective Mastrionotti: You know, ordinarily we say anything you might remember could be helpful. But I'll be frank with you, Fink. That is not helpful.
Detective Deutsch: Notice how he's not writing it down?

Barton: [at the USO club] I'm a writer, you monsters! I create! I create for a living! I'm a creator! I am a creator!
[points to his head]
Barton: This is my uniform! This is how I serve the common man!

[to Barton, while trying to get Barton to go to Hollywood]
Garland: The common man will still be here when you get back. Who knows, there may even be one or two of them in Hollywood.
Barton: That's a rationalization, Garland.
Garland: Barton, it was a joke.

Barton: I've always found that writing comes from a great inner pain.

Barton: I'm sorry if I let you down.
Jack Lipnick: You didn't let me down Fink, or even Lou. We don't live or die by what you scribble. You let Ben Geisler down. He liked you, trusted you... and that's why he's gone, he's fired. That man had a heart as big as the all outdoors and you fucked him.

Barton: I gotta tell you, the life of the mind... There's no roadmap for that territory... And exploring it can be painful.

Charlie: I could tell you some stories...
Barton: Sure you could and yet many writers do everything in their power to insulate themselves from the common man, from where they live, from where they trade, from where they fight and love and converse and...
Barton: So naturally their work suffers and regresses into empty formalism and... well I'm spouting off again, but to put it in your language, the theatre becomes as phony as a three-dollar bill!
Charlie: Well I guess that's a tragedy right there!

Barton: I don't like to discuss Works in Progress. If I let the words tumble out prematurely, it changes it, and I may never get it back.

Barton: Shouldn't your first duty be to your gift?

Barton: That son of a bitch! Don't get me wrong, he's a fine writer...

Audrey Taylor: Barton, empathy requires understanding.
Barton: What? What don't I understand?

Geisler: [Mayhew is mentoring Fink] Mayhew? He's a souse!
Barton: He's a great writer!
Geisler: A great souse!

Barton: I wanna know how many of his books you've written!