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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.


, (uncredited)


2,825 ( 108)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Warrilow ...
Garland Stanford
I.M. Hobson ...
Poppy Carnahan (as Megan Faye)
Richard St. Claire


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


What's in his head See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barton Fink - Delírios de Hollywood  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$6,153,939 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Turturro took classes at a secretarial school to learn how to use a typewriter for the role. Between takes, he wrote a rough outline for Romance & Cigarettes (2005), which would later be his feature directorial debut on the typewriter he used in the film. The Coen brothers executive produced that film. See more »


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 »


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


Referenced in The Film at the End of the World (2015) See more »


by Edward Heyman, Al Sherman and Abner Silver
Licenced with Permission the Successors of Marlo Music Corporation/ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

I'll show you the life of the mind...

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...

137 of 166 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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