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Barton Fink (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery  |  21 August 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 83,293 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 216 user | 109 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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


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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 11 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


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


Comedy | Drama | Mystery

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?


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 »


In one of the final shots of Colonel Lipnick in uniform, the bottom two rows of his ribbons have come lose and are hanging from one side. In the last shot, his ribbons have been fixed. See more »


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!
See more »


References Slave Ship (1937) See more »


by Irving Mills and Fletcher Henderson
Published by Mills Music, Inc.
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

Another Coen Brother great!
4 December 2000 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

I liken the Coen brothers to Haagen-Daz ice cream, i.e., various stages of good. I would argue this dark film, laden with more allegories than Dante, is not their best...but, it's good, damn good. To begin with, stellar performances form Turturro, Goodman, Mahoney, Buscemi and Lehner. The thing I find amazing is the skill in bringing so much darkness to such a bright, colorful cinemagraphic work-- remindful of Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers, in that regard-- that teeters on the edge. Goodman's last scene walking into the burning hotel room is eerie but very bright (why not? The damn place is burning down.) This is another great Coen brother film and let's hear it for Ethan and Joel! See it!

28 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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