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 <email@example.com>
After Barton tacks up the first strip of wallpaper, he smoothes out the second strip and, in close-up, we see that the first thumbtack is not there. See more »
Are you a trans or a res?
Transient or resident?
Oh, I don't know. I'll be here indefinitely.
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...
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Classic dark comedy spoofs Hollywood hacks, literati alike
This is a satire which really eviscerates its main character, nebbish Barton Fink, a semi-successful, very Jewish New York playwright who comes to Hollywood to make his dreams come true, which in his case is definately not writing the next Wallace Beery wrestling picture. There are just too many funny things in this movie to mention them all, so I won't mention any. But this is a movie that is going to stand up to the test of time; it may be the Coen brothers' best movie, because it is both dead funny and dead serious.
Turturro gives the performance of a lifetime as Barton, and Goodman proved with this movie that he was a first class acting talent (what made the Coens think of him in this role, anyway? surely a mark of genius). Davis also shows herself off extremely well, in one of this underrated actresses finest roles.
There is, simply put, no better satire of Hollywood, and none that I can think of that so successfully manages to also spoof the pretentions of those who despise it.
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