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Barton Fink (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery  |  21 August 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 83,308 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.


, (uncredited)


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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


There's only one thing stranger than what's going on inside his head. What's going on outside. 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?


Frances McDormand:  The female voice heard on stage at the beginning of the film is that of Joel Coen's wife. See more »


When Mundt pulls the bedframe apart, the metal ball that drops to the floor has a metal rod through the center. When it hits the floor, the rod is nowhere to be seen. See more »


Charlie: Listen to me belly achin', like my problems add up to a hill of beans.
See more »


Referenced in Crashing (2007) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Memorable, disturbing, and very Coen-esque!
30 May 1999 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm still not entirely sure what to think of this film. One thing is sure, it won't be easy to forget. This movie is clearly the product of a writer who has struggled with their muse, and equally one who has a healthy mistrust of Hollywood - the sausage grinder. Although Hollywood has been critiqued in film before in similar ways, memorable scenes, clever dialogue, quality acting, and a surreal plot and setting, add together to make this an unusual and different film. Maybe another viewing might add a different dimension. This is by no means 'light entertainment' and it leaves plenty of questions unanswered. But on the whole, an intelligent movie, if something of an enigma. My vote 7/10

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