Down 566 this week

Barton Fink (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Mystery  |  21 August 1991 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 83,334 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)


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro
Blood Simple. (1984)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintupelets, their lives get more complicated than they anticipated.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh
A Serious Man (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick
Comedy | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
True Grit (2010)
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a classical ensemble in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting but sharp old landlady.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin


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?


The parts played by John Turturro, John Goodman, Jon Polito and Steve Buscemi were all written with them in mind. See more »


The hand that Chet uses to stop the bell ringing. See more »


Charlie: Look upon me! I'll show you the life of the mind!
See more »


References The Big Knife (1955) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Look upon me! I'll show you the life of the mind!
17 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Coen brothers have come a long way from their start with an 8mm camera. They have written and produced some great homages to the film noir era of Hollywood, and this film is no exception.

First, is the great dialog written by the brothers. Great dialog is a feature of their films, and this one has some of the most memorable I have heard. You can almost turn off the visual and just listen and be enchanted and know you are listening to a Coen brothers film.

But turning off the visual would deprive you of the great cinematography of Roger Deakins. His can frame a scene to the point that you could pause the film and just soak in the texture and color and realism. It is almost as if every frame is a painting.

The Coen brothers also seem to get the best performances out of an actor that I have seen. John Goodman is brilliant in this film and he seems to do his best work for the Coens. John Turturro is captivating as the hack writer who talks about his love for the common man, but just really doesn't know the common man and really doesn't care about them. Michael Lerner was brilliant as the requisite man behind the desk that is the feature of 40's noir.

One doesn't always know what is in the Coen brothers minds. Is this a foretelling of the rise of Nazism, of intellectuals who really didn't understand the appeal of fascism to the common man, or a surreal portrait of someone who sells out. No matter what their intention, they make you think and return to see their films again and again.

37 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why does charlie say heil hitler Patsom125
Ideas about the Meaning highwayhaze
Chet is a Hebrew letter drella15
One of the best written screenplays I've seen FreeYaMind1000
HELP! ~ I dont like Coen movies.... should i watch this?? Rotten_Mangoes
Possible Theories- (there is no one theory that is absolute) tony070
Discuss Barton Fink (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: