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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


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


The parts played by John Turturro, John Goodman, Jon Polito and Steve Buscemi were all written with them in mind. 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: [at the USO club] I'm a writer, you monsters! I create! I create for a living! I'm a creator! I am a creator!
[points to his head]
Barton: This is my uniform! This is how I serve the common man!
See more »


Referenced in Massive Attack: Eleven Promos (2001) 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

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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