Intolerable Cruelty (2003) Poster


The first Coen brothers film to be editing using digital technology instead of the traditional, analog Steenbeck equipment.
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Billy Bob Thornton speaks very fast in this movie because his character in The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) speaks very slowly. They did the same thing with Steve Buscemi in The Big Lebowski (1998) and Fargo (1996)
Catherine Zeta-Jones' way of acting in this movie was modeled upon Katharine Hepburn's romantic roles.
Originally set to be helmed by Andrew Bergman as a reteaming of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
The screenplay was written by Robert Ramsey and Matt Stone and then refashioned by the Coen Brothers in the mid 1990s. Initially the screenplay was attached to Ron Howard and then Jonathan Demme, who had planned to cast Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in the lead roles.
Marilyn's line, "Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery / for where a heart is hard they make no battery" is from William Shakespeare's poem, Venus and Adonis.
Miles's line, "Whoever loved that loved not at first sight" is from Christopher Marlowe's poem "Hero and Leander".
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen stated that the film was nearly in the works for eight years. It initially began as a project they wrote up for Universal.
Catherine Zeta-Jones was pregnant of her daughter Carys during the shooting of the movie, which was filmed immediately after Chicago (2002), Zeta-Jones' Oscar vehicle.
A line from Herb's speech to Miles is inspired by the Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln said "testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." Herb said, "This firm cannot prosper... nor long endure..."
N.O.M.A.N. stands for National Organization of Matrimonial Attorneys Nationwide.
The slogan on the sign at the N.O.M.A.N. convention (behind the speaker's podium) is "Let N.O.M.A.N. put asunder..."


Bruce Campbell:  Can be seen acting alongside Billy Bob Thornton in the soap opera.

Director Trademark 

Joel Coen:  [Kubrick]  The "beeping" sound effects of Herb's medical equipment are taken directly from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), specifically the radar sound effects of the Jupiter pods.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

When Wheezy Joe shoots himself, the glass behind him has a hole in the shape of a heart where the bullet went through.

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