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O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 191,498 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 846 user | 190 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

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

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, (uncredited)

Writers:

(epic poem "The Odyssey"), , 1 more credit »
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Title: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Del Pentecost ...
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J.R. Horne ...
Brian Reddy ...
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Sheriff Cooley (as Daniel Von Bargen)
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Storyline

Loosely based on Homer's "Odyssey," the movie deals with the picaresque adventures of Ulysses Everett McGill and his companions Delmar and Pete in 1930s Mississipi. Sprung from a chain gang and trying to reach Everett's home to recover the buried loot of a bank heist they are confronted by a series of strange characters--among them sirens, a cyclops, bank robber George "Baby Face" Nelson (very annoyed by that nickname), a campaigning governor and his opponent, a KKK lynch mob, and a blind prophet who warns the trio that "the treasure you seek shall not be the treasure you find." Written by Armin Ortmann <armin@sfb288.math.tu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They have a plan, but not a clue. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

2 February 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¿Dónde estás, hermano?  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$195,104 (USA) (29 December 2000)

Gross:

$45,506,619 (USA) (3 August 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

References to Homer's Odyssey:
  • The names of George Clooney and Holly Hunter's characters (Ulysses and Penelope)


  • one-eyed Big Dan as the Cyclops (blinded with a burning pole)


  • the three girls by the river as the Sirens


  • Ulysses' wife marrying someone else when he comes home


  • the old-man disguise


  • the changing of one of Ulysses' companions into an animal


  • the Baptists as the Lotus-eaters


  • the Ku Klux Klan has a rank of Grand (or Exalted) Cyclops


  • they catch a ride on a hand-pumped railway that is being operated by a blind prophet, who tells them that they will not find the treasure they seek. The prophet character in the Odyssey was Teiresias, whom Odysseus consulted in the underworld when he needed information on how to get home again


  • the movie theater scene as the trip through the Underworld.


  • Odysseus nearly drowned, but clings to a piece of wood.


  • Odysseus and Everett both reveal themselves by performing an act no one else could: Odysseus strings a special bow and fires it through seven rings; Everett sings "Man of Constant Sorrow" as only the leader of the Soggy Bottom Boys can.


  • "Pappy's" given name, Menelaus, is the same as the king who declared war on Troy in the first place.


  • the Latin equivalent of the Greek name Odysseus is Ulysses.


  • "Sing in me O Muse...", the line at the beginning of the film, is the first line of the Odyssey.


  • the killing of the cattle of Helios by the "fools" in the Odyssey is mirrored by Baby Face Nelson shooting the cows.


  • every time Ulysses falls asleep something bad happens.


  • the song which plays throughout the movie is called "Man of Constant Sorrow," Odysseus means "man who is in constant pain and sorrow."


  • a man of constant sorrow is also a description of Odysseus.


  • Pappy's opposition for Governorship has the first name Homer.


  • when Ulysses first meets Big Dan in the restaurant there is a statue of Homer in the background.


  • There is a "Blind Bard" who pays the boys to "sing into his can." Homer was often (and probably erroneously) thought to be a blind bard who told his stories verbally to his students.


  • Much like the KKK scene, Odysseus and his men hide from the Cyclops by dressing as sheep.


  • A visual connection to the Odyssey appears during the evening following George Nelson's third bank robbery, when Ulysses is seen sitting on a destroyed Greek column, the bottom of which is still upright besides Ulysses.


See more »

Goofs

When the car breaks down following their escape from the burning shed and they tell the kid to go on back home to his Pa, he walks off in the direction the car was going which would of course been the opposite direction from where the boy lived. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ulysses Everett McGill: Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credit for Alan J. Schoolcraft, the president of operations for Mike Zoss Productions, is all in Spanish: "El Encargado de Mike Zoss Productions" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Intolerable Cruelty (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow
Traditional
Arranged by Carter Stanley
Performed by Dan Tyminski
[Solo Fiddle Version]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Travelling to Sullivans country
21 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

This was the best film I saw in the year 2000. The Cohen brothers have never let me down before, and they certainly didn't this time either.

It's one of those rare movies these days - it's witty, intelligent and vastly entertaining. I left the cinema with a warmth in my heart. Of course, there's lot of Cohen stuff in there - odd characters and peculiar gadgets, well-developed plot and magic camerawork. But no Cohen film is resembling any other Cohen film, if you overlook the general quality of them, of course.

The big surprise for me was that Clooney is so good. But the true master performance in this movie comes from Tim Blake-Nelson. But the rest of the cast is superb too.

A film that is lightweight comedy with a musical touch that evolve it's story round rednecks and old time country music - dripping with wit and intelligence. Thats a very unlikely combination. But it's exactly what this picture is.


72 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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