1949, Santa Rosa, California. A laconic, chain-smoking barber with fallen arches tells a story of a man trying to escape a humdrum life. It's a tale of suspected adultery, blackmail, foul play, death, Sacramento city slickers, racial slurs, invented war heroics, shaved legs, a gamine piano player, aliens, and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Ed Crane cuts hair in his in-law's shop; his wife drinks and may be having an affair with her boss, Big Dave, who has $10,000 to invest in a second department store. Ed gets wind of a chance to make money in dry cleaning. Blackmail and investment are his opportunity to be more than a man no one notices. Settle in the chair and listen. Written by
In the director's commentary and in interviews, Billy Bob Thornton states that filming this movie helped him quit smoking, because he would be constantly chain-smoking during shooting, and would then have a cigarette of his own in his trailer, and this served to put him off the habit. However, he can be seen smoking in the documentary 'Lemmy' made a few years later, so it would seem he took it up again later. See more »
In the opening scene a reflection of the camera and scaffolding is visible in the barber pole as the angle shifts from looking up to looking down. See more »
Yeah, I worked in a barbershop, but I never considered myself a barber. I stumbled into it. Or married into it, more precisely.
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The opening titles cast shadows on the wall as if they are real. See more »
since i have seen my first coen-brothers movie, i think, it was Fargo, i'm a great fan of these film-makers.
i can't remember how often i watched this movie, because every time i get fascinated by the interesting story and the excellent characters. the slowness of the movie is fascinating. in spite of the slowness i never felt bored. the whole time i'm watching and thinking of the misery ed crane stepped into.
the next highlight is the great soundtrack. Beethoven was and is the greatest composer ever. and the songs of carter burwell are awesome, not only in this movie, in every movie of the coen-brothers.
i recently read in a comment on this movie, that someone could not imagine that somebody around the age of 25 votes high for this movie. I'm 21 and there was nothing that disturbed me.
without doubt the man who wasn't there is one of my favorite movies.
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