A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
4,125 ( 155)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Turturro ... Barton Fink
John Goodman ... Charlie Meadows
Judy Davis ... Audrey Taylor
Michael Lerner ... Jack Lipnick
John Mahoney ... W.P. Mayhew
Tony Shalhoub ... Ben Geisler
Jon Polito ... Lou Breeze
Steve Buscemi ... Chet
David Warrilow David Warrilow ... Garland Stanford
Richard Portnow ... Detective Mastrionotti
Christopher Murney ... Detective Deutsch
I.M. Hobson I.M. Hobson ... Derek
Meagen Fay ... Poppy Carnahan (as Megan Faye)
Lance Davis ... Richard St. Claire
Harry Bugin Harry Bugin ... Pete
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Storyline

In the wake of his early but undeniable theatrical success in Broadway, the idealistic author of the proletariat and self-pitying 1940s New York playwright, Barton Fink, finds himself lured to dazzling Hollywood to write scripts for eccentric Jack Lipnick's Capitol Pictures. But, instead of writing a story pivoting around the common man, Fink's first screenplay turns out to be a Wallace Beery wrestling movie, and, before he knows it, he develops a severe case of writer's block. Now, holed up in the seedy, run-down Hotel Earle, before his silent Underwood typewriter, Barton comes to realise that his only hope to meet the deadline is to take inspiration from the burly insurance salesman living next door, Charlie Meadows, and the unassuming secretary, Audrey Taylor. In the meantime, the suffocating stranglehold of artistic bankruptcy tightens. Does self-destructive Barton Fink have the stomach for confronting Hollywood's bitter reality? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some scenes of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture of the girl at the beach hanging on Barton's hotel room wall is recreated in Fargo: The Law of Non-Contradiction (2017). In Los Angeles to investigate a murder, the Minnesota police officer takes a side trip to the beach. See more »

Goofs

After Barton tacks up the first strip of wallpaper, he smoothes out the second strip and, in close-up, we see that the first thumbtack is not there. See more »

Quotes

Audrey Taylor: Barton, empathy requires understanding.
Barton Fink: What? What don't I understand?
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Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo appears over silence; the "fanfare" is not played. See more »

Connections

Featured in Tales from the Script (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

FOR SENTIMENTAL REASONS
by Edward Heyman, Al Sherman and Abner Silver
Licenced with Permission the Successors of Marlo Music Corporation/ASCAP
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User Reviews

 
Another Coen Brothers Classic!!!
21 May 2007 | by RaiderJackSee all my reviews

I recently purchased "Barton Fink" along with "Miller's Crossinhg", another Coen Brothers gem.

Barton Fink quite simply is a writer who cannot see the forest for the trees. He is so taken with the fact that he is a writer that he can't write. He is so idealistic that he misses fantastic opportunities to become a writer for the ages because he wastes precious time proselytizing. John Goodman perfectly sums up everyone's frustration with Barton Fink when after a series of unfortunate occurrences, Barton asks him "Why me?" to which John's character answers "Because you don't LISTEN!" Set in 1930s Hollywood we follow the exploits of a one-hit wonder, Barton Fink, who has written a successful Broadway play and is summoned by the powers that be to Hollywood. After much cajoling to take the job from his agent, Barton arrives in Los Angeles determined to become the writer for the common man where he insists true stories live. The trouble with Barton, however, is he does not have time for the common man because he has so romanticized their lot as well as his particular quest in speaking for them.

Excellent performances from John Turturo, John Goodman, Judy Davis, John Polito (often overlooked, but his scenes ALWAYS become his!!) and the inimitable Tony Shaloub.

I have decided after a slew of Coen Brothers films I currently have in my collection, that any project these guys are involved with deserve more than passing scrutiny.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barton Fink See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$268,561, 25 August 1991

Gross USA:

$6,153,939

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,153,939
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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