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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.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
4,075 ( 66)

A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 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 Lance Davis ... Richard St. Claire
Harry Bugin Harry Bugin ... Pete
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Storyline

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

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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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barton Fink - È successo a Hollywood See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$268,561, 23 August 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,153,939
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Milius was offered the role of Jack Lipnick but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ben Geisler: [on phone] I've got a writer here - Fink - all screwy! Says I'm producing that Wallace Beery wrestling picture. What am I, the goddamn janitor around here?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Sullivan's Travels (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

DOWN SOUTH CAMP MEETING
by Irving Mills and Fletcher Henderson
Published by Mills Music, Inc.
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hell-ywood
25 May 2006 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

"Barton Fink" is, in my opinion, probably the Coen brothers' weirdest movie ever. Portraying the playwright title character (John Turturro) getting called to LA in 1941 to write a movie script and experiencing several strange things while suffering writer's block, they let out all the stops here. I should identify that although we usually expect unusual things from the Coen brothers, this is beyond bizarre. Of course, it is very likely that they're just showing how hellish Hollywood is (how many movies have shown that?). But that bug, plus Charlie Meadows (John Goodman), plus the picture on the wall - and of course the end scene - all add up to something really far out. What does it all add up to? I don't know, but the movie is worth seeing. Just be forewarned, this is not really an "easy" movie (well duh, it's a Coen brothers movie). Also starring Michael Lerner, Judy Davis, John Mahoney, Steve Buscemi and Tony Shalhoub.


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