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
3,256 ( 440)
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 Coen Brothers' former cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld was unable to shoot this film, as he was busy directing The Addams Family (1991). See more »

Goofs

The hand that Chet uses to stop the bell ringing. See more »

Quotes

W.P. Mayhew: Me, well, I just like makin' things up.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

DOWN SOUTH CAMP MEETING
by Irving Mills and Fletcher Henderson
Published by Mills Music, Inc.
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing
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User Reviews

 
quirky, dark comedy about "the life of the mind"
13 August 2005 | by fink_incSee all my reviews

No-one makes films like the Coen brothers and Barton Fink is a film like no other. Like all their movies it can be watched over and over and each viewing is as rewarding as the last. It's basically a film about writer's block (it was written when the Brothers Coen were struggling with 'Miller's Crossing',in the midst of their own block) and how lonely the "life of the mind" is. But the message here is that a writer must do everything he can not to be isolated from his fellow man. Barton is trying to write a screenplay for the common man but won't even listen when one such common man (his neighbor in the Hotel Earl, played by John Goodman) tries to tell him stories. He's too interested in spouting clichés about the nobility of the art of writing and the great service he is providing in his works. From the above Barton Fink may sound a little dry but it is anything but and as is customary in Joel and Ethan's films, the narrative never goes where you think it will. If you see Barton Fink for anything though, it should be for the characters, because they are incredibly well written and acted.


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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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