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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
4,256 ( 282)

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 & 25 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:

Between Heaven and Hell There's Always Hollywood! 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 - Delírios de 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

The picture of the girl at the beach hanging on Barton's hotel room wall is recreated in episode 3 of season 3 of the TV series Fargo. In Los Angeles to investigate a murder, the Minnesota police officer takes a side trip to the beach. 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

Barton Fink: [at the USO club] I'm a writer, you monsters! I create! I create for a living! I'm a creator! I am a creator!
[points to his head]
Barton Fink: This is my uniform! This is how I serve the common man!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Head Space: The Inner Sounds of 'Barton Fink' (2017) 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

 
Classic dark comedy spoofs Hollywood hacks, literati alike
2 August 2003 | by funkyfrySee all my reviews

This is a satire which really eviscerates its main character, nebbish Barton Fink, a semi-successful, very Jewish New York playwright who comes to Hollywood to make his dreams come true, which in his case is definately not writing the next Wallace Beery wrestling picture. There are just too many funny things in this movie to mention them all, so I won't mention any. But this is a movie that is going to stand up to the test of time; it may be the Coen brothers' best movie, because it is both dead funny and dead serious.

Turturro gives the performance of a lifetime as Barton, and Goodman proved with this movie that he was a first class acting talent (what made the Coens think of him in this role, anyway? surely a mark of genius). Davis also shows herself off extremely well, in one of this underrated actresses finest roles.

There is, simply put, no better satire of Hollywood, and none that I can think of that so successfully manages to also spoof the pretentions of those who despise it.


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