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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
4,259 ( 257)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 22 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:

What's in his head 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 last line of 'Bare Ruined Choirs' -- "We'll be hearing from that kid, and I don't mean a postcard" -- is also the final line in Barton's screenplay, 'The Burlyman', although when the detective reads the script, the line reads, "We'll be hearing from that crazy wrestler, and I don't mean a postcard." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Chet: Are you a trans or a res?
Barton Fink: Excuse me?
Chet: Transient or resident?
Barton Fink: Oh, I don't know. I'll be here indefinitely.
Chet: Res. That'll be $25.50 a week payable in advance. Checkout time is twelve sharp, but you can forget about that on account of you're a res. Now if you need anything, anything at all, just pick up your personal in-room telephone and talk to me. My name is Chet. Although we do provide privacy for the residential guests, we are also a full-service hotel including complementary shoeshine. My name...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Fear X (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Look upon me! I'll show you the life of the mind!
17 July 2007 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

The Coen brothers have come a long way from their start with an 8mm camera. They have written and produced some great homages to the film noir era of Hollywood, and this film is no exception.

First, is the great dialog written by the brothers. Great dialog is a feature of their films, and this one has some of the most memorable I have heard. You can almost turn off the visual and just listen and be enchanted and know you are listening to a Coen brothers film.

But turning off the visual would deprive you of the great cinematography of Roger Deakins. His can frame a scene to the point that you could pause the film and just soak in the texture and color and realism. It is almost as if every frame is a painting.

The Coen brothers also seem to get the best performances out of an actor that I have seen. John Goodman is brilliant in this film and he seems to do his best work for the Coens. John Turturro is captivating as the hack writer who talks about his love for the common man, but just really doesn't know the common man and really doesn't care about them. Michael Lerner was brilliant as the requisite man behind the desk that is the feature of 40's noir.

One doesn't always know what is in the Coen brothers minds. Is this a foretelling of the rise of Nazism, of intellectuals who really didn't understand the appeal of fascism to the common man, or a surreal portrait of someone who sells out. No matter what their intention, they make you think and return to see their films again and again.


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