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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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3,098 ( 1,158)

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:

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 parts played by John Turturro, John Goodman, Jon Polito and Steve Buscemi were all written with them in mind. See more »

Goofs

Charlie's (John Goodman's) leaking ear infection changes sides and mysteriously spreads from his right ear to his left after he returns from one of his enigmatic trips. See more »

Quotes

Ben Geisler: What Ted Oakam doesn't know you could almost squeeze into the Hollywood Bowl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Mulholland Dr. (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Black Joe
(uncredited)
aka "Poor Old Joe"
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung by Mayhew when he is drunk
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A masterpiece of surrealism
31 October 2000 | by Mort-31See all my reviews

The Coen-movie I liked best was "Raising Arizona". But being realisic, I know that "Miller's Crossing" and "Barton Fink" were better. There is so much inside and behind this movie, it's impossible to refer to every single detail. John Turturro has never given a better performance than here, as arrogant, too ambitious author Barton Fink. John Goodman also plays his role for a lifetime. And of course, Michael Lerner was nominated for an Academy Award. The reason why he still is no star is that he didn't act in any other Coen-brothers-movie. It's a fact that with their direction actors reach their climax.

Some of my friends who saw this film disliked it because they didn't understand the plot. Well, this is not a movie for people who need instructions how to handle a film. You have to think, to guess what all the symbols mean, what the ending means. Whatever you'll guess it can't be completely wrong because a real masterpiece like this offers many possibilities for interpretation.


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