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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

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Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Reviews
Popularity
95 ( 27)

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 6 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Blake Nelson ... Buster Scruggs (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Willie Watson ... The Kid (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Clancy Brown ... Curly Joe (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Danny McCarthy ... Curly Joe's Brother (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
David Krumholtz ... Frenchman (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Thomas Wingate Thomas Wingate ... Gun Check Man (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Tim DeZarn ... Mean-Eyed Card Player (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
E.E. Bell ... Piano Player (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Alejandro Patiño ... Cantina Bartender (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs") (as Alejandro Patino)
Tom Proctor ... Cantina Bad Man (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Clinton Roberts Clinton Roberts ... Cantina Scum (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs") (as Clinton Robert)
Matthew Willig ... Cantina Scum (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
Jesse Youngblood Jesse Youngblood ... Cantina Scum (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs")
J.J. Dashnaw ... Cantina Scum (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs") (as JJ Dashnaw)
James Franco ... Cowboy (segment "Near Algodones")
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Storyline

Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Stories live forever. People don't. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The poker hand Buster Scruggs refuses to play in the saloon is infamously known as "the dead man's hand" (a two-pair of black aces and eights) as legend has it that was the hand held by Wild Bill Hickock when he was shot in the back of the head and killed by the coward Jack McCall. See more »

Goofs

The Outlaw's holster is stamped Carrico's Edna, KS. Carrico's is a Leatherworks that has only been in business since 1992. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Buster Scruggs (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"): [atop his horse in bright white duds] A song never fails to ease my mind out here in the West, where the distances are great and the scenery monotonous. Additionally, my pleasing baritone seems to inspirit ol' Dan here and keep him in good heart during the day's measure of hoof clops. Ain't that right, Dan?
[his horse neighs]
Buster Scruggs (segment "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"): Maybe some of y'all have heard of me. Buster Scruggs, known to some as the San Saba Songbird. I got other handles, nicknames, appellations, and cognomens. But ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: Oscars 2019 Recap (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Under the Double Eagle
Written by Josef Franz Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Coens return with the most unique movie of the year!
16 November 2018 | by philipposx-12290See all my reviews

The Coen Brothers are some of the most popular and also best movie directors currently working. They created one of my all time favourite movies in The Big Lebowski (1998), and some of the best movies of their respectable decades such as the cult hit Fargo (1996) & the Neo-Noir Western No Country for Old Men (2007). And now they return in 2018, together with Netflix, to present the most unique movie of the year!

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs tells six individual and self contained storys in the Wild West. As usual, the movie looks stunning. It is beautifully shot, has some of the best cinematography of recent years and it's just a joy to watch. Also the composed soundtrack is really fitting. As said, the movie is cut in six minor portions: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Near Aldgones, Meal Ticket, All Golds Canyon, the Gal who got Rattled & the Mortal Remains.

They do not have anything particular in common plot wise, but thematically they all tell the huge story of the Wild West - the dark & crazy, sometimes sad side of it. Because make no mistake, this is a really brutal movie. While the first story is very big on comedic relief, the later chapters get really dark, especially the third having a heartbreaking and strangely poetic ending. The fifth story was probably the most cinematic story, since it told a beautiful little tale that could've been easily explored in a regular film. And the last story is basically only one huge dialogue. It's remarkable at how the Coens write their dialogue - it's eventually only people talking about their lifes and out of nowhere the mood changes into complete danger and suspense. The acting of the over all many performers was great as usual, with especially notable performances by Liam Neeson, Tom Waits & Tim Blake Nelson.

There are a few tiny things that bothered me (would've liked a bit more of Gleeson), but these are minor concerns. The Coens are back with another tightly written, thought provoking and fully enjoyable movie that reflects on not only their recurring themes/patterns of violence & fantastic dialogue but also to tell the huge story of the Wild West in its most heartbreaking fashion.

This is the most unique movie of the year!


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