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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
129 ( 34)

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

After the altercation with Curly (Surly) Joe, Scruggs comments that he is not by nature a devious man, but when unarmed your tactics might be Archimedean. He's referring to Archimedes who was known in ancient Greece for, among other things, applying the principles of mathematics to the lever. Buster used the tabletop plank as a lever against Joe. See more »

Goofs

The page shown at the beginning of "Meal Ticket" opens with duplicate letters: an ornamented 'T' and a regular capital 'T.' 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

Featured in The Oscars (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother Machree
Written by Rida Johnson Young, Chauncey Olcott & Ernest Ball
Performed by Tom Waits (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Smart, Well Done & Boring
17 November 2018 | by doveedSee all my reviews

How do you rate a movie that is very well done, but you just don't connect with it at all? I love the Coen brothers, and I watched this with an open heart. Not every Coen brothers movie knocks it out of the park, but all of them are at least smart and interesting. The same holds true for this one, though I'm sorry to say that I found myself bored throughout most of it.

Six stories is a lot to process in one sitting. The problem for me was that I would be watching one of the segments, trying to understand its significance or find something to appreciate story-wise, and then we moved on to the next tale.

There was nothing wrong with it and I would consider watching it again some time with a fresh perspective. This movie did seem to have a grasp on itself and I trust that the Coens knew what they were doing. It was very unique and beautifully shot, but I think this one ranks low on the Coen's filmography. And if this wasn't a Coen brothers movie, I would probably be more dismissive of it.


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