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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
573 ( 59)

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 7 wins & 29 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 ... Surly 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:

How the West Was Won (more or less) 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

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's third collaboration with French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel. The first was Paris, je t'aime (2006) and the second Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), which garnered Delbonnel his fourth Oscar nomination. See more »

Goofs

The scarf that holds the limbless 'money maker' to his chair is missing in one of the shots taken from behind. 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

References The Last House in the Woods (2006) 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

 
A hit and miss collection of shorts unlike anything else you'll see this year
13 October 2018 | by frosts-66091See all my reviews

I was fortunate enough to see this at the LFF with the Coen brothers present. During their introduction they mentioned how they wrote each chapter as a series of shorts over 25 years, and it certainly felt like this both in good ways and bad. Each story was completely different from the one either side of it and none were short of originality. Stories unfolded in the way only a Coen brother's film could - a style that I have always admired.

What was slightly disappointing was its lack of continuity. Each of the stories are completely contained and the final short was one of the most disappointing for me ending in quite an anticlimax. I understand these shorts are independent of one another but had they intersected in some way I think there could have been a much more satisfying conclusion. But the subversion of that expectation I also admire, my brain was just full of the interesting situations that could have unfolded had these characters come into contact with each other - as per a Tarantino film. It could also have ended with a different short as the 5th story for me (and the gold panning segment) was arguably the best.

Aside from the story itself the film has great visuals, some amazing one liners and incredible acting performances - especially considering the lengths actors went to in order to get into character for just a 20 minutes segment of a film. Overall expect 6 Coen brothers shorts sewn together with the thinest fabric imaginable and a time at the cinema like you haven't had all year.


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