Cast and Crew: Joel Coen (Co-Director, Co-Writer, Co-Editor, Producer); Carter Burwell (Score); Roger Deakins (Cinematograpy); Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, Tony Shalhoub, Jon Polito, Steve Buscemi, Richard Portnow, Christopher Murney
What It’s About: Leftist New York playwright and champion of the “common man” Barton Fink (John Turturro) travels to Hollywood where, instead of making one of his plays into a film he is forced to write the kinds of entertainments actually enjoyed by the common man-wrestling pictures. While suffering a horrific case of writers’ block, he seeks help from a cast of Hollywood types including fellow author W. P. Mayhew (John Mahoney) and the traveling salesman (John Goodman) that lives in next door in the low-rent hotel Fink is staying at.
Why Watch it Today?: Ethan Coen turns 56 today. Barton Fink is one of the Cohen brothers many excellent films, with a darker than usual blend of black comedy and horror, all set against the backdrop of the underside of Studio-era Hollywood.