In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture…
Release Year: 1991
Rating: 7.8/10 (44,983 voted)
Critic's Score: 69/100
Stars: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis
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.
Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
(as Megan Faye)
Richard St. Claire
Between Heaven and Hell There's Always Hollywood!
Release Date: 21 August 1991
Filming Locations: Ambassador Hotel – 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $268,561
(23 August 1991)
Did You Know?
The character of W.P. Mayhew is based on William Faulkner, whose first Hollywood contract was to write
Flesh, a wrestling movie for Wallace Beery.
The hand that Chet uses to stop the bell ringing.
[Barton is ranting about elitist playwrights]
Who cares about the fifth Earl of Bathsdrop and Lady Higgenbottom and… and… who killed Nigel Grinchgibbons?
I can feel my butt gettin' sore already!
Writer who doesn't want to see
This is my first time to comment on a film on this site. I have enjoyed
reading y'all's comments. After 4 viewings, I found peace with the
I saw in the film. Barton, though he talks a good show about wanting to
write about "the common man", doesn't see anything around him as worthy
being a subject. He fears learning about the common man, or anything else
outside his experience. His experience teems with material for a
writer, but Barton sees nothing. When the wallpaper peels, he doesn't
for what's underneath or an explanation, he feverishly tries to cover up
what's "exposed" as fast as he can (uno metaphoro). I agree with all
comments about Goodman presenting Barton with a "common man" right in his
own room. He has a research subject to learn from and to use as a
springboard to break through his "writer's block", but he can't see
that "god" presents for him to use. And the Woman on the Beach.
that he never sees her face. He can never really SEE her but seems drawn
her and fascinated by her. He is drawn to the fact that she is
In the end he "sees" her and doesn't explore that possibility either. The
Box? He never opens it. We assume what we want to assume, but Barton, who
in control (!) simply attaches to the box without ever "discovering" it.
is all show and no substance. I agree, his one hit (the play) may be all
has in him. He's a one-trick pony posing as a seeking writer, intent on
revealing the inner "common man" but is petrified by fear, ignorance or
what-you-will. Look at the film again with an eye to his inability to
what is clearly revealed to him. you may "see" what I mean!