Barton Fink

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Barton Fink is a 1991 film about a newly successful New York playwright in the 1940s who accepts an offer to write movie scripts in LA, and finds himself with writer's block when required to do a B-movie wrestling script, the only relief coming from a traveling salesman living next door.

Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Between Heaven and Hell There's Always Hollywood!taglines


Jack Lipnik[edit]

  • I run this dump, and I don't know the technical mumbo-jumbo. Why do I run it? Cause I got horse sense, goddamit. SHOWMANSHIP! And also, and I hope Lou told you this, I am bigger and meaner and louder than any other kike in this town. Did you tell him that, Lou? And I don't mean my dick is bigger than yours, it's not a sexual thing, although you're the writer, you'd know more about that. Coffee?
  • We're only interested in one thing, Bart. Can you tell a story? Can you make us laugh? Can you make us cry? Can you make us want to break out in joyous song? Is that more than one thing? Okay!
  • Look, Bart, barring a preference we're going to put you to work on a wrestling picture, Wallace Beery. I say this because they tell me you know the poetry of the streets, so that would rule out westerns, pirate pictures, screwball, Bible, Roman... look, I'm not one of those guys who thinks poetic has got to be fruity. We're together on that, aren't we? I mean I'm from New York myself, well, Minsk if you want to go all the way back. Which we won't, if you don't mind and I ain't asking. Now people are going to say to you, Wallace Beery, wrestling, it's a B picture. You tell them: BULLSHIT! We do NOT make B pictures here at Capitol. Let's put a stop to that rumor RIGHT now!

Charlie Meadows[edit]

  • Look upon me! I'll show you the life of the mind! I'll show you the life of the mind!

Dialogue[edit]

Geisler: Ever act?
Barton: ...Huh? No, I'm—
Geisler: We need Indians for a Norman Steele western.
Barton: I'm a writer. Ted O—
Geisler: Think about it, Fink. Writers come and go; we always need Indians.

Barton: Have you read the Bible, Pete?
Pete: Holy Bible?
Barton: Yeah.
Pete: Yeah, I think so. Anyway, I've heard about it.

Charlie: I could tell you some stories...
Barton: Sure you could and yet many writers do everything in their power to insulate themselves from the common man, from where they live, from where they trade, from where they fight and love and converse and...So naturally their work suffers and regresses into empty formalism and... well I'm spouting off again, but to put it in your language, the theatre becomes as phony as a three-dollar bill!
Charlie: Well I guess that's a tragedy right there!

Mastrionotti: What do you do, Fink?
Barton: I write.
Deutsch: Oh yeah? What kind of write?
Barton: Well, as a matter of fact I write for the pictures.
Mastrionotti: Big fuckin' deal.
Deutsch: You want my partner to kiss your ass?
Mastrionotti: Would that be good enough for you?
Barton: No, I - I didn't mean to sound...
Deutsch: What did you mean?
Barton: I - I've got respect for - for working guys, like you...
Mastrionotti: Jesus! Ain't that a load off!

Mastrionotti: Started in Kansas City. Couple of housewives.
Deutsch: Couple days ago we see the same M.O. out in Los Feliz.
Mastrionotti: Doctor. Ear, nose and throat man.
Deutsch: All of which he's now missin'.
Mastrionotti: Well, some of his throat was there.
Deutsch: Physician, heal thyself.
Mastrionotti: Good luck with no fuckin' head.
Deutsch: Anyway.

Geisler: Look, you confused? You need guidance? Talk to another writer.
Barton: Who?
Geisler: Jesus, throw a rock in here, you'll hit one. And do me a favor, Fink: throw it hard.

Deutsch: [questioning Fink about Mundt] What else?
Barton: Trying to think. Nothing, really. He... he said he liked Jack Oakie pictures.
Mastrionotti: You know, ordinarily we say anything you might remember could be helpful. But I'll be frank with you, Fink. That is not helpful.
Deutsch: Notice how he's not writing it down?

Barton: I'm sorry if I let you down.
Jack: You didn't let me down Fink, or even Lou. We don't live or die by what you scribble. You let Ben Geisler down. He liked you, trusted you... and that's why he's gone, he's fired. That man had a heart as big as the all outdoors and you fucked him.

Taglines[edit]

  • Between Heaven and Hell There's Always Hollywood!
  • There's only one thing stranger than what's going on inside his head. What's going on outside.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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