O Brother Where Art Thou?

O Brother Where Art Thou?

4.7 51
Director: Joel Coen

Cast: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson


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The writing, directing, and producing team of Joel Coen and Ethan Coen created this picaresque comedy (inspired in part by Homer's The Odyssey) set in the Deep South during the Depression. Suave and fancy-talking Everett Ulysses McGill (George Clooney), dim-witted Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), and easily-excitable Pete (John Turturro) are serving time together on…  See more details below


The writing, directing, and producing team of Joel Coen and Ethan Coen created this picaresque comedy (inspired in part by Homer's The Odyssey) set in the Deep South during the Depression. Suave and fancy-talking Everett Ulysses McGill (George Clooney), dim-witted Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), and easily-excitable Pete (John Turturro) are serving time together on a prison chain gang. Everett knows where $1.2 million is hidden that's theirs for the taking, and the three manage to escape; however, a stranger soon warns them that they'll find treasure, but not the sort they're looking for. As Everett and his partners hit the road, they happen upon a gluttonous bible salesman, Big Dan Teague (John Goodman); meet up with Baby Face Nelson (Michael Badalucco) as he robs a bank; encounter three Sirens doing their washing; run into Everett's estranged wife Penny (Holly Hunter), who has told everyone her husband was killed in a train wreck; find themselves in the middle of a heated campaign between political boss Pappy O'Daniel (Charles Durning), and reformist candidate Homer Stokes (Wayne Duvall); and even find time to make a hit record as The Soggy Bottom Boys. Noted songwriter T-Bone Burnett helped compile the songs (combining vintage country blues tunes with originals in the same style), while Carter Burwell composed the background score. Incidentally, the title O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a reference to the classic Preston Sturges comedy Sullivan's Travels, in which a director plans to make a serious "message picture" with that name.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Sibling filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowksi) enhanced their well-deserved reputation for comedic ingenuity with this rib-tickling and extremely loose adaptation of Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. O Brother chronicles the picaresque adventures of three chain-gang escapees traversing Depression-era Mississippi in search of treasure (the title is that of the social issues picture the director wants to +make in Presten Sturges's Sullivan's Travels). George Clooney (who positively radiates star quality), John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson play the hapless ex-cons who encounter oracles, sirens, and even a Cyclops (John Goodman sporting an eye patch) before achieving unexpected and improbable stardom at the end of their journey. The Coens chart this bizarre voyage with customary meticulousness, replicating 1930s Mississippi and its inhabitants down to the tiniest detail. As always with these filmmakers, the supporting players are perfectly cast, especially Charles Durning, Holly Hunter, and Goodman -- the latter in a terrific turn as a psychotic Bible salesman. Yet the movie's most effective "character" may well be its musical score, an assortment of bluegrass standards and slavery-era spirituals that set the period and enhance the narrative. Inventive and unpredictable (even to those who remember their Homer), O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a tuneful funfest that represents the Coens at the top of their game. They, along with major cast members, are interviewed for a making-of featurette included on the DVD, which also features a documentary on the digital enhancement technology used during the movie's postproduction period, comparisons of script and storyboards with the finished film, and a "Man of Constant Sorrow" music video.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
Rather than wallow in nostalgia for the past, [the Coen brothers] dare to reinvent it, to make it something strange, beautiful and new. O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a tribute to, and example of, the persistent vitality of the American imagination. It's bona fide...

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

The Making of O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Two Storyboard-To-Scene Comparisons; "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow" Music Video; Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Clooney Ulysses Everett McGill
John Turturro Pete
Tim Blake Nelson Delmar
Charles Durning Pappy O'Daniel
John Goodman Big Dan Teague
Michael Badalucco George Nelson
Holly Hunter Penny
Stephen Root Radio Station Man
Chris Thomas King Tommy Johnson
Wayne Duvall Homer Stokes
Daniel Von Bargen Sheriff Cooley
J.R. Horne Pappy's Staff
Brian Reddy Pappy's Staff
Frank Collison Wash Hogwallop
Ray McKinnon Vernon T. Waldrip
Del Pentecost Junior O'Daniel
Musetta Vander Siren

Technical Credits
Joel Coen Director,Screenwriter
Tim Bevan Executive Producer
T-Bone Burnett Score Composer
Carter Burwell Score Composer
John Cameron Producer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Ethan Coen Producer,Screenwriter
Tricia Cooke Editor
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
Eric Fellner Executive Producer
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Eugene Gearty Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Graf Associate Producer
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Roderick Jaynes Editor
Richard Johnson Art Director
Peter Kurland Sound/Sound Designer
Skip Lievsay Sound Editor
Betsy Magruder Asst. Director
Thomas Minton Set Decoration/Design
Mary Zophres Costumes/Costume Designer

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O Brother Where Art Thou? 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautiful music, great choriography, funny to the marrow! Music from bluegrass, accoustic and old time genres that reaches out to everyone. Characters that many of us can relate to. This was the most enjoyable movie I've seen in a decade. Yee-haw!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best produced, best directed, best written movie I have seen in a while. The casting on this movie is unbelievable! I would advise anyone, any age to watch and fall over in your couch laughing at this movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very funny movie with a great bluegrass soundtrack! Characters and their actions may seem disparate throughout the movie, but it all comes together brilliantly at the end in a rousing performance of ''I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow''.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the movie of the year as far as I'm concerned. George Clooney deserved the Golden Globe he won for this role and John Tuturro delivers another outstanding and unique performance. This movie just makes you feel good, something that doesn't happen in film much any more. The Coen brothers capture the time period so well and the script is so clever that you can watch this movie multiple times and always find something new. If you like a well thought out, well acted comedy this is the movie for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best comedy I've seen in years! If you enjoy good clean humor, you'll be rolling in the floor! Great acting, refreshing music, good old fashioned humor! Highly recommended for everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this movie to be utterly inspiring. If you can hear the wit and humor in this movie over your own laughter then you will love this film. I personally saw it at the theaters and on dvd a total of 5 times. It has got to be one of the best that will surely become a treasured classic in it's own right.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen this movie twice, and was VERY pleased both times and am adding this to my DVD collection. I am generally an action fan, but this was definitely a breath of fresh air in comedy. George and his 2 buddies in the movie are PERFECT for each other, the casting was perfect. the script was brilliant, next time you are in a light hearted mood rent or buy this movie, you will be pleased.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
one of those movies that you laugh harder each time you watch it. And it is rare for me to watch a movie more than once, but i did this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent film! I enjoyed Raising Arizona and this film shares some of its Coen Brothers traits: suspension of reality, a major quest that will eventually be resolved in a quirky, rub-the-sleep-out-of-your-eyes way. The whole thing is just a joyous romp with three convicts on the lam during the normally joyless Depression. There is a laugh around every corner, and the story just sings... literally, since each scene is interspersed with either a spiritual or a hard-times bluegrass song. I was especially impressed with the casting. George Cloony was near-perfect with his slick-talking Ulysses Everett McGill. I had a bit of a problem with the accent... too yankee for Mississippi. John Turturro is fantastic as Pete. He has a look on his face between deep concentration and toothache, which is just right for his often-annoyed character. The biggest surprise, though, was Tim Blake Nelson as (''dumber 'n' a bag of hammers'') Delmar. He was the only one who got the accent down pat! Delmar actually had more lines than Pete. His were the funniest, and the most profound. And his wonderful innocent expressions! He looked like he had been slapped out of a deep sleep! The way he reacted to the sirens was just adorable! I gave a quick search and was able to find only a few things by this man. Most of his credits are in the directing department. I hope he doesn't ditch the acting. I'm looking forward to more stuff from this talented guy! This film has been compared to the Wizard of Oz and the Three Stooges, as well as the Odyssey on which it is loosely based. I just know it's infinitely rewatchable. Every time I do, I find something else! I'd recommend the DVD version for its goodies, like the interviews and discussion about post-production color changes. Very agreeable, classic Coen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I watched this film I did not laugh once. Not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because I was in awe of its brilliance and creativity. I knew from the early ''train scene'' that I would buy the DVD and watch it repeatedly. As you probably have read in other reviews, Clooney, Turturro, and Blake Nelson are all great. But the best performance in the movie is easily turned in by Stephen Root who plays blind radio DJ Blind Bard. Most know him as ''Jimmy James'' in the TV show ''Newsradio''. Root (Blind Bard) is to ''O Brother...'' what Turturro (Jesus Quintana) is to ''The Big Lebowski''. Don't waste your money renting this one. Just buy it right away. And after you have watched it you will buy the soundtrack. It's that simple.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once in awhile a really good movie comes along, and this one is like a breath of fresh air. Original, funny, brilliantly written and directed and all the actors are great. Who knew George Clooney was such a great actor? We were too busy drooling over his looks! I can't say enough good things about this movie. Watch it and see for yourself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
O Brother Where Art Thou is one of the best movies I have watched in a long time. It was so much fun watching 3 guys, with totally different personalities, stick together through thick and thin. This is one movie I can watch over and over and never get tired of. I don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen it yet, just that the casting of George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson is perfect. It is definitely a hayseed movie that young kids will even enjoy. (My 11 year old daughter loves to watch it with me everytime I want to watch it again!) All I can say is, watch it! It is just pure fun and laughter!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Actually it wasn't him singing, and good thing because that song is AWESOME. The movie was one of those unexpected pleasant surprises when renting movies just based on the main player.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you see only one movie ever, please make it this one. You won't be disappointed. You get action, drama, loads of comedy, and great music. This movie features George Clooney like you've never seen him. The supporting cast also features excellent performances from John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, and Holly Hunter, just to name a few. Oh Brother is set in the Depression-era South, and the wonderful cinematography makes you feel like you're there. I don't want ot say too much, except you must see this movie!! I haven't met anyone yet who didn't like this film! (well, maybe people who lack taste).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a Clooney fan and that almost made me miss a great movie. The entire cast, including George Clooney, was absolutely outstanding. It was a delight from beginning to end. Good music, lots of laughs, and a good story line. Don't miss it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perhaps this movie would not have seemed such a disgrace had it not explicitly claimed attachment to Homer's Odyssey. I, for one, am glad that the epic poet was blind, such that he will not be able to view this tantalizingly banal rendition of his epic. Now the soundtrack happens to be amazing, but that's a different story. The scenes that surely parallel Homer, (the sirens, the cyclops) seem to be novelty renditions just thrown in for the sake of saying it is a modern Odyssey. If Goodman's character can be compared to Polyphemos, then I suppose any theif can...oh wait, he had an eyepatch...what an amazingly clever way to suggest the connection to the epic monster. I'm stunned...really. The creative juices must have been flowing on that one. Clooney's attempts at lyrical virtuosity, I assume, are supposed to evoke the smooth-tongued Odysseus...but again, they seem just thrown in as if the movie was finished and then somebody remembered they were supposed to be evoking the Odyssey. And what was with the Robert Johnson character? Why didn't they just call him Robert Johnson...I mean, it was so obvious that it wasn't even fun to guess at the symbol...so why give him everything except the right last name? If people still read books, I'm sure Homer's Odyssey would expose the inadequacies of this version...but, people don't. Or when they do, they don't read them well. I give my two stars for cinematography. Maybe television has lulled our collective imaginations too sleep...granted, books aren't as easy as movies...learning the Odyssey, not just flying through it, is truley knowledge painfully acquired, but well worthwhile. Read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the movie,I bought the video a couple of weeks ago,the whole family watches it ,we must have watched it now at least eight times, we also had to go get the soundtrack! It's an adventure with kind of a Stienbeck flavor to it,and a small pinch of The Wizard of Oz. It is sure to be an American Classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Loved this flick. Based on Homer's ''Odyssey''. Very , very funny. I watched it twice in a row and then again the following day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I rented this movie hearing that is was really good from one of my friends. It was. I think that just the subject matter was real good and each character was played so well. George Clooney (Ocean's 11) was witty, charming, and hilarious, ''We're in a tight spot!'' It's hilarious how he repeats the same thing 4 times in like, 2 minutes. The song he sings, ''I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow'' is great. It really attracts attention.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie had superb acting along with a musical score that complemented it to the utmost. You will want to see it over and over again. Each time you see something new and better. It is really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Genius is being able to grab inspiration from the classic Homer¿s Odyssey and turn it into a depression era, bluegrass comedy. The Coen brothers displayed their genius with O Brother, Where Art Thou? The entire cast is great, but George Clooney steals the show. The film is carried by its music, a bluegrass and gospel period-fest. I love this movie. If you¿re into bluegrass, comedy and George Clooney, you¿ll love it too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clooney did a wonderful job of bringing his character to life. His outrageous vocabulary accompanied by his cunning schemes makes this film a laugh riot. Great movie if you're looking for laugh.