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O Brother Where Art Thou?

( 51 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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: 6/12/2001
  • UPC: 786936145960
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Format: VHS

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Loads of fun

    O Brother Where Art Thou? is a fun movie from start to end. The Coen Bros. wrote an amazing script based on the Greek Odyssey. It is wholly entertaining without a dull moment. The soundtrack is phenomenal, and the feature song, "Man of Constant Sorrows" has become a classic. The performances were spot on, and the dialogue is brilliant. The comedy is intelligent and fast-paced at times. I can't imagine anyone NOT enjoying this movie.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie...a must see!

    The cast are all in top form, playing the odd, quirky characters well. The soundtrack is worth buying, also. Very humorous, a bit odd, but worth the watch for anyone.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wildly Entertaining Movie!

    I love this movie! It's so witty and wildly humorous & entertaining. I like how they portrayed the 30's within it too...very well done on that! Just watch it!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    1930's lives again!

    As a history teacher I love this movie with its subtile but very accurate portrayal of life and the issues of the Great Depression. The music is simply outstanding. The actors are wonderful with an exception in the actor who plays the part of the preacher/crook.... One of my all time favorite movies!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    the coen brother's best since "Fargo".

    this movie, first of all was halarious. some may not find it to be. i have rather strange taste, so i like the coen brother's humor. i am only 12. don't let that fool you. this is not just a kiddie movie. i have won several state art awards for best in show. with that said, you can tell that i choose to watch artistic films. it is my dream to become a director and i am currently working on scripts titled "song of the hummingbird", "death of the crickets", "knott", and "the touch me not". i like films that have an unusual style or look or rythm of dialouge, and so on. i like unusual movie with strange directors. my movie heros would be alfred hitchcock,m. night shyamalan, tim burton, and of course the coen brothers. this film has colorful characters and strange but halarious jokes. some parents my not like the language in this movie. most of the swear words in this movie are either son of a you know what or the "g.d." word. this movie DOES take place long ago so there is usage of the "N word" toward african americans. there is a bank robbery and a run in with the KKK, including a burning cross. if you enjoyed this you may enjoy the coen brother's earlier 1996 "fargo". i sure did enjoy them both very much and this is one of my favorite movies ever. ta.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great job

    this is such a neat movie. is rich which genuine down-home american heritage, and the actors did a great job of drawing out the characters and complementing one another. George Clooney is hilarious! Never liked blue grass music but this movie changed my mind. Watch it sometime!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie!

    I absolutely loved this movie! I don't like to buy them but I had to have this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW! A movie to watch again and again!

    My entire family (teen-no little ones)loved this movie.We bought the movie and soundtrack too! We downloaded the words to sing along! It's just FUN!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best

    O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU had a great plot, great acting, great acting, and most of all, great music. I read the Oddysey, and though it wasn't perfect, it had most of the themes captured. I love the soundtrack, it is one of the best records in a long time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    MOSTEST AWSOMEST MOVIE EVER IN A LONG TIME!!!!

    Man, u need to see this movie right away! It is awsome like i said, and it made me laugh and it made me cry and it made me sing along like one of those baby sing along song things that arent't good enough for DVD! This move was just so awsome and George Clooney is exceptional he is just the best he is so awsome U have to see this movie! When u r done seein the movie u got to see it again and again this movie is SO awsome!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This Movie will Keep You Rolling!!!!

    This movie was absolutely hilarious!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    George Clooney CAN act!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Coen brothers strike gold

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just About the Best

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent Movie...Destined to be a classic.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Clooney is the best.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New American Classic

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a Surprise

    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!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Odyssey?...Blasphemy!!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Oh Brother! This Movie Was Great!

    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).

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews