CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 12
  • Adventure, Comedy
  • 2000
  • 107 mins

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Film4 O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Synopsis

The Coen brothers set Homer in the Deep South during the Depression. A working men's saga featuring a blind seer, a one eyed con artist, sirens, a beat-up truck and a cow-hating armed robber

About

Homer, as far as we know, wasn't famous for his comedy. Nor were most of the people who have been inspired by his 'Odyssey' - James Joyce, the Frenchmen who made the sci-fi cartoon 'Ulysses 31'. But the Coen brothers are. They've taken the basic plot points and characters from Homer's epic, set them in the Deep South during the Depression, and borrowed the title that a pretentious director was going to use for his working man's saga in Preston Sturges's classic comedy Sullivan's Travels.

On the run from the chain gang, Everett Ulysses McGill (Clooney), Pete Hogwallop (Turturro) and Delmar O'Donnel (Nelson) encounter a blind seer, who tells them they will find a fortune, but not the one they are after. On the run from the law and constantly bickering, the trio encounter Homeric figures like the sirens and a one-eyed man. They also bump into a bluesman who has sold his soul to the devil (King), bank robber George "Don't call me Babyface" Nelson (Badalucco) and the Ku Klux Klan.

The comedy is all in the details - McGill's odd grin or his insistence that he can only use Dapper Dan brand hair products. Turturro is funny, while John Goodman produces one of his most menacing performances. Then there is the music: a fine soundtrack of country, blues and gospel songs. There is even a bit of politics in there, although with the Coens, it is probably best not to take anything too seriously. Well up to the usual high standards.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Michael Badalucco, John Goodman, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Holly Hunter, Charles Thomas King, George Clooney, Charles Durning
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Screen Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Writer (Book): Homer
  • Producer: Ethan Coen
  • Photographer: Roger Deakins
  • Composer: Carter Burwell, T- Bone Burnett, Chris Thomas King

In a nutshell

Well up to the brothers' usual high standards.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year

    New York, 1981. An ambitious immigrant businessman tries to stay legit, despite stiff competition and violent threats from his ruthless, corrupt and often criminal rivals

  • Film4 Kingsman The Secret Service

    Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Kingsman agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) takes on a new rough-edged protégé (Taron Egerton) as tech mogul Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) enacts his plans for world domination

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Gearing up for the Glasgow Film Festival 2015

    The Glasgow Film Festival programme is announced and features Film4-backed films Second Coming and Catch Me Daddy plus much, much more, from 18th February to 1st March It¿s almost time once more for

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance

    As Louise Osmond's inspirational documentary about an unlikely group of friends who breed themselves a racehorse is about to premiere at Sundance 2015, Catherine Bray catches up with the director for

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share