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: John Turturro, John Goodman, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Thomas King, George Clooney, Holly Hunter, Michael Badalucco, Charles Durning
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Screen Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan 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 Youth

    Youth

    Fred and Mick, two old friends now approaching 80, are on vacation together in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. The two friends know that their time is quickly running out, and they decide to face their future together.

  • Film4 The Stranger Wore a Gun

    The Stranger Wore a Gun

    Randolph Scott stars in a Western about a former spy who relocates to Ariozna to join a gold robbbery, but quickly reassesses his decision

    On Film4: 21 Apr 1:05PM

  • Film4 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    Crime and Mystery Season on Film4

    Illegality and intrigue are the order of the day in Film4's Crime and Mystery Season.

  • Film4 The Raven

    The Raven on Film4

    John Cusack stars as Edgar Allen Poe in this crime thriller about a murderer whose methods are inspired by Poe's stories, part of Crime & Mystery Season on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Four Film4-backed films selected In Competition at Cannes 2015

    Four Film4-backed films ¿ Todd Haynes¿ Carol, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, Paolo Sorrentino¿s Youth and Justin Kurzel¿s Macbeth ¿ have been invited into official selection at this year¿s Cannes film

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Release date announced for Suffragette

    Film4-backed historical drama Suffragette will open in UK cinemas on 30th October 2015. Suffragette is the first feature film to tell the story of the ordinary British women at the turn of the last

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share