Coen Brother Script Suite

The children of two college professors growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis during the revolutionary 1960s, Joel and Ethan Coen had their first flings with film when Joel used his lawn mowing money to buy a Vivitar Super 8 camera. Along with a neighborhood pal they remade movies that they saw on television, and the effects film had on their young lives is apparent in their professional work.

The Coen Brothers continue to enthrall moviegoers because they know how to tell engaging stories that do not fit the traditional Hollywood mould. They use the conventions to their advantage instead of to their inhibition. They are unique auteurs, and according to Ethan “the movie people let us play in the corner of the sandbox and leave us alone. We’re happy here.”

Long may they thrive in unmitigated inventiveness that we may study and learn from their work.

by Joel Coen (Ethan uncredited)

Barton FinkBarton Fink (1991)

Cast: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Michael Lerner, John Mahoney, Tony Shalhoub, Steve Buscemi

New York playwright Barton Fink suffers severe writers block when he comes to Hollywood in the golden year of 1941 to write a wrestling picture, bizarre events distracting him further from his task. The film was the first to win all three major awards at the Cannes Film

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The Big LebowskiThe Big Lebowski (1998)

Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, John Turturro

When Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is mistaken for a millionaire also named Jeffrey Lebowski, he is drawn into a high paying one time job to recover millionaire Lebowski´s kidnapped wife. The film is largely inspired by Raymond Chandler´s pulp novel “The Big Sleep.”

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Blood SimpleBlood Simple (1984)

Cast: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

A bar-owner in an unnamed town suspects that his wife is having an affair. He hires a private detective to spy on her, leading to a mess of misunderstandings and treachery. It a neo-noir crime film, its title taken from Dashiell Hammett´s novel “Red Harvest.”

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FargoFargo (1996)

Cast: William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Jerry finds himself in deep financial trouble and devises a plot to have kidnappers abduct his wife so that he can collect the ransom money from her rich father.

As the story progresses his non-violent plan gets bloodier and bloodier.

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The Hudsucker ProxyThe Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

Cast: Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, John Mahoney

When the head of a successful Hudsucker Industries commits suicide, his board of directors decide to appoint a moron as new head of the company so they can buy it and restore it for pennies when the stocks fall, making millions in the process.

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 Intolerable CrueltyIntolerable Cruelty (2003)

Cast: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Geoffrey Rush

Formidable Los Angeles divorce attorney Miles Massey has it all, including an ironclad pre-nup named after him. He meets his match in the beautiful Marylin Rexroth, a woman on a mission to destroy Massey after he destroyed her in a divorce case.

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The Man Who Wasn't ThereThe Man Who Wasn´t There (2001)

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco, James Gandolfini, Jon Polito, Scarlett Johansson, Richard Jenkins, Tony Shalhoub

Ed Crane, a taciturn chain-smoking barber tells the story of a man trying to escape an obsolete existence.

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Miller's CrossingMiller´s Crossing (1990)

Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, Albert Finney, Mike Starr, Steve Buscemi

In the depression era 30s gang wars tear a city apart in this crime film that questions the morals of its criminal characters.

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O Brother Where Art Thou?O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Cast: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Michael Badalucco

Three convicts escape from a Mississippi chain gang and embark on an adventure loosely based on Homer´s “Odyssey.”

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Raising ArizonaRaising Arizona (1987)

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Frances McDormand, Randall `Tex´ Cobb, T.J. Kuhn

A habitual robber and a policewoman fall in love, marry, and upon finding that they are infertile devise a plan to kidnap one of the quintuplets of Nathan Arizona, furniture tycoon in this unconventional slapstick comedy.

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Dual Credit

Burn After ReadingBurn After Reading (2008)

Cast: George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins

In this black comedy Osbourne Cox, a CIA analyst quits his job after being demoted due to a drinking problem.  Because of this he decides to write a memoir about his former work.

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LadykillersThe Ladykillers (2004)

Cast: Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst, Diane Delano

In this remake of the 1955 comedy of the same name a Southern professor assembles a group of thieves to rob a casino. When the old woman they are renting a room from finds out about their plot they must kill her, a task far more difficult than they expected.

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No Country For Old MenNo Country For Old Men (2007)

Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin

Working man Llewelyn Moss discovers $2 million dollars in the desert and finds himself on the run from Anton Chigurh, a callous killer with an unusual weapon at his disposal.

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A Serious ManA Serious Man (2009)

Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus

Larry Gopnick is an ordinary American man trying to find clarity in 1967 in this loose retelling of the Jewish biblical story of Job.

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True GritTrue Grit (2010)

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Gambit 2011

The much awaited remake of the British classic based on a screenplay by the Coen brothers with Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth taking the roles of Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine in the 1966 British original.  Directed by Michael Hoffman

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