O Brother, Where Art Thou?: Wikis


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O Brother, Where Art Thou

O Brother, Where Art Thou? film poster.
Directed by Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Ethan Coen
Joel Coen (uncredited)
Written by Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Starring George Clooney
John Turturro
Tim Blake Nelson
John Goodman
Holly Hunter
Charles Durning
Music by T-Bone Burnett
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Editing by Roderick Jaynes
Tricia Cooke
Studio StudioCanal
Working Title Films
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures (USA)
Universal Pictures (International)
Bac Films (France)
Momentum Pictures (UK)
Release date(s) December 22, 2000 (2000-12-22)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$26,000,000 (approx.)[1]
Gross revenue US$71,868,327 (worldwide)[2]

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning.[3] Set in 1933 Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film's story is a modern satire loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey.

The American folk music soundtrack won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 2001.[4]



Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney), Pete (John Turturro), and Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) escape from a chain gang and set out to retrieve the $1.2 million in treasure that Everett claims to have stolen from an armored car and buried before his incarceration. They have only four days to find it before the valley in which it is hidden will be flooded to create Arkabutla Lake as part of a new hydroelectric project. Early on in their escape, they try to jump onto a moving train with some hobos, but fall off due to Pete's inability to get on. They then encounter a blind man traveling on a manual railroad car. They hitch a ride, and he foretells their futures.

The group sets out for the treasure. They walk to Pete's cousin's house, who removes their chains. He turns them in to the authorities because he needs the money to support his family. They escape from the burning barn where they were sleeping, and continue on their journey. When they pass a congregation on the banks of a river, Pete and Delmar are enticed by the idea of baptism. As the journey continues, they travel briefly with a young guitarist named Tommy Johnson (Chris Thomas King). When asked why he was at a crossroad in the middle of nowhere, he reveals that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play the guitar. Tommy describes the devil as being "White, white as you folks... with empty eyes and a big hollow voice. He loves to travel around with a mean old hound." This description happens to match the policeman who is pursuing the trio.

The four of them record the song "Man of Constant Sorrow" at a radio broadcast station, calling themselves the Soggy Bottom Boys. While they initially record the song for some easy money, it later becomes famous around the state. The trio parts ways with Tommy after their car is discovered by police, and they continue their adventures on their own. Among the many encounters they have, the most notable are a car trip and bank robbery with the famous bank robber George Nelson (Michael Badalucco), a run-in with three sirens who seduce the group and hypnotize them to sleep before apparently turning Pete into a toad, and a mugging by a cyclopean Bible salesman named Big Dan Teague (John Goodman).

Everett and Delmar arrive in Everett’s home town only to find that Everett's wife, Penny (Holly Hunter), is engaged to Vernon T. Waldrip, campaign manager for gubernatorial candidate Homer Stokes (Wayne Duvall). She refuses to take Everett back and is so ashamed of him that she has been telling their daughters he was hit by a train and killed.

While watching a movie in a cinema, Everett and Delmar discover that Pete is still alive, the sirens having turned him in to collect the bounty on his head. After Everett and Delmar rescue him from jail, he tells them that he gave up the location of the treasure. Everett reveals that there was never any treasure; he only mentioned it to persuade the other men to escape so he could reconcile with his wife. Pete is outraged at this news, primarily because he had only had two weeks left on his original sentence, which has now been extended 50 years in light of his escape.

As Everett scuffles with Pete, the group stumbles upon a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob, who have caught Tommy and are about to hang him. The three disguise themselves as the mob's color guard and attempt a rescue. Big Dan, one of the Klansmen, reveals their identities, and chaos ensues, in which the Grand Wizard of the gathering reveals himself as Stokes. The trio flee the scene with Everett cutting the supports of a large burning cross, which falls on, crushes and incinerates some of the Klansmen ('Big Dan' included) causing chaos among the ranks of the lynch mob.

Everett convinces Pete, Delmar, and Tommy to help him win his wife back. They sneak into a Stokes campaign dinner that she is attending posing as musicians, disguised as old men. Everett tries to convince his wife that he is "bona fide," but she brushes him off. The group begins an impromptu musical performance, during which the crowd recognizes them as the Soggy Bottom Boys and goes wild. Stokes, on the other hand, recognizes them as the group who disgraced his mob and shouts for the music to stop, angering the crowd. After he reveals his white supremacist views, the crowd runs him out of town on a rail. Pappy O'Daniel (Charles Durning), the sitting state governor of Mississippi, seizes the opportunity and endorses the Soggy Bottom Boys, granting all of them a full pardon while the entire event is being recorded and played on the radio. Penny accepts Everett back, but she demands that he find her original ring if they are to be married. As they leave the dinner, they run into a mob taking a jubilant George Nelson to die in the electric chair. Delmar comments, "Looks like George is right back on top again."

The group sets out to retrieve the ring, which is at a cabin in the valley that Everett originally claimed to have hidden the treasure in. When they arrive, the police order their arrest and hanging. Everett protests that they had been pardoned on the radio, but the leader of the police force tells them that it is of no consequence, since the law is only a human institution, plus they have no radio. The guys begin to despair while Everett improvises a prayer to be saved. Suddenly, the valley is flooded and they are saved from hanging. Tommy finds the ring in a desk that he is floating on in the new lake, and they return to town. However, when Everett presents the ring to Penny, she tells him it is the wrong one and demands that he get her ring back. As Everett protests the futility of trying to find it at the bottom of the lake, the blind prophet the trio met earlier rolls by on his railway handcar.


  • George Clooney as Ulysses Everett McGill. A dashing, fast-talking man, Everett was imprisoned for practicing law without a license. He claims to be escaping from prison so that he can find his buried loot in a lake bed, though in reality it was so he can get back to his family before his wife remarries. Ulysses is the Latin form of the name of Odysseus,[5] the hero of Homer's Odyssey. Dan Tyminski provided McGill's singing voice.
  • Tim Blake Nelson as Delmar O'Donnell. Delmar is good-natured but simple-minded. A small-time crook, he was imprisoned for robbing a Piggly Wiggly supermarket in Yazoo City; he claims at first that he is innocent, but later admits to the crime. Delmar says that he will spend his share of Everett's nonexistent $1.2-million buying back his family farm, believing that "you ain't no kind of man if you ain't got land."
  • John Turturro as Pete, whose surname is not clearly established but may be Hogwallop. A crude, brutish criminal, Pete reveals little about his past. He believes in being true to your kin, even when his cousin Washington B. Hogwallop betrays the group. He dreams of moving out west and opening a fine restaurant, where he will be the maître d'. He agreed to go along with the breakout, even though it is revealed that he only had two weeks left on his sentence.
  • Chris Thomas King as Tommy Johnson. He is a very skilled blues musician. He is the accompanying guitarist in the band that Everett unwittingly forms, the Soggy Bottom Boys. He claims that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his skill on guitar. He shares his name and story with Tommy Johnson, a blues musician with a mysterious past, who is said to have sold his soul to the devil at the Crossroads (a story more often attributed to Robert Johnson).[6] The two share a striking similarity of dress.
  • John Goodman as Daniel "Big Dan" Teague. Big Dan is one of the main enemies of the trio in the film. Masquerading as a Bible salesman, he cons Everett, then robs him. Later, he reveals the true identity of the trio when they are in disguise at a Ku Klux Klan rally. Big Dan is blind in one eye; this is similar to Polyphemus the Cyclops in The Odyssey, who has only one eye. It has been suggested that the character is based on the itinerant Bible salesman who exploits a naive woman in the short story "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor.[7]
  • Holly Hunter as Penny McGill, née Wharvey. This character is based on the Homeric character of Penelope in the Ulysses mythos. A demanding woman, Penny Wharvey is fed up with Everett's wheeling and dealing and divorces him while he is in prison, telling their children that he was hit by a train. She is engaged to Vernon T. Waldrip until Everett wins her back.
  • Charles Durning as Governor Menelaus "Pappy" O'Daniel. Pappy is the incumbent Governor of Mississippi. He is frequently seen berating his son and his campaign managers, who are depicted as simpletons. Pappy O'Daniel's first name, Menelaus, is the name of a Greek hero who fought alongside Odysseus in the Trojan War. His character is loosely based on former Governor of Texas W. Lee O'Daniel, who also hosted a radio show and owned a flour mill, and former Governor of Louisiana Jimmie Davis, who recorded a popular version of "You Are My Sunshine" and used it as his political theme song.
  • Daniel von Bargen as Sheriff Cooley. The sheriff pursues the trio for the duration of the film. He eventually captures them after they have been pardoned by the governor himself on the radio; he proposes to hang them regardless of this. He fits Tommy Johnson's description of the devil in that his sunglasses look like "big empty eyes" and he travels with a bloodhound. Most of the times he appears in the film there are flames nearby, usually reflected in his glasses. He further indicates his otherworldliness when, advised that it would be illegal to hang the pardoned fugitives, he says that "the law is a human institution."
  • Wayne Duvall as Homer Stokes. Homer Stokes is the reform candidate in the upcoming election for the position of Governor of Mississippi. His travels the countryside with a midget mascot, who depicts the "little man," and with a broom, with which he promises to "sweep this state clean." He is secretly a Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Ray McKinnon as Vernon T. Waldrip. Waldrip is Penny Wharvey's "bona fide" suitor. He is a weasel of a campaign manager, working for Homer Stokes in his campaign against Pappy O'Daniel. It has been suggested that the character's name is a nod to novelist Howard Waldrop, whose novella A Dozen Tough Jobs is one of the inspirations behind the film.[8]
  • Michael Badalucco as George Nelson. A serial bankrobber who dislikes being called "Baby Face."
  • Stephen Root as Mr. Lund the Radio Station Man. He is the blind radio station manager who pays musicians to "sing into a can" and originally records the Soggy Bottom Boys' hit, "Man of Constant Sorrow."
  • Lee Weaver as the Blind Seer. An important character in the film, the Blind Seer accurately predicts the outcome of the trio's adventure as well as several other happenings. In The Odyssey, a similar role in the story is played by the shade of Tiresias.[9]
  • Ed Gale as the Little Man. Homer Stokes's mascot.

Critical reception

The film was entered into the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.[10]

O Brother, Where Art Thou? was critically successful, with much praise going to its more modern adaption of The Odyssey, and the film received a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Much of the music used in the film is period-specific folk music,[11] including that of Virginia bluegrass singer Ralph Stanley.[12] The musical selection also includes religious music, including Primitive Baptist and traditional African-American gospel, most notably the Fairfield Four, an a cappella quartet with a career extending back to 1921 who appear in the soundtrack and as gravediggers towards the film's end.

There is a notable use of dirges and other macabre songs, a theme that often recurs in Appalachian music[13] ("O Death," "Lonesome Valley," "Angel Band") in contrast to bright, cheerful songs ("Keep On the Sunnyside") in other parts of the movie.

Soggy Bottom Boys

The "Soggy Bottom Boys" singing Man of Constant Sorrow.

The Soggy Bottom Boys, the band that the three main characters form, serve as accompaniment for the movie. The name Soggy Bottom Boys is an homage to the famous Foggy Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band led by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs,[14] but also a humorous name given the two backup singers, who are wet from being baptized earlier in the film. The Soggy Bottom Boys’ hit single is Dick Burnett's "Man of Constant Sorrow," a song that had already enjoyed much success in real life.[15]

After the film's release, the band became so popular that the actual talents behind the music (who were dubbed into the movie) Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Dan Tyminski, Chris Sharp, and others, performed music from O Brother, Where Art Thou? in a Down from the Mountain concert tour and film.[11][16] However, "I'll Fly Away" in the original soundtrack is performed not by Krauss and Welch (as it is on the CD release and was on the concert tour) but by the Kossoy Sisters with Erik Darling (of The Weavers, Tarriers and Rooftop Singers) accompanying on long-neck 5-string banjo.[17]

The voices behind the Soggy Bottom Boys are well-known bluegrass musicians: Union Station's Dan Tyminski (lead on "Man of Constant Sorrow"), Nashville songwriter Harley Allen, and the Nashville Bluegrass Band's Pat Enright.[18] The three won a CMA Award for Single of the Year[18] and a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, both for the song "Man of Constant Sorrow."[4] Tim Blake Nelson, playing Delmar O'Donnell in the movie, sang the lead vocal himself for the song "In the Jailhouse Now".[3]

"Man of Constant Sorrow" has five variations: two are used in the movie, one in the music video, and two in the soundtrack.[19] Two of the variations feature the verses being sung back-to-back, and the other three variations feature additional music between each verse.[19] Despite its subsequent success, "Man of Constant Sorrow" received little significant radio airplay[20] and only charted at #35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts in 2002.[21]

Tommy (Chris Thomas King), the lead guitarist of the Soggy Bottom Boys, is an intended reference to the legend surrounding acclaimed Delta Blues artist Robert Johnson,[22] who claimed to have sold his soul to the devil in return for blues fame.

Similarities between the film and The Odyssey

The opening credits explicitly state the story of the film is based on The Odyssey by Homer. The similarities between O Brother, Where Art Thou? and The Odyssey are numerous, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. While the Coens did not originally intend to base the film on Homer's epic, Joel Coen has been quoted as saying:

It just sort of occurred to us after we’d gotten into it somewhat that it was a story about someone going home, and sort of episodic in nature, and it kind of evolved into that. It’s very loosely and very sort of unseriously based on The Odyssey.

While the overall plot is only vaguely similar to that of the Odyssey, there are certain "episodes" that closely mirror the poem's classical influence.


The only direct references are the line of text shown at the beginning of the film — "O Muse! Sing in me, and through me tell the story..." — which is one translation of the first line of The Odyssey, and also when Delmar refers to the washer women as "sirens", saying, "Caintcha see it Everett! Them sirens did this to Pete! They loved him up an' turned him into a horney-toad!"

Many other characters and situations are allusions to the book:

  • Ulysses, the Latin form of the Greek name Odysseus, is the first name of the film's protagonist, Ulysses Everett McGill.
  • Delmar and Pete represent two aspects of Odysseus's crew: foolishness and mutiny. Specifically, the character of Pete is a parallel to Eurylochus, Odysseus' crew member who rebels against Odysseus's authority and is in the end the cause of the whole crew's folly.
  • Menelaus "Pappy" O'Daniel, who pardons the Soggy Bottom Boys at the end of the film, shares his first name with the King of Sparta, who fought alongside Odysseus at Troy.
  • Everett's wife is named Penny, a shortened version of Penelope, Odysseus' wife.
  • The washing women who seduce the heroes are similar to the Sirens who attempt to seduce Odysseus and his crew, as well as the Lotus Eaters, as they use drugs (alcohol, in this case) to seduce the crew.
  • The Blind Seer is Tiresias, the blind ghost prophet.
  • Daniel "Big Dan" Teague (John Goodman), with his one good eye, is an allusion to Polyphemus the Cyclops. While in "The Odyssey", Odysseus and his men blind the Cyclops with a spear in his one eye, Daniel "Big Dan" Teague stops a pole falling on him only a second before it pierces and kills him, before actually being struck by the Ku Klux Klan burning cross.
  • The Lotus Eaters are represented by the congregation walking trancelike to be baptized.
  • Wash Hogwallop's son, who greets Everett, Delmar, and Pete with a rifle, is loosely parallel to Nausicaa, the young princess who is the first to greet Odysseus when he washes up on the shores of Phaeacia.
  • The blind man who runs the radio station and pays Everett, Pete, Delmar, and Tommy money for singing is a reference to the blind seer, Demodokos. Some scholars claim that Demodokos is a representation of Homer himself, who was also blind.
  • George Nelson shooting the cattle alludes to Odysseus's crew slaughtering Helios's cattle in The Odyssey. Zeus casts down a lightning bolt to punish Odysseus's crew for killing the sun god's cattle, and George Nelson's punishment is the electric chair, alluding back to Zeus's lightning bolt.
  • The name Delmar means "of the sea," and the name Peter means "the rock." This is a loose reference to when Odysseus travels between the cliffs in which the six headed monster, Scylla, stands and the sea which holds Charybdis, the whirlpool. Therefore, Everett travels between Delmar (the sea) and Pete (the rock).

Based on Homer's epic poem, "The Odyssey"

Parallels with the Underworld

  • The scene in the theater, when Pete tries to warn Everett and Delmar, parallels Odysseus' descent into the underworld, Hades. Delmar, believing that Pete had died, mistakes him (and thus also the other people in the theater) for a ghost. In this scene, Pete parallels Tiresias in the underworld. Odysseus sees a ghost of his mother in the underground world.
  • Following Everett's beating by Waldrip, Everett warns Delmar of the treachery of women. This is much like how Agamemnon, who had said he had been betrayed by his wife and killed by her new husband, warns Odysseus not to trust women.

Miscellaneous parallels

  • The dialogue in a scene between Everett and his daughters also gives a nod to its ancient influence. Using Latin terms, one of the girls says that Waldrip is bona fide, and Everett responds that he is the pater familias. The girls also use the word "suitor" at least three times.
  • In the scene where the trio and George Nelson are sitting around the fire after the robbery at Itta Bena, there are Greek columns in the background. (The columns could possibly be meant to be Windsor Ruins, located outside of Port Gibson, MS.)
  • Everett also comes back to stop the marriage and fight Vernon, much as Odysseus comes back to kill the suitors. Everett, however, is badly beaten by Vernon, perhaps creating a parallel with Telemachus' inability to discharge his mother's suitors.
  • In one scene, Everett, Pete and Delmar disguise themselves as members of the Ku Klux Klan. In The Odyssey, the blind cyclops lets his sheep out to graze, trying to make sure that no one was attempting to escape by feeling the sheep's backs, but Odysseus tied his men and himself to the undersides of the sheep and so they got out.
  • Everett calls himself "The Old Campaigner" or "The Old Tactician" on various occasions, an epithet for Odysseus.
  • Everett has 7 daughters, a unique spin on Odysseus having only one son. Also, Everett has never seen his youngest daughter, much like Odysseus has seen very little of his son Telemachus, who was only a month old when Odysseus left for Troy.
  • Pete is thought by Delmar to have been turned into a frog, mirroring Circe's transformation of Odysseus' crew into swine.
  • The trio have an encounter with sirens, much like Odysseus and his crew did, at a river, where they are entranced by their singing.

Other allusions

The title of the film is a reference to the 1941 Preston Sturges film Sullivan's Travels, in which the protagonist (a director) wants to direct a film about the Great Depression called O Brother, Where Art Thou?[3] that will be a "commentary on modern conditions, stark realism, the problems that confront the average man." Lacking any experience in this area, the director sets out on a journey to experience the human suffering of the average man but is sabotaged by his anxious studio. The film has some similarity in tone to Sturges' film, including scenes with prison gangs and a black church choir. The prisoners at the picture show scene is also a direct homage to a nearly identical scene in Sturges' film.[23]

The film also draws on and alludes to the Southern Gothic literary tradition of writers such as William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Eudora Welty.

  • The scene of Everett, Delmar, and Pete overcoming the Ku Klux Klan color guard and disguise themselves in their clothing is very similar to that in "The Wizard of Oz", where Lion, Tinman, and Scarecrow also do the same to the soldier patrolling the castle.

Look of the film

The use of color correction in the film gives it a distinctive sepia tone.

One of the notable features of the film is its use of digital color correction to give the film a sepia-tinted look.[24]

Ethan and Joel favored a dry, dusty Delta look with golden sunsets. They wanted it to look like an old hand-tinted picture, with the intensity of colors dictated by the scene and natural skin tones that were all shades of the rainbow.

cinematographer Roger Deakins, [25]

This was the fifth film collaboration between the Coen Brothers and Roger Deakins, and it was slated to be shot in Mississippi at a time of year when the foliage, grass, trees, and bushes would be a lush green.[25] It was filmed near locations in Canton, Mississippi; Florence, South Carolina; and Wardville, Louisiana.[citation needed] After shooting tests, including film bipack and bleach bypass techniques, Deakins suggested digital mastering be used.[25] The cinematographer subsequently spent eleven weeks fine-tuning the look, mainly targeting the greens, making them a burnt yellow and desaturating the overall image timing the digital files.[24] This made it the first feature film to be entirely color corrected by digital means, narrowly beating Nick Park's Chicken Run.[24] The groundbreaking digital timing work on the film has become legendary in the industry because the technology was unproven and the Coens, Deakins and post production supervisor, David Diliberto were unrelenting in pursuit of achieving the intended look.

Deakins was recognized with both Oscar and ASC Outstanding Achievement Award nominations for his work on the film.[25]

See also


  1. ^ "Box Office Data:O Brother Where Art Thou". The Numbers.com. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2000/BTHOU.php. 
  2. ^ "O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=obrotherwhereartthou.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b c Lafrance, J.D. (2004-04-05). "The Coen Brothers FAQ". pp. p33–35. http://www.youknow-forkids.com/coenbrothersfaq.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  4. ^ a b "2001 Grammy Awards — Infoplease.com". 2001 Grammy Award Winners. Infoplease.com. 2001-02-27. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0886880.html. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Ulysses — Definitions from Dictionary.com" (Dictionary). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Lexico Publishing Group. 2007. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Ulysses. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  6. ^ Virginia.edu
  7. ^ Schaap, David. "Review: O Brother, Where Art Thou?". Nothing More, and Nothing Less. Mars Hill Review. http://www.marshillreview.com/reviews/brother.shtm. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  8. ^ Datlow, Ellen; Howard Waldrop (2003). "Howard Waldrop Interviewed". Readercon 15. http://fanac.org/Other_Cons/ReaderCon/r15-rpt.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  9. ^ Skidmore, Joel (1997). "The Odyssey — Book Ten — Detailed Version". Odysseus—Based on the Odyssey, Homer's epic from Greek mythology. Mythweb. http://www.mythweb.com/odyssey/book10.html#notes4back. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  10. ^ "Festival de Cannes: O Brother, Where Art Thou?". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/5158/year/2000.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  11. ^ a b Menaker, Daniel (2000-11-30). "A Film Score Odyssey Down a Quirky Country Road". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/30/movies/arts-in-america-a-film-score-odyssey-down-a-quirky-country-road.html. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  12. ^ "NPR: Pioneering Bluegrass Musician Ralph Stanley". National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=892951. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  13. ^ McClatchy, Debbie (2000-06-27). "A Short History of Appalachian Traditional Music". Appalachian Traditional Music — A Short History. http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/appalach.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  14. ^ Temple Kirby, Jack (2006). Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South. UNC Press. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-8078-3057-4. 
  15. ^ "Man of Constant Sorrow (trad./The Stanley Brothers/Bob Dylan)". Man of Constant Sorrow. http://www.bobdylanroots.com/sorrow.html. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  16. ^ "Video of the performance". http://youtube.com/watch?v=p8LCYS_85Dk. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  17. ^ "O Kossoy Sisters, Where Art Thou Been?". http://www.countrystandardtime.com/d/article.asp?xid=548. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  18. ^ a b "Soggy Bottom Boys Hit the Top at 35th CMA Awards". http://www.bmi.com/news/entry/233045. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  19. ^ a b Long, Roger J. (2006-04-09). ""O Brother, Where Art Thou?" entry page". http://home1.gte.net/longrj2/fluff/o_brother.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  20. ^ "O Brother, why art thou so popular". BBC News. 2002-02-28. pp. 1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/1845962.stm. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  21. ^ "Top Music Charts — Hot 100 — Billboard 200 — Music Genre Sales". pp. 1. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=357&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Hot+Country+Songs&ci=3045248&cdi=7847789&cid=04%2F27%2F2002. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  22. ^ Orshoski, Wes (2001-09-22). "Chris King builds on 'O Brother'". Billboard: 11. 
  23. ^ "Sullivan's Travels (1941)". http://www.filmsite.org/sull.html. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  24. ^ a b c Robertson, Barbara (2006-05-01). "CGSociety — The Colorists". The Colorists. The CGSociety. pp. 3. http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=3549. Retrieved 2007-10-24. Filmed near locations in Canton, MS; Florence, SC; and Wardville, LA.
  25. ^ a b c d Allen, Robert. "Digital Domain". The Digital Domain: A brief history of digital film mastering — a glance at the future. http://www.cameraguild.com/technology/digital_history.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 comedy film about three stumblebum convicts who escape to go on a quest for treasure and who meet various characters while learning where their real fortune lies in the 1930s Deep South.

Directed by Joel Coen. Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. Inspired by The Odyssey by Homer.
They have a plan, but not a clue.


Ulysses Everett McGill

  • Well, any human being will cast about in a moment of stress. No, the fact is, they're flooding this valley so they can hydroelectric up the whole durn state. Yes, sir, the South is gonna change. Everything's gonna be put on electricity and run on a paying basis. Out with the old spiritual mumbo jumbo, the superstitions, and the backward ways. We're gonna see a brave new world where they run everybody a wire and hook us all up to a grid. Yes, sir, a veritable age of reason. Like the one they had in France. Not a moment too soon.


Delmar: [As George "Babyface" Nelson fires his tommy gun into a herd of cattle] Oh, George. Not the livestock!

Homer Stokes: Is you, or is you ain't, my constichency?

Junior: Maybe we should get us some of that re-form, Pappy?
Pappy: [Hits him with his hat] I'm the goddamn incumbent!

Pappy: Holey Moley! These boys are a hit!
Junior: But Pappy, they's integrated!

Everett: The treasure is still there boys, believe me.
Delmar: [about the Blind Seer] But how'd he know about the treasure?
Everett: I don't know Delmar. The blind are reputed to possess sensitivities compensating for their lack of sight, even to the point of developing paranormal psychic powers. Now, clearly seeing into the future would fall neatly into that category; it's not so surprising then that an organism deprived of its earthly vision...
Pete: He said we wouldn't get it. He said we wouldn't get the treasure we seek on account of our ob-stac-les.
Everett: Well what the hell does he know? He's just an ignorant old man.

Everett: The old tactician has got a plan. For the transportation that is. I don't know how I'm gonna keep my coiffure in order.
Pete: How's this a plan? How we gonna get a car?
Everett: Sell that. I figure it can only have painful association for Wash.
Pete: [reading] "To Washington Bartholomew Hogwallop, from his loving Cora. Amor Fidel... is."
Everett: It was in his bureau. I figure it'll fetch us enough cash for a good used auto-voiture, and a little left over besides.
Pete: You miserable little snake! You stole from my kin!
Everett: Who was fixin' to betray us.
Pete: You didn't know that at the time.
Everett: So I borrowed it until I did know!
Pete: That don't make no sense!
Everett: Pete, it's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.

Everett: Well, I guess hard times flush the chump. Everybody's lookin' for answers... Where the hell's he goin'?
[Delmar runs out to be baptized]
Pete: Well I'll be a sonofabitch. Delmar's been saved.
Delmar: Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transmissions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward.
Everett: Delmar, what are you talking about? We've got bigger fish to fry.
Delmar: The preacher says all my sins is warshed away, including that Piggly Wiggly I knocked over in Yazoo.
Everett: I thought you said you was innocent of those charges?
Delmar: Well I was lyin'. And the preacher says that that sin's been warshed away too. Neither God nor man's got nothin' on me now. C'mon in boys, the water is fine.

Tommy Johnson: I had to be up at that there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil.
Everett: Well, ain't it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.
Pete: I've always wondered, what's the devil look like?
Everett: Well, there are all manner of lesser imps and demons, Pete, but the great Satan hisself is red and scaly with a bifurcated tail, and he carries a hay fork.
Tommy Johnson: Oh, no. No, sir. He's white, as white as you folks, with empty eyes and a big hollow voice. He loves to travel around with a mean old hound. That's right.

Pete: Well hell, it ain't square one! Ain't nobody gonna pick up three filthy, unshaved hitch-hikers, and one of them a know-it-all that can't keep his trap shut.
Everett: Pete, the personal rancor reflected in that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment. However, I would like to address your attitude of hopeless negativism--consider the lilies of the goddamn field...or hell, look at Delmar here as your paradigm of hope!
Delmar: Yeah, look at me.

General Store Clerk: I can get the part from Bristol. It'll take two weeks. Here's your pomade.
Everett: Two weeks? That don't do me no good.
Clerk: Nearest Ford auto man's Bristol.
Everett: Hold on, now. I don't want this pomade. I want Dapper Dan.
Clerk: I don't carry Dapper Dan. I carry Fop.
Everett: Well, I don't want Fop, goddammit. I'm a Dapper Dan man.
Clerk: You watch your language, young fella. This is a public market. If you want Dapper Dan, I can order it for you, have it in about two weeks.
Everett: Well ain't this place a geographical oddity! Two weeks from everywhere! Forget it! [slams money on the counter] I'll have a dozen hair nets.

Everett: Deceitful, two-faced she-woman. Never trust a female, Delmar, remember that one simple precept and your time with me will not have been ill spent.
Delmar: Ok, Everett.
Everett: Hit by a train! Truth means nothing to a woman, Delmar. Trying for the subjective. You ever been with a woman?
Delmar: Well, I... I... I gotta get the family farm back before I can start thinking about that.
Everett: That's right, if then. Believe me Delmar, woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man.
Delmar: Everett, I never figured you for a pater familias.
Everett: Oh yes, I have spread my seed.

Pappy: It seems that Mr. Stokes has a grudge against the Soggy Bottom Boys, on account of their rough and rowdy past.
Pappy: Seems, Mr. Stokes is the kind of fella who wants to cast the first stone. Well, I'm with you folks. I'm a forgive 'n' forget Christian, and I say, if their rambunctiousness, and misdemeanory, is behind them... [turns away from the mike, towards Everett] It is, ain't it, boys?
Everett: Uh, yes sir, it is.
Pappy: Then, by the powers vested in me, I hereby proclaim that they is pardoned. And furthermore, by way of endorsing my candidacy, the Soggy Bottom Boys are gonna lead us all in a rousing chorus of "You Are My Sunshine."
[Applause. Pappy turns away from the mike, towards Everett]
Pappy: Ain't you, boys?
Everett: Governor, it's one of our favorites.
Pappy: Son... you're gonna go far. [to the audience] Furthermore, in the second Pappy O'Daniel administration, these boys is gonna be my brain trust.
Delmar: What's that mean, Everett?
Everett: Well, that means we'll be the power behind the throne, so to speak.


  • They have a plan, but not a clue.
  • Sometimes, you have to lose your way to get back home.


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