Talk:Barton Fink

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Barton Fink is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 13, 2013.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 20, 2008 Peer review Reviewed
January 24, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on December 15, 2008.
Current status: Featured article
WikiProject Albums (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Albums, an attempt at building a useful resource on recordings from a variety of genres. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Film (Rated FA-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Film. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see lists of open tasks and regional and topical task forces. To use this banner, please refer to the documentation. To improve this article, please refer to the guidelines.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the American cinema task force.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the British cinema task force.

Someone FIX the title of this article[edit]

It's suppose to be "Barton Fink (film)" and not "Barton Fink" like EVERY OTHER Wikipedia article about a movie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Only if there's another article likely to have the same name. (Usually if the movie is based on a book, or has a common title like "Australia". The name of this page is fine. Scartol • Tok 00:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

oh ok, then sorry about that —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:37, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Mayhew and Audrey[edit]

The Mayhew character obviously draws from William Faulkner -- though only partly. Most of all Mayhew and Audrey are based on crime writer Dashiell Hammett and his mistress, playwright Lillian Hellman. Hellman always denied that she had written any of Hammetts stories (the few he finished after they met) -- instead she admitted that Hammett had greatly helped her with her early plays. They officially co-wrote at least one screenplay. The Hammett/Hellman angle is emphasized in the film, as, after the killings of Mayhew and Audrey, Barton fears that 'Mad Man' Mundt has also killed his -- Barton's -- parents: Samuel (Hammetts original first name) and Lillian.

There's more clous to the Hammett connection, such as Mayhews white clothes, described as typically Hammett by Lillian Hellman. Also, according to Hellmann, Wallace Beery (doing his first movie in 1913) was the favourite actor of Hammetts grandmother... -- Linkomfod 18:59, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

A veiled attack against Strasberg, Odets, and the Group theatre in general?[edit]

I find it interesting there is literally no commentary out there, in any review of the film, about how the film is a total and unabashed attack against the Group Theatre and its illustrious members such as Strasberg and Odets, among other legendary luminaries. Theotherday 09:03, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

As postmodernists, the Coens are probably not especially "attacking" this group: What they're after is modernism in general, and its problems with balancing political radicalism and cultural elitism. -- Linkomfod 19:04, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 01:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:BartonFink.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:BartonFink.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 07:03, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

This has been remedied. Thanks, HAL! Scartol • Tok 15:47, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Major reconstruction[edit]

I have just completed a major renovation to this article, including references to nearly every critical work I could find about the movie. I hope to take it to FA status, so please offer any feedback you like. I'll show you the life of the mind! Scartol • Tok 19:01, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Dude, seriously, and you didn't like Mulholland Dr.?? Wtf? I remember I couldn't get through this movie when I tried to see it. Actually, there are quite a few similarities between these films. Ok. I'm about halfway through and some things occur to me. I think the Plot section should be closer to the top because it introduces the characters. When information is presented about Charlie running through the halls while it's on fire, that doesn't make any sense unless one has already read the Plot section.
You know you can use non-free movie stills if what is being shown in the stills is addressed as a significant issue in the article, right? The location and description of Hotel Earle, by the way, makes me want to see what it's like.
More later, as I work through my ADD. --Moni3 (talk) 19:40, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Lead links[edit]

This recent copyedit removed a number of links in the lead. I'm worried that the effort to remove overlinking (which I appreciate) has tilted the balance in the other direction. I feel that the links in the lead to William Shakespeare and Stanley Kubrick and Preston Sturges deserve links, but I'd like to know what other folks think. Thanks for your feedback. Scartol • Tok 15:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I did that reduction in wikilinking - I have been instructed that only one wikilink per subject per page is the desired goal; I have also been instructed that too many links in the lead paragraph is an undesirable situation as it makes that paragraph look like an ocean of blue, so the applicable links should either be placed: a) in the first place the subject appears; or b) reasonably spread out so as to not overwhelm a particular section of the page.  That was my goal.Raymondwinn (talk) 17:09, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The lead is a bit of a special case when it comes to the generally practiced rule of one-link-per-page. We do want to avoid overlinking in the lead, but the place to do so is by striking links to commonly-known locations and concepts (no need to link street or New York, for example). I'm curious to know how other people feel about the people named above. (Also, please be careful about how you reply to messages – I had to fix the formatting in this section to keep it all from running together. Are you using a third-party program?) Scartol • Tok 13:09, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Screenshot comparisons[edit]

When reconstructing this article to lead it in the direction of FA-land, I created these images to compare the characters in Barton Fink with their real-life inspirations. At the FAC, an objection was raised about the necessity of these non-free images. In the interest of gathering consensus, what do other folks think? Do they significantly help the reader's understanding? Scartol • Tok 20:50, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I think the Lipnick/Mayer photo fails because it appears to unnecessarily emphasize that one relationship, while the text states the character is a composite of several producers or producer types. However, the Mayhew/Faukner photo provides a good illustration of the Coens' statement that Mahoney was cast because of his resemblance to Faulkner. Although it isn't necessary for the article, there is a solid link between the photo and the film analysis. Given that more substantial link, I think a case can made for fair use. CactusWriter | needles 21:59, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
The Mahoney/Faulkner image is striking, but I wonder if a better picture can be found to show the similarity between Turturro and Odets. Odets had curly hair [1]that is not visible in the photo shown. Stetsonharry (talk) 05:06, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


I made some minor tweaks to the Clifford Odets section of this impressive article. For instance, the article said that Odets brought women up to his "hotel room" as recorded in the journal, when actually he lived in an apartment house (One Fifth Ave.) in 1940. I'm basing these fixes on the Journal itself, and not the source cited, so there may have to be an adjustment in the sourcing. Stetsonharry (talk) 05:01, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't have access to the journal, so if you make changes to the information, please also include footnotes which point to the source you're using. Scartol • Tok 15:29, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Why the article has to tell the complete movie? Why not a simple synopsis? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:29, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

The plot section is not long compared to the rest of the article, and is needed to understand the movie. Stetsonharry (talk) 20:39, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
User Darrenhusted recently moved the plot to the beginning of the article, claiming in the edit summary "Plot not in correct place for MOS". I've searched the MOS for any mention of this, and can't find a single word about where the plot summary ought to go. I feel strongly that the background should go first, so that the reader knows the background of the work. Can anyone explain the thinking behind this change — or, better yet, point me to some mention in the MOS? Scartol • Tok 15:32, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
He may be referencing MOS:FILM, which has the "Plot" section at first, though the guidelines do not explicitly state that it has to be in this order. The standard argument is that it helps to put the "Plot" section first since it establishes context for the rest of the article, especially for those who have not seen the film. I prefer it at the beginning, too, but it's not a dealbreaker for me. —Erik (talkcontrib) 17:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Who played who?[edit]

A list of characters and which actor played them would have been helpful ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Academy Awards[edit]

Is there any particular reason that none of Barton Finks Academy Award nominations aren't mentioned? This is a genuine question - not trying to sound snarky. .... 14:15, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

The only reason is that I am a doofus who somehow forgot when I was reconstructing it for FAC. Thank you for pointing out this glaring omission – I have added the info at the end of the first Reception paragraph. Scartol • Tok 19:11, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Coherence issue[edit]

The first paragraph of the Symbolism section seems a bit off to me, particularly this: Others have suggested that the second half of the movie is an extended dream sequence.[33] Some elements of the film are clearly meant to arrive at such conclusions; for example, when Barton enters the elevator for the first time he says to Pete the doorman: "Six, please." Pete responds: "Next stop, six." An instant later, the bell sounds and as Barton exits: "This stop, six." Together, this dialogue announces the Biblical Number of the Beast.[60]. I don't see how the doorman thing (which happens in the first 10-15 minutes of the film) is an example of what the second half of the movie should be.

Another side note: the lede mentions the box rather prominently, pointing out that critics can't agree on what it symbolizes. But the box is never mentioned again for the rest of the article, which leaves the reader wondering. Everything in the lede should be explained in more depth somewhere within the article. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 04:58, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree that the box needs mention in the article, and that the paragraph you mention is a bit disorganized. (It makes sense to me, but that's probably because I wrote it, and I've seen the movie like 30 times by now.) I'll try to clean these up soon. Scartol • Tok 17:10, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 02:24, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

About dashes... I just boldly changed all the dashes to spaced ndashes, before I noticed your comments at FAC about using mdashes in quotations. For what it's worth, I think consistency is more important, and tweaking punctuation within quotes is usually acceptable (as long as it doesn't change the meaning or style of the quote, which in this case it doesn't). What had thrown me off was one mdash in the lede that wasn't in quotes (it looks like it wasn't like that when this was in FAC, and was only recently changed by this random edit). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 05:03, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I expect that em dash was added after the FAC passed; I'm always very rigorous about using spaced en dashes in my writing. Thanks for fixing them, although I personally prefer fidelity to the original, since I feel that there is a difference in meaning depending on the type of punctuation used. (Then again, I'm a pedantic English teacher and something of a nerd, heh.) Scartol • Tok 17:10, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't mind if you want to restore them to the way they were; you have a system that makes sense, I just hadn't noticed at first because of that one stray em dash someone had stuck in. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 02:24, 24 November 2009 (UTC)


I've just finished watching the film again and thought I'd read up on it - I'm very impressed by this page indeed, what a nice surprise. Well done to all concerned. I had a few thoughts while watching but know they're all OR but wondered if anyone else in print has commented on them and if so if they might be worth including?

  • I picked up on the bell sounds thing, as mentioned in the article, but one seems to be missed out from the article. The three main occurrences are when Barton's summoned at the restaurant, when he checks into the Hotel Earle and the bell of the elevator. All rings signify significant events in his life - hearing about going to Hollywood, checking into the hotel where Audrey and others will be murdered, and the elevator taking him up and down and most signifcantly ringing when Charlie reappears with his shotgun.
  • When Barton and Audrey roll on to the bed the camera pans top the left (the start of the famous plug hole tracking shot) and we see Audrey's feet come off the floor and Barton raising his feet to kick off his shoes. Is this a subtle nod to the Hays Code which said that couples filmed on a bed had to have their feet on the ground at all times to maintain propriety?
  • Shoes seem significant - Lipnick kissing the sole of Barton's shoe; the shoes in the corridor for cleaning; Barton and Charlie's shoes getting muddled and Barton slipping his feet into Charlie's (symbolic as he can't get his head into Charlie's space ...?); Barton kicking off his shoes before sex.
  • Listening/hearing: Charlie says at least three times he has some stories to tell Barton (as we later learn, he most certainly does), but Barton, busy expounding his own theories, doesn't want to hear them and Charlie later accuses him of not wanting to listen. We see both Charlie and Barton with earplugs. Geisler's secretary doesn't listen to him despite him correcting her pronunciation of his name every time she says it incorrectly.

Other points on the article:

  • The description of Minsk as the capital of Belarus (twice in the article) jars, as Belarus per se didn't exist then; Minsk certanly wasn't a capital city during WW2: at the time the film is set, Belarus was a part of the Soviet Union. Can this be made clear?
  • "During filming, the Coens were contacted by an animal rights group who expressed concern about how mosquitoes would be treated" sounds too fantastic to be true. Although cited, are we sure that this isn't just another Coen Brothers' ruse, similar to the "Fargo-is-based-on-a-true-story" one? (After all, when queried about that by journalists they maintained it was true despite it not being) (talk) 16:06, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I like some of your thoughts in the first section, but they are (as you admit) WP:OR, so we can't include them. This is true about the last item as well -- it may be a scam that they were contacted by an animal rights group, but until we have some kind of confirmation, we can't include it. (Or even if a reliable source gave a good argument in that direction.)
As for Minsk, you're right that Belarus didn't exist per se, but according to the article on Minsk: "From 1919–1991, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic." So maybe technical accuracy would demand rewording like: "Lipnick is originally from what at the time was the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic capital city Minsk", but that seems unwieldy. I'd be interested to know what other folks think. Scartol • Tok 19:31, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

TFA nomination[edit]

This article is currently up for nomination as a Today's Featured Article.--Chimino (talk) 03:07, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

References in plot summary[edit]

Can someone explain to me why the plot summary needed references? My understanding is that the source for the summary is the film itself, and that it does not require other sources. Am I missing something? ---The Old JacobiteThe '45 17:25, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia entry or essay?[edit]

Hi. The article reads more like the second than the first. Is that OK? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

It depends. What's not allowed is original research, a "personal essay." An article about a piece of art of culture is bound to involve exploring subjective elements (style, symbolism, themes), but if it works from reliable sources, it's OK. In two sittings I looked over the article with your question in mind; aside from references to the screenplay, other sources are cited, and assuming the arguments in the article are found in these sources, this should be fine. Ribbet32 (talk) 21:48, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Barton Fink. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 20:53, 27 October 2016 (UTC)