The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Film poster
Directed by Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Produced by
Written by
  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen
Music by Carter Burwell[1]
Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel
Edited by Roderick Jaynes
Distributed by Netflix
Release date
  • August 31, 2018 (2018-08-31) (Venice)
  • November 16, 2018 (2018-11-16) (United States)
Running time
132 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an American western anthology film written, directed, and produced by the Coen brothers. It stars Tim Blake Nelson, Liam Neeson, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, and Tom Waits. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2018, where it won the Golden Osella Award for Best Screenplay[3][4] and is scheduled to be released November 16 on Netflix after a theatrical run.[5][6]


Six chapters present a different story from the wild frontier. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs tells the story of a sharp-shooting songster. In Near Algodones, a wannabe bank robber gets his due and then some. Meal Ticket is a gothic tale about two weary travelling performers. All Gold Canyon is a story about a prospector mining for gold, while a woman finds an unexpected promise of love, along with a dose of life’s cruel irony, on a wagon train across the prairies in The Gal Who Got Rattled. Finally, ghostly laughs haunt The Mortal Remains as a Lady rains judgment upon a motley crew of strangers undertaking a final carriage ride.


The Ballad of Buster Scruggs[edit]

Near Algodones[edit]

Meal Ticket[edit]

All Gold Canyon[edit]

The Gal Who Got Rattled[edit]

  • Zoe Kazan as Alice Longabaugh
  • Bill Heck as Billy Knapp
  • Grainger Hines as Mr. Arthur
  • Jackamoe Buzzell as Another Man

The Mortal Remains[edit]


Joel and Ethan Coen announced The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in January 2017 as a collaboration with Annapurna Television.[7] Netflix picked up the project that August as a six-part series.[8] The work is based on Western-themed short stories, written by the Coens over a 25-year period, that differ in mood and subject.[6]

Throughout 2017 and into the start of 2018, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, Willie Watson, Ralph Ineson, Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root, Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson joined the cast.[9][10][11][12]

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was filmed partly in the Nebraska Panhandle, and casting calls went out for "ordinary" Nebraskans to appear as extras.[13] Some filming also took place in New Mexico, location for the Coen films No Country for Old Men and True Grit.[14]

In July 2018, it was reported that the limited series had been retooled into a single feature film whilst still retaining its anthological hook.[2]


  1. ^ "Carter Burwell to Score Netflix's 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'". FilmMusicReporter. October 11, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Tapley, Kristopher (July 25, 2018). "Surprise! The Coens' 'Ballad of Buster Scruggs' Is a Film and It's Headed for Oscar Season". Variety. Retrieved July 25, 2018. 
  3. ^ Roxborough, Scott (August 31, 2018). "Coen Brothers Say Their Netflix Western 'Ballad of Buster Scruggs' Will Get Theatrical Release". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 31, 2018. 
  4. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (2018-09-08). "Venice Film Festival: Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Wins Golden Lion (Complete Winners List)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-09-10. 
  5. ^ Walsh, Savana. "11 Original Netflix Movies Out Fall 2018 That Will Make For A Perfect Autumn Marathon". Bustle. Retrieved August 10, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b Chu, Henry (August 31, 2018). "Coen Brothers Confirm Theatrical Release for 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2018. 
  7. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (January 10, 2017). "Coen Brothers Set First-Ever TV Project With Annapurna". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 31, 2018. 
  8. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (August 9, 2017). "Netflix Lands Coen Brothers' Anthology Series 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 31, 2018. 
  9. ^ Dickinson, Chrissie. "Willie Watson sounds like a man from another time". Retrieved December 29, 2017. 
  10. ^ Giroux, Jack (July 9, 2017). "'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' Cast Includes James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Zoe Kazan, and More". /Film. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (August 9, 2017). "Coen Brothers' TV Series 'Ballad of Buster Scruggs' Lands at Netflix". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  12. ^ "'Exclusive: Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson to star in Coen Brothers' Ballad Of Buster Scruggs". Entertainment IE. January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018. 
  13. ^ Hammel, Paul (July 20, 2017). "'Coen brothers seek 'ordinary' looking Nebraskans for new miniseries being filmed in Panhandle". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 
  14. ^ Gomez, Adrian (June 28, 2017). "Coen Brothers to begin production of 'Ballad of Buster Scruggs' in NM". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2017. 

External links[edit]