Burn After Reading

Synopsis: Osbourne Cox, a Balkan expert, resigned from the CIA because of a drinking problem, so he begins a memoir. His wife wants a divorce and expects her lover, Harry, a philandering State Department marshal, to leave his wife. A CD-ROM falls out of a gym bag at a Georgetown fitness center. Two employees there try to turn it into cash: Linda, who wants money for cosmetic surgery, and Chad, an amiable goof. Information on the disc leads them to Osbourne who rejects their sales pitch; then they visit the Russian embassy. To sweeten the pot, they decide they need more of Osbourne's secrets. Meanwhile, Linda's boss likes her, and Harry's wife leaves for a book tour. All roads lead to Osbourne's house.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Production: Focus Features
  Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 27 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

I don't think you'd disapprove.

Katie has trouble accepting it.

But sometimes there is

a higher patriotism, Dad.

We've seen this...

I know this kind of men.

We've seen this.

Mrs. Cox, you can't let this man take

advantage of you. And he will. He will.

Yes, this is my fear.

Thought he's trying-what he says-he's

trying to put himself together, but---

Yeah. Look. Sure I'm obliged to

tell you to try to salvage things.

And you should. It's not-unheard of.

People turn themselves around.

But you haven't broached

the possibility of divorce yet?

- No.

- Well, that's good.

Because first you should get his

financials. Before he's forwarned.

Because here's a man,

here's a man practised and deceit,

this is almost, you could say,

it's his job.

And there's no reason,

it's not improper,

there's no reason you shouldn't get

a picture of the household financials.

Paper files, computer files, whatever---

it's your prerogative.

You can be a spy too, madam.

Do this before he's put on alert.

Before the turtle can draw in his head

and in his, uh...

- Feet.

- ...Feet.

And hopefully everything will work out.

He will reform.

But! If not:
forwarned is forearmed.

We were young and committed,

and there was nothing we could not do.

We thought of the Agency less...



The principals of George Kennan-

a personal hero of mine-

like the fabled "Murrow's Boys"

at a time of...

You've reached the Cox group.

We can't answer your call right...



No, she is at number 5719.

This is the Cox group. You can reach

her on her portable or at her office.


Number 4!


And number 6!


Yes, yes!

I should try to get a run in.



Honey, at princeton reunion Dinner

See you later

Library Closed for

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Joel Coen

Joel Coen was born on November 29, 1954 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Joel Daniel Coen. He is a producer and writer, known for No Country for Old Men (2007), The Big Lebowski (1998) and Fargo (1996). He has been married to Frances McDormand since April 1, 1984. They have one child. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Burn After Reading" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 12 Jul 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/burn_after_reading_4839>.

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