ON BARTON FINK:
He is a bespectacled man in his thirties, hale but somewhat bookish. He
stands, tuxedoed, in the wings of a theater, looking out at the stage,
listening intently to end of a performance.
In the shadows behind him an old stagehand leans against a flat,
expressionlessly smoking a cigarette, one hand on a thick rope that hangs
from the ceiling.
The voices of the performing actors echo in from the offscreen stage:
I'm blowin' out of here, blowin' for good.
I'm kissin' it all goodbye, these four stinkin'
walls, the six flights up, the el that roars
by at three A.M. like a cast-iron wind. Kiss
'em goodbye for me, Maury! I'll miss 'em -
like hell I will!
Not this time, Lil! I'm awake now, awake
for the first time in years. Uncle Dave said
Daylight is a dream if you've lived with
your eyes closed. Well my eyes are open now!
I see that choir, and I know they're dressed
in rags! But we're part of that choir, both of
us - yeah, and you, Maury, and Uncle Dave too!
The sun's coming up, kid. They'll be hawking
the fish down on Fulton Street.
Let 'em hawk. Let 'em sing their hearts out.
That's it, kid. Take that ruined choir. Make it
So long, Maury.
We hear a door open and close, then approaching footsteps. A tall, dark
sctor in a used tweed suit and carrying a beat-up valise passes in front of
From offscreen stage:
We'll hear from that kid. And I don't mean a
The actor sets the valise down and then stands waiting int he shadows behind
An older man in work clothes - not wardrobe - passes in front of Barton from
the other direction, pauses at the edge of the stage and cups his hands to
FISH! FRESH FISH!
As the man walks back off the screen:
Let's spit on our hands and get to work. It's
Not any more Lil...
Barton mouths the last line in sync with the offscreen actor:
With this the stagehand behind Barton furiously pulls the rope hand-over-
hand and we hear thunderous applause and shouts of "Bravo!"
As the stagehand finishes bringing the curtain down, somewhat muting the
applause, the backstage actor trots out of frame toward the stage.
The stagehand pulls on an adjacent rope, bringing the curtain back up and
unmuting the applause.
Barton Fink seems dazed. He has been joined by two other men, both dressed
in tuxedos, both beaming toward the stage.
Looking across a tenement set at the backs of the cast as the curtain rises
on the enthusiastic house. The actors take their bows and the cry of
"Author, Author" goes up from the crowd.
The actors turn to smile at Barton in the wings.
He hesitates, unable to take it all in.
He is gently nudged toward the stage by the two tuxedoed gentlemen.
As he exits toward the stage the applause is deafening.
Pushing a maitre 'd who looks back over his shoulder as he leads the way
through the restaurant.
Your table is ready, Monsieur Fink...several members
of your party have already arrived...
Is Garland Stanford here?
He called to say he'd be a few minutes late...
Ah, here we are...
Toward a large semi-circular booth. Three guests, two me and a woman in
evening wear, are rising and beaming at Barton. A fat middle-aged man, one
of the tuxedoed gentlemen we saw backstage, is moving out to let Barton
Barton, Barton, so glad you could make it. You know
Richard St. Claire...