The Coen Brothers have made some awesomely fucked-up movies in their time, but none contains a scene quite so freakishly compelling as this one, where a Satanic John Goodman goes apeshit on quivering Hollywood writer John Turturro.

I don't want to spoil the whole story for you, because it's an incredible flick and you should check it out. Suffice to say that Turturro is Barton Fink, a socially-conscious playwright from New York who wants to write dark, intellectual meditations on the common man. Of course, he knows jack about the common man since he's a literary writer from New York. But his plays get a lot of attention, so a Hollywood studio exec hires him to come to Los Angeles and write for a huge amount of money. When Barton agrees, the studio assigns him to write a wrestling movie and that's how his troubles begin.

He lives in a scary old hotel, and his only friend winds up being his bizarre traveling-salesman neighbor Charlie, played by a flat-out amazing John Goodman. Eventually his life begins to deteriorate into surreal, evil moments punctuated by mysterious murders and writer's block. And it's starting to seem like Charlie might actually be the Devil.


In this scene, near the end of the movie, Charlie has come back from a business trip and finds some detectives interrogating Barton about a murder they think the writer committed. Copping one of Barton's lines about "the life of the mind," Charlie makes his last stand.

Barton Fink via Wikipedia

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