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Learn more about Man Who Wasnt There:

Format: DVD
Sku: 40165051
UPC: 696306031925
UPC 14: 00696306031925
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
1949, Santa Rosa, California. A laconic, chain-smoking barber with fallen arches tells a story of a man trying to escape a humdrum life. It's a tale of suspected adultery, blackmail, foul play, death, Sacramento city slickers, racial slurs, invented war heroics, shaved legs, a gamine piano player, aliens, and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Ed Crane cuts hair in his in-law's shop; his wife drinks and may be having an affair with her boss, Big Dave, who has $10,000 to invest in a second department store. Ed gets wind of a chance make money in dry cleaning. Blackmail and investment are his opportunity to be more than a man no one notices. Settle in the chair and listen.

"A unique, peculiar, riveting experience... one of the best films of the year.  Nev Pierce, BBCi
"The Coens' Best Film.  Joel Siegel, Good Morning America
"Two thumbs up!  Ebert & Roeper
"Thornton...steals (the movie) with the assured subtlety of a pickpocket.  Desson Howe, Washington Post
"Hellishly Funny! Brilliantly Written!  Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"The Man Wasn't There Is One Of The Best Films Yet From The Coen Brothers"  Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Two thumbs up!  Ebert & Roeper And The Movies
"A beautifully executed film.  CNN
"An exquisitely monochromatic tale of adultery, blackmail, and murder under the California sun...   J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

Editor's Note
The Coen brothers' THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE is a brilliantly photographed black-and-white absurdist noir set in Santa Rosa, California, in 1949. Ed Crane (the outstanding Billy Bob Thornton) is a slow-moving, barely talking barber who doesn't seem to want much out of life. He has virtually no relationship with his wife, Doris (Frances McDormand), who has more fun with her boss, Big Dave (James Gandolfini). But when a strange character (Jon Polito) lets it be known that he's looking for a silent partner to finance his dream business (something he calls dry cleaning), Ed sees a possible way out of his doldrums. Just like any good James M. Cain novel (which the Coens cited as a major influence on the story), blackmail, deceit, violence, murder, and double crossing ensue, all with the magic Coen twists and turns.

THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE looks simply magnificent; the cinematography, the outfits, and the set designs perfectly capture this intriguing post-WWII paranoid world embodied by misfits, cheats, simpletons, con men, and other ne'er-do-wells. Thornton, who also supplies the wonderfully droll narration, gives a bravura performance as Ed, the everyman who has never strayed from the straight and narrow--until now. Always with a Chesterfield in his mouth, he wanders from scene to scene almost as if he's a spectator--even though he's at the center of everything that goes on. The supporting cast, as usual in a Coen brothers film, is outstanding, including McDormand, Gandolfini, Polito, Tony Shalhoub, Richard Jenkins, and Scarlett Johansson as a young potential piano prodigy.


Video Features DVD, Dolby Digital (5.1), French, Dubbed & Subtitled, Spanish, Subtitled, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Usa
Video Release Date Release Date: 4/16/2002
Video Play Time Running Time: 116 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2001
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 963060319
Video UPC UPC: 00696306031925
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: B&W

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio 4:3

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Billy Bob Thornton
Video Cast Info Frances McDormand
Video Cast Info Francis McDormand
Video Cast Info James Gandolfini
Video Cast Info Jon Polito
Video Cast Info Katherine Boorowitz
Video Cast Info Michael Badalucco
Video Cast Info Scarlett Johansson
Video Cast Info Tony Shaloub
Video Cast Info Robert Graf - Associate Producer
Video Cast Info John Cameron - Co-Producer
Video Cast Info Mary Zophres - Costume Designer
Video Cast Info Joel Coen - Director
Video Cast Info Roger Deakins - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Tim Bevan - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Eric Fellner - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Tricia Cooke - Film Editor
Video Cast Info Roderick Jaynes - Film Editor
Video Cast Info Carter Burwell - Musical Score
Video Cast Info Ethan Coen - Producer
Video Cast Info Dennis Glassner - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Ethan Coen - Writer
Video Cast Info Joel Coen - Writer
Video Cast Info Joel & Ethan Coen - Writers


AFI Award (2002)
Video Award Name Roger Deakins, Winner, AFI Cenematographer Of The Year
   Video Award Name Billy Bob Thornton, Nominee, AFI Actor Of The Year--Movies
   Video Award Name Tony Shaloub, Nominee, AFI Featured Male Actor Of The Year--Movies

Oscar (2002)
   Video Award Name Roger Deakins, Nominee, Best Cinematography

British Academy Awards (2002)
   Video Award Name Roger Deakins, Nominee, Best Cinematography

Cannes Film Festival (2001)
Video Award Name Joel Coen, Winner, Best Director
   Video Award Name Joel Coen, Nominee, Golden Palm

Golden Globe (2002)
   Video Award Name Billy Bob Thornton, Nominee, Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture-Drama
   Video Award Name Ethan & Joel Coen, Nominee, Best Motion Picture Screenplay

Professional Reviews

Film Comment
"...A fully realized, cohesive, and -- the real surprise -- completely 'serious' homage to the Hollywood genre, perhaps the best neo-noir since THE TWO JAKES..." 09/01/2001 p.75

Movieline's Hollywood Life
"...One of [the Coen brothers's] most haunting and rewarding works..." 11/01/2001 p.46

Sight and Sound
"...It's shot in clean, crisp black and white, it's elegant compositions masterfully framed and lit....The Coens are masters of the offbeat and bizarre..." 11/01/2001 p.50-1

New York Times
"...It's probable that most filmmakers love making movies, but few of them express this love with such voracious, crazy ardor....THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE moves with the stately grace of the Beethoven that decorates the soundtrack..." 10/31/2001 p.E1

USA Today
"...The remarkable Thornton never hits a false note..." 10/31/2001 p.6D

Entertainment Weekly
"...Succulently retro, vintage-Hollywood-goes-bizarro film noir..." 11/09/2001 p.79-80

Chicago Sun-Times
"...So assured and perceptive in it's style, it's like a voluptuous feast..." 01/20/2002 p.6

Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
...shot in black-and-white so elegantly, it reminds us of a 1940s station wagon--chrome, wood, leather and steel all burnished to a contented glow. Its star performance by Billy Bob Thornton is a study in sad-eyed, mournful chain-smoking, the portrait of a man so trapped by life he wants to scream. The plot is one of those film noir twisters made of gin and adultery, where the right man is convicted of the wrong crime. The look, feel and ingenuity of this film are so lovingly modulated you wonder if anyone else could have done it better than the Coens. - Roger Ebert

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