Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Letter O---on the run in 1937

The Letter O

O...operatic, oophyte, Ottawa.....So many choices, so little time...

There are very few movies that I would personally describe as brilliant.  A film of that level depends on so many elements.  This film is one I put in the short list.

O brother where art thou ver1.jpg
Directors Joel and Ethan Coen
Today the choice  for O:

O, Brother! Where art thou?

This movie is based upon the story of Adventures of Ulysses

This movie follows Ulysses (or, Odysseus as in Homer plot), taking place in 1937, where he is a convict on the chain gangs in the deep South.  

George Clooney is the main character, Ulysses Everett McGill (who fancies himself to be a loquacious and glib con-man).  

He convinces two fellow convicts, Pete and Delmar, to escape the chain gang, proceeding on a quest to find huge treasure and a way home.

Favorite quotes from the movie:

   Ulysses:  Damn, boys!  We’re in a    tight spot! (This our is my favorite  line; my husband and I say it to each other many times. 

   Ulysses: Damn it!  I’m a Dapper Dan man.  (Dapper Dan is a pomade used by men of that period. Ulysses was so vain that he even wore a hairnet at night.)

    Delmar: Them syreens did this to Pete.  They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad.

Ulysses: I was not hit by a train. Dammit, I am the paterfamilias!

Pappy O’Donnell:  Moral fiber?  I invented moral fiber! ( Pappy was played by the late Charles Durning.)

Note:  The writers, producers and directors are Joel and Ethan Coen.
The music is pure blue-grass, memorable and superb.
The over-all plot lines are a loose parallel to the ancient adventures of Odysseus. Loose to very loose. Word has it that the Coen brothers never read the real Homer play, but instead read the Yellow Cliff-Notes, so beloved and used by many students.

I never ever used them.  Seriously.

Basically, try to see this film.
I am very picky about movies I will watch and appreciate.  My husband, on the other hand, will watch just about anything.  We have conflicts.


  1. Not much of a movie watcher myself but this does sound interesting.

  2. They made a movie off of Cliff notes alone... on the one hand oy!! Such a great book to miss out on reading. And on the other hand, I'm sure that allows for creativity to grow, which is a good thing too.

  3. I adore that film. Good choice for the letter O! In the months after the film came out, my sister and I went to an all day event in Manassas, Virginia, "The Down from the Mountain" tour - featuring musicians who performed the music in the film. One of my top five best concerts ever.

  4. Sad to say this movie just didn't click with me.

  5. I'm picky about movies as well, and I agree, it's a very well done movie. It's been so long since I've seen this movie... I think I'll be watching it this weekend!

  6. It was a great movie, I enjoyed it, watched it a few times

  7. Not a movie watcher here either - but the lines quoted are tempting. Very tempting.

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  9. I have determined that life is too short to watch Coen Brothers' movies!!

  10. If Homer's Odyssey was such a great yarn, why did it take Hollywood 2800 years to make a movie of it? Personally I liked the epic poem and the film but really, 2800 years?

    1. Because, ironically, today's "epic" movies have to be consumed in one sitting of around 90 minutes. LOL. It takes about that long to look up the translation of dialogue on each page.

  11. That was a great movie and I loved the music.

  12. I usually only watch that come HIGHLY recommended by people whose opinions I trust on what constitutes a "good" movie. You are one such person. I think I'll put it on my short list. The quotes you pulled are reason enough.

    PS As an English major and teacher, can you believe I never read the entire Odyssey? Funny story every time I hear about this poem:

    My kids had to read parts of it for a literature co-op taught by a friend. The major assignment was to create a cardboard scene from the book. My son made clay figures for the cardboard room in which Odysseus returns from his journey to find suitors in the house. Bloody paint on a broken table, a misplaced sword, blood splatters on the walls. bodies splayed on the floor. The teacher, my good friend, took his piece home when he forgot it after the end-of-year show. It stayed on her TV for a long time. One day , the day after she promised to return it to me, her husband found it and was in a purging the clutter mood when she wasn't home. He saw a messy paint job and broken pieces inside a cardboard box and wondered why such trash was taking up valuable space. He dumped it in the alley trash can. My son thought it was hilarious. He is not sentimental at all.

  13. I love this movie! I have a copy on the shelf, right in between The Nun's Story and One Crazy Summer, because alphabetization makes things easy to find....
    I really like the song they do as The Soggy Bottom boys.

  14. I haven't seen this movie. Thanks for sharing.


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!