O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.
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O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 comedy film about three stumblebum convicts who escape to go on a quest for treasure and who meet various characters while learning where their real fortune lies in the 1930s Deep South.

Directed by Joel Coen. Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Inspired by The Odyssey by Homer.
They have a plan, but not a clue.

Song Snippets

In the Big Rock Candy Mountain
The cops have wooden legs
The bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.
You are my Sunshine by Jimmie Davis & Charles Mitchell

Don't you weep, pretty baby,
She's long gone with her red shoes on, going to meet another loving baby,
Go to sleep, little baby,
You and me and the devil makes three, don't need no other loving baby.
Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby Traditional Folk song with additions by Gillian Welch & T Bone Burnett

I am a Man of Constant Sorrow
I've seen trouble all my days
In this world I'm bound to ramble
I have no friends to help me now.
I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (Traditional Folk Song sung by the Soggy Bottom Boys)

You've got to go to Lonesome Valley. You've got to go there by yourself. Nobody else can go there for you. You've got to go there by yourself.
Lonesome Valley (Traditional Folk song)

O come angel band, Come and around me stand. O bear me away on your snow white wings to my immortal home
Angel Band (Traditional Folk Song)

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way!
Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss

I'll fly away, oh glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away.
I'll Fly Away by Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch

O, Death
O, Death
Won't you spare me over 'til another year
Well what is this that I can't see
With ice cold hands takin' hold of me
O Death by Ralph Stanley

In the highways, in the hedges
In the highways, in the hedges
In the highways, in the hedges
I'll be somewhere working for my Lord.
In the Highways by Sarah, Hannah & Leah Peasall

I had a friend named Ramblin' Bob
Who used to steal, gamble, and rob
He thought he was the smartest guy around
But I found out last Monday
That Bob got locked up Sunday
They've got him in the jailhouse way down town
He's in the jailhouse now he's in the jailhouse now
In the Jailhouse Now by The Soggy Bottom Boys

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life
Keep on the Sunny Side by The Whites


  • Say, any o' you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you to a life o' aimless wanderin'?
  • Baptism! You two are just dumber than a bag of hammers.
  • I like the smell of my hair treatment; the pleasing odor is half the point.
  • Well, as soon as we get ourselves cleaned up and we get a little smellum in our hair, why, we're gonna feel 100% better about ourselves and about life in general.
  • Say, uh, Cousin Wash, I suppose it'd be the acme a' foolishness to inquire as to whether you had a hair net?
  • Me an' the old lady are gonna pick up the pieces and retie the knot, metaphorically speaking.
  • [Repeated line] Damn! We're in a tight spot!
  • [Repeated line] How's my hair?
  • [to Big Dan] I detect, like me, you're endowed with the gift of gab.
  • Well, it didn't look like a one-horse town, but try and find a decent hair jelly.
  • Well, any human being will cast about in a moment of stress. No, the fact is, they're flooding this valley so they can hydroelectric up the whole durn state. Yes, sir, the South is gonna change. Everything's gonna be put on electricity and run on a paying basis. Out with the old spiritual mumbo jumbo, the superstitions, and the backward ways. We're gonna see a brave new world where they run everybody a wire and hook us all up to a grid. Yes, sir, a veritable age of reason. Like the one they had in France. Not a moment too soon.


  • Gopher, Everett?
  • [to George] Friend? Some of your foldin' money is come unstoled.
  • Them syreens did this to Pete. They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad!
  • [About George] He's a live wire, though, ain't he?
  • I'm gonna visit those foreclosing son-of-a-guns at the Indianola Savings & Loan, slap that money on the barrelhead and buy back the family farm. You ain't no kind of man if you ain't got land.
  • [to Pete] We...thought...you...was...a...toad!
  • [to Everett] We were both fixing to fornicate!

Homer Stokes

  • Is you is, or is you ain't, my constituency?
  • The color guard is colored!
  • These boys is not white! These boys is not white! Hell, they ain't even old timey!
  • This band of miscreants, this very evening, interfered with a lynch mob in the performance of its duty. Now, I belong to a certain secret society...I don't believe I have to name it. And those boys trampled all over our venerated observancies!

George Nelson

  • Not Babyface!! I'm George Nelson! Born to raise hell!
  • Remember, Jesus saves, and George Nelson withdraws!
  • I'm George Nelson, and I'm feeling ten feet tall!
  • I hate cows worse than coppers!


  • Wash Hogwallop: I 'spect you want those chains knocked off.
  • Blind Seer: You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the fortune you seek. But first-- first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. You shall see thangs wonderful to tell.
  • Blind Seer: I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has... vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.
  • Interrogator: Talk, you unreconstructed welp of a whore!
  • Hogwallop's Son: Get in boys, I'm gonna R-U-N-N-O-F-T!
  • Big Dan Teague: [to Delmar] You don't say much my friend, but when you do it's to the point, and I salute you for it.
  • Pappy O'Daniel: Shake a leg Junior! Thank God your mammy died givin' birth. If she'd have seen you, she'd have died o' shame.
  • Pappy O'Daniel: Why, we'd look like a bunch of johnny-come-latelies bragging on our own midget, doesn't matter how stumpy.
  • Pappy O'Daniel: I'm the god damn incumbent, you sumbitch!
  • Pappy O'Daniel: [to Vernon, about Homer] Moral fibre? I invented moral fibre! Pappy O'Daniel was displaying rectitude and high-mindedness when that egghead you work for was still messing his drawers!
  • Pappy O'Daniel: I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! You don't tell your pappy how to court the electorate. We ain't one-at-a-timin' here. We're MASS communicating!
  • Audience member: Hot damn! It's the Soggy Bottom Boys!
  • Penny Wharvey McGill: The only good thing you ever did for the gals was get hit by that train!


Delmar: You work for the railroad, Grampa?
Blind Seer: I work for no man.
Delmar: Got a name, do you?
Blind Seer: I have no name.
Everett: Well, that right there may be the reason you've had difficulty findin' gainful employment. You see, in the mart of competitive commerce...

Everett: The treasure is still there boys, believe me.
Delmar: But how'd he know about the treasure?
Everett: I don't know Delmar. The blind are reputed to possess sensitivities compensating for their lack of sight, even to the point of developing paranormal psychic powers. Now, clearly seeing into the future would fall neatly into that category; it's not so surprising then that an organism deprived of its earthly vision...
Pete: He said we wouldn't get it. He said we wouldn't get the treasure we seek on account of our ob-stac-les.
Everett: Well what the hell does he know, he's just an ignorant old man?

Delmar: Care for some gopher?
Everett: No thank you, Delmar. One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down.
Delmar: Oh, you can have the whole thing. Me and Pete already had one apiece. We ran across a whole... gopher village.

Pete: Where's Cora, Cousin Wash?
Wash: Couldn't say. Mrs. Hogwallop up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T.
Everett: She must have been lookin' for answers.
Wash: Possibly. Good riddance, as far as I'm concerned. I do miss her cooking, though.
Delmar: This stew's awful good.
Wash: You think so? I slaughtered this horse last Tuesday. I'm afraid she's startin' to turn.

Everett: Pete's cousin turned us in for the bounty.
Pete: The hell you say! Wash is kin!
Wash: Sorry, Pete, I know we're kin, but they got this depression on. I got to do for me and mine.
Pete: I'm gonna kill you, Judas Iscariot Hogwallop!

Everett: The old tactician has got a plan. For the transportation that is, I don't know how I'm gonna keep my coiffure in order.
Pete: How's this a plan? How we gonna get a car?
Everett: Sell that. I figure it can only have painful association for Wash.
Pete: [reading] "To Washington Bartholomew Hogwallop, from his loving Cora. Amor Fidel... is."
Everett: It was in his bureau. I figure it'll fetch us enough cash for a good used auto-voiture, and a little left over besides.
Pete: You miserable little snake! You stole from my kin!
Everett: Who was fixin' to betray us.
Pete: You didn't know that at the time.
Everett: So I borrowed it until I did know.
Pete: That don't make no sense!
Everett: Pete, it's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.

Big Dan: Thank you boys for throwin' in that fricassee. I'm a man of large appetite, and even with lunch under my belt, I was feelin' a mite peckish.
Everett: It's our pleasure, Big Dan.

George Nelson: Cows! I hate cows worse than coppers!
[fires his Tommy gun at them]
Delmar: Oh, George... not the livestock.

Everett: [about the toad] I'm not sure that's Pete.
Delmar: Of course it's Pete! Look at him!... We gotta find some kind of wizard can change him back.

Everett: You can't display a toad in a fine restaurant like this! Why, the good folks here would go right off the feed!
Delmar: I just don't think it's right keeping him under wraps like we's ashamed of him.
Everett: Well, if it is Pete, I am ashamed of him! Way I see it, he got what he deserved, fornicating with some whore of Babylon. These things don't happen for no reason, Delmar. It's obviously some kinda judgment on his character.
Delmar: Well, the two of us was fixin' to fornicate!

Everett: Well, I guess hard times flush the chump. Everybody's lookin' for answers... Where the hell's he goin'?
[Delmar runs out to be baptized]
Pete: Well I'll be a sonofabitch. Delmar's been saved.
Delmar: Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward.
Everett: Delmar, what are you talking about? We've got bigger fish to fry.
Delmar: The preacher says all my sins is warshed away, including that Piggly Wiggly I knocked over in Yazoo.
Everett: I thought you said you was innocent of those charges?
Delmar: Well I was lyin'. And the preacher says that that sin's been warshed away too. Neither God nor man's got nothin' on me now. C'mon in boys, the water is fine.

Pete: The Preacher said it absolved us.
Everett: For him, not for the law. I'm surprised at you, Pete, I gave you credit for more brains than Delmar.
Delmar: But they was witnesses that seen us redeemed.
Everett: That's not the issue Delmar. Even if that did put you square with the Lord, the State of Mississippi's a little more hard-nosed.

Pete: Wait a minute. Who elected you leader of this outfit?
Everett: Well Pete, I figured it should be the one with the capacity for abstract thought. But if that ain't the consensus view, then hell, let's put it to a vote.
Pete: Suits me. I'm voting for yours truly.
Everett: Well I'm voting for yours truly too.
Delmar: Okay... I'm with you fellas.

Tommy Johnson: I had to be up at that there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil.
Everett: Well, ain't it a small world, spiritually speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.
Pete: I've always wondered, what's the devil look like?
Everett: Well, there are all manner of lesser imps and demons, Pete, but the great Satan hisself is red and scaly with a bifurcated tail, and he carries a hay fork.
Tommy Johnson: Oh, no. No, sir. He's white, as white as you folks, with empty eyes and a big hollow voice. He loves to travel around with a mean old hound. That's right.

Pete: Well hell, it ain't square one! Ain't nobody gonna pick up three filthy, unshaved hitch-hikers, and one of them a know-it-all that can't keep his trap shut.
Everett: Pete, the personal rancor reflected in that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment. However, I would like to address your attitude of hopeless negativism--consider the lilies of the goddamn field...or hell, look at Delmar here as your paradigm of hope!
Delmar: Yeah, look at me.

General Store Clerk: I can get the part from Bristol. It'll take two weeks. Here's your pomade.
Everett: Two weeks? That don't do me no good.
Clerk: Nearest Ford auto man's Bristol.
Everett: Hold on, now. I don't want this pomade. I want Dapper Dan.
Clerk: I don't carry Dapper Dan. I carry Fop.
Everett: Well, I don't want Fop, goddammit. I'm a Dapper Dan man.
Clerk: You watch your language, young fella. This is a public market. If you want Dapper Dan, I can order it for you, have it in about two weeks.
Everett: Well ain't this place a geographical oddity! Two weeks from everywhere! Forget it! [slams money on the counter] I'll have a dozen hair nets.

Everett: What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?
Tommy Jonson: Well, he taught me how to play this here guitar real good.
Delmar: Oh, son, for that, you sold your everlastin' soul?
Tommy Johnson: Well I wasn't usin' it.

Everett: Why are you telling our gals that I was hit by a train?
Penny: Lots of respectable people been hit by trains. Judge Hobby over in Cookville was hit by a train. What was I supposed tell 'em, that you were sent to the penal farm and I divorced you from shame?
Everett: Uh, I take your point. But it does put me in a damned awkward position vis-a-vis my progeny.

Penny: Vernon here's got a job. Vernon's got prospects. He's bona fide. What are you?
Everett: I'll tell you what I am - I'm the damn pater familias! You can't marry him!

Everett: Well, you lying... unconstant... succubus!
Vernon: Whoa, whoa, whoa! You can't swear at my fiancé!
Everett: Oh, yeah? Well, you can't marry my wife!

Everett: Deceitful, two-faced she-woman. Never trust a female, Delmar, remember that one simple precept and your time with me will not have been ill spent.
Delmar: Ok, Everett.
Everett: Hit by a train! Truth means nothing to a woman, Delmar. Trying for the subjective. You ever been with a woman?
Delmar: Well, I... I... I gotta get the family farm back before I can start thinking about that.
Everett: That's right, if then. Believe me Delmar, woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man.
Delmar: Everett, I never figured you for a pater familias.
Everett: Oh yes, I have spread my seed.

[Inside the theater, with both talking in stage whispers, each word drawn out]
Pete: Do...not...seek...the...treasure.
Delmar: We...thought...you...was...a...toad!

Everett: Pete, what are you gonna do with your share of the treasure?
Pete: Go out west somewhere. Open a fine restaurant. I’m gonna be the maitre’d. Greet all the swells. Go to work everyday in a bow tie, tuxedo. And all the staff say “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” and “In a jiffy, Pete.” And all my meals for free.

Pappy: It seems that Mr. Stokes has a grudge against the Soggy Bottom Boys, on account of their rough and rowdy past.
Pappy: Seems, Mr. Stokes is the kind of fella who wants to cast the first stone. Well, I'm with you folks. I'm a forgive 'n' forget Christian, and I say, if their rambunctiousness, and misdemeanory, is behind them... [turns away from the mike, towards Everett] It is, ain't it, boys?
Everett: Uh, yes sir, it is.
Pappy: Then, by the powers vested in me, I hereby proclaim that they is pardoned. And furthermore, by way of endorsing my candidacy, the Soggy Bottom Boys are gonna lead us all in a rousing chorus of "You Are My Sunshine."
[Applause. Pappy turns away from the mike, towards Everett]
Pappy: Ain't you, boys?
Everett: Governor, it's one of our favorites.
Pappy: Son... you're gonna go far. [to the audience] Furthermore, in the second Pappy O'Daniel administration, these boys is gonna be my brain trust.
Delmar: What's that mean, Everett?
Everett: Well, that means we'll be the power behind the throne, so to speak.

Penny: Well, we need that ring.
Everett: Well that ring is at the bottom of a pretty durn big lake.
Penny: Uh-uh.
Everett: A 9,000 hectare lake.
Penny: I don't care if it's 90,000...
Everett: But honey...
Penny: That lake was not my doing.
Everett: Of course not honey...
Penny: I counted to three, honey.
Everett: No, wait, honey! Finding one little ring in the middle of all that water is one hell of a heroic task!


  • They have a plan, but not a clue.


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