O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Trivia: George Clooney (Everett) was going to sing "Man of Constant Sorrow" for the film but his singing voice was very poor so he ended up lip-synching the songs instead. He said "I'm not my aunt [referring to the late singer/actress Rosemary Clooney, best known for her role in "A White Christmas" (1954)]. I decided it would be easier to just do a passionate lip-sync." He was so nervous that the tapes of his singing would get out that he returned to the studio to ensure all the evidence had been erased. The musical director of the film confirmed this but said "George is a very good singer but that style of music is very difficult and one almost has to grow up singing it in order to sing it convincingly. George did a really good version of the tune but it wasn't as good as he wanted."

Trivia: When Everett asks the hobos on the train if any of them are "smithys", look closely and you'll see that they're sitting on big bags of Pappy O'Daniel flour. Pappy is a major character later in the film.


Trivia: The soundtrack to the film was more successful than the film itself. It sold over five million copies and inspired a minor cult following.

Trivia: Just like the classical Odysseus, Everett openly defies God, and has constant troubles because of it. The second he repents and asks for God's help he is saved from death and everything turns out OK.


Trivia: Tommy Johnson was a real bluesman of the time, who was rumored to have sold his soul to the Devil. He was supposed to have met the Devil by "the crossroads", where in fact Everett & co first meet him. While this is also true about Robert Johnson, the character in the movie was always supposed to be Tommy (who also contributed actively to spreading the rumor for the PR value, unlike Robert).


Trivia: The man with the hound that represents the devil tracks down Everett by the scent of his pomade. This is similar to another Joel and Ethan Coen movie, "Raising Arizona," in which the biker tracks H.I. by using the scent of Gale's pomade.

Trivia: In Preston Sturges' famous comedy Sullivan's Travels, the film director played by Joel McCrea is tired of making screwball comedies and wants to shoot a serious film about the Depression. The title he has chosen is "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". Hence the title of the Coen Bros. film.

Trivia: In the opening credits it says that this movie is based on Homer's Odyssey. This is meant to be a joke, but you can actually find some references to the Odyssey. For instance, Big Dan Teague has only one good eye. In the Odyssey, Odysseus (the hero of the Odyssey) blinds a cyclops. Another tribute to the Odyssey is the three women that are singing and washing clothes. These characters are based on the Sirens, women who live underwater and sing a song that enchants men. Also, in this movie Everett is trying to get back to Ithaca, Mississippi. In the Odyssey, Odysseus is trying to get back to Ithaca, Greece. Even Homer(the writer of the Odyssey) makes an "appearance" during the film. You can see a statue of Homer in the background when the candidate running for Governor is in that nice restaurant that Everett and Delmar just left.

Continuity mistake: There are seven Wharvey Gals. Three on the stage singing, three with the wife, and one that she's holding. One of the girls even says that there are seven of them. Yet in the end, when Everett and his wife are walking down the street, there are only six. One that she is carrying, and five following.

More mistakes in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ulysses Everett McGill: I don't get it, Big Dan.

More quotes from O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Question: The only way that the valley could be flooded by rampaging water is that a dam was broken up river. Otherwise the water rises very slowly. Does the movie explain this? If so I missed it. In which way was that river flooded?

Answer: Probably they have dismantled the coffer dam that was used while constructing the main dam. Hence, the flooding.

More questions & answers from O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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