Screenwriter Profile: Joel & Ethan Coen

The Writers:

Often referred to simply as the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen are the creative force behind such cult classics and acclaimed cinematic feats as Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, and True Grit. The brothers have been making films together since childhood, and they always write, direct, and produce their projects together (though sometimes Joel takes the sole directing credit and Ethan takes the producing credit). True Hollywood elite, these guys have been nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Screenplay multiple times and have  won Best Picture once (No Country for Old Men) and Best Screenplay twice (Fargo, No Country for Old Men).


Harve Karbo (TV movie) (creator) (pre-production) – 2012

Inside Llewyn Davis (screenplay) (post-production) – 2013

Gambit (screenplay) (post-production) – 2012

True Grit (screenplay) – 2010

A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (1984 screenplay Blood Simple) – 2009

A Serious Man (written by) – 2009

Burn After Reading (written by) – 2008

No Country for Old Men (screenplay) – 2007

Paris, je t’aime (segment “Tuileries”) – 2006

The Ladykillers (screenplay) – 2004

Intolerable Cruelty (screenplay) – 2003

The Man Who Wasn’t There (written by) – 2001

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (written by) – 2000

The Big Lebowski (written by) – 1998

Fargo (written by) – 1996

The Hudsucker Proxy (written by) – 1994

Barton Fink (written by) – 1991

Miller’s Crossing (written by) – 1990

Raising Arizona (written by) – 1987

Crimewave (written by) – 1985

Blood Simple. (written by) – 1984


It’s easy to offend people. People get uncomfortable, for instance, when the main character in a movie is not sympathetic in a Hollywood formula way. Our movies are loaded with things that aren’t to everyone’s taste. On the other hand, there’s a scene in O Brother, Where Art Thou? where a frog gets squished that everyone seems to like. It’s all right to do the frog squishing. (Ethan)

The movie people let us play in the corner of the sandbox and leave us alone. We’re happy here. (Ethan)

My most important professional accomplishment? I think that it’s that I’m so scintillating and engaging in an interview. (Joel)

I like Hollywood just the way it is, actually. I don’t think I’d change anything. I like that it’s out here 3,000 miles from where I live. (Joel)

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