During the post production of O Brother,
Where Art Thou? the American Humane Society took a lot of convincing
before they were convinced that the cow that Babyface Nelson's
car runs down, wasn't a real cow. The final special effect was
so realistic that they had to be shown every stage of the CG
animation from wire-frame to finished effect before granting
the movie their seal of approval. "Oh, George, not the
Clooney (Ulysses Everett McGill) gave the singing scenes his
all. He really did sing but was, ultimately, over-dubbed by
Bluegrass legend, Dan Tyminski. John Turturro (Pete Hogwallop)
was also dubbed. However, Tim Blake Nelson's (Delmar O'DOnnell)
voice was deemed angelic enough to remain untouched.
entire movie had it's colour palette digitally muted, giving
it it's distinctive sepia-esque hue, in post-production by cinematographer,
Roger Deakins. Apparently this was a cinematic first.
title is taken from the Preston Sturges movie Sullivan's Travels.
In it, Joel McCrae plays a movie director whose dream movie
is called, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
signed on to star in the movie without even reading the script.
He once said in an interview that "everyone wants to work
with these guys [the Coen brothers]".
Tommy Johnson describes what the Devil looked like he matches
the description of Sheriff Cooley exaclty. Hollow eyes are the
reflective lenses of his sunglasses (often reflecting fire).
The "mean old hound" is his blood hound. And the booming
voice is his megaphone.
woman who asks for the Soggy Bottom Boys record in the store
was played by Gillian Welch, one of the many contributors to
the award winning soundtrack.
You can read the lyrics for the entire soundtrack (CD) by clicking here.
the movie is apparenlty based on Homer's The Odyssey we should
probably mention the references to it; The names of Clooney
and Holly Hunter's characters are Ulysses and Penelope; Big
Dan Teague is an obvious cyclops; the women doing their laundry
in the river are obvious Sirens; Penelope marrying someone else
when Ulysses arrives home; the old-man disguise; the metamorphosis
of one of Ulysses friends into an animal; the Baptists as the
Lotus Eaters; the Ku Klux Klan has a rank of Grand Cyclops;
the blind prophet; the seven daughters of Ulysses are substitutes
for the Seven Sisters; the Ku Klux Klan rally replaces the trip
through Hell; Ulysses almost drowned but is saved by clinging
to a piece of floating wood; Pappy O'Daniel's first name is
Menelaus, the name of the King who declared war on Troy; the
Latin equivillent of Odysseus is Ulysses; "O Muse sing
in me" is the first line in The Odyssey; cattle killing;
every time Ulysses sleeps something bad happens; in The Odyssey
Odysseus is described a a "man who is in constant sorrow";
HOMER Stokes. There are probably more.
this and the Coens claim not to have read The Odyssey...