The Man Who Wasn't There [WS] [DVD] [2001]

The Coen Brothers old-fashioned noir The Man Who Wasn't There comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The print is practically flawless, vividly recreating the striking cinematography of ace DP Roger Deakins. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, while a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. Spanish and French subtitles are accessible, and the English soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by Joel and Ethan Coen along with lead actor Billy Bob Thornton. Notable for being the first "regular" commentary track the brothers have ever recorded (there is a hilarious fake commentary, believed by some to be the work of Ethan on the superb Blood Simple disc), their conversation is as quirky and entertaining as the films they have made. An interesting and informative almost hour-long interview with Roger Deakins explores his role in the creation of the finished film. Deleted scenes, a short making-of featurette, the theatrical trailer, and a still photo gallery round out this excellent package from USA Entertainment.
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Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars.
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Special Features

  • Commentary by Billy Bob Thornton and Joel and Ethan Coen
  • Making "The Man Who Wasn't There"
  • Interview with cinematographer Roger Deakins
  • Deleted material
  • Behind the scenes photo gallery
  • Filmographies
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Closed Captioned


The Man Who Wasn't There
Set in a sleepy Northern California town in the 1940s, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's The Man Who Wasn't There stars Billy Bob Thornton as Ed Crane, a humble barber who suspects his hard-hearted and hard-drinking wife Doris (Frances McDormand) of having an affair with her boss (James Gandolfini). When a jocular stranger (Jon Polito) breezes into town hinting at the fortune to be made investing in an outlandish-sounding new invention called dry cleaning, Ed hatches a blackmail scheme he hopes will make him rich and get him some revenge at the same time. His plan goes horribly awry when he accidentally commits a murder for which Doris ends up being blamed, landing her in the slammer and Ed at the mercy of blowhard big-city lawyer Freddy Riedenschneider (Tony Shalhoub). Filmed in black-and-white by three-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins, The Man Who Wasn't There was inspired by the seedy crime novels of James M. Cain, putting a distinctly Coen brothers' spin on the film noir tradition. Though spiked with their characteristic humor, its moody atmosphere hearkens back to the darker moments of Blood Simple and Fargo -- a marked departure from the high-spirited slapstick of O Brother Where Art Thou. ~ Tom Vick, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Billy Bob Thornton
    Billy Bob Thornton - Ed Crane
  • Frances McDormand
    Frances McDormand - Doris Crane
  • Michael Badalucco
    Michael Badalucco - Frank
  • James Gandolfini
    James Gandolfini - Big Dave
  • Tony Shalhoub
    Tony Shalhoub - Freddy Riedenschneider

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