25 Best Coen Brother Characters

From Barton Fink to the Dude, counting down Joel and Ethan's craziest, most unforgettable creations

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20. Charlie Meadows ('Barton Fink')

John Goodman can play the genial guy next door with his eyes closed. But it took the Coens to let him turn that archetype inside-out as the kindly traveling salesman who (spoiler!) turns out to be a Nazi serial killer. While his neighbor, lefty screenwriter Barton Fink, waffles on about the woes of the working class, Charlie suffers in silence, although it's not clear whether his pus-filled ear or Barton's platitudes about "the common man" cause him greater pain. When he finally blows his top with a thunderous "You. Don't. Listen!", his fury is hot enough to set the walls ablaze, turning the Hotel Earle into the hell he's been living in for years. SA

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