Country music is at the core of the 2000 hit film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Set during the Great Depression, the film features an abundance of bluegrass, folk, and country music from that time period.
Anyone who has seen the film also knows that country music plays a large part in the plot itself. When the main characters escape from prison, they somehow end up in a recording studio where they record a song as The Soggy Bottom Boys. That song, called “Man of Constant Sorrow,” goes on to become a big hit, much to the surprise of the escaped convicts.
The soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? was comprised of traditional material, particularly the work of bluegrass singer Ralph Stanley. Other iconic singers such as Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss were also featured on the soundtrack. With so many talented artists working together, the soundtrack was a huge hit. The artists were recognized for their hard work during the 2002 Grammy Awards, when the soundtrack received the award for Album of the Year.
We’re sure you know all of the songs from O Brother, Where Art Thou? by heart. But there’s a lot more to the film than you probably ever realized. We’ve gathered up seven fun facts about the movie that few people know! You can catch them all below!
According to J.D. Lafrance, who wrote in his article titled The Coen Brothers FAQ, O Brother, Where Art Thou? was inspired by a much older tale…Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. This connection can be seen in the name of main character Ulysses “Everett” McGill (George Clooney).
In Greek, the main character in Homer’s Odyssey is named Odysseus, while Roman versions of the tale refer to him as Ulysses. But the similarities between Everett and Ulysses don’t stop at their names.
In the Odyssey, Ulysses goes on a long journey to return home to his wife, Penelope. All the while, Penelope has to fight off suitors seeking her hand in marriage, who assume Ulysses has died.
Like Ulysses, Everett’s main quest in O Brother, Where Art Thou? is to return to his wife Penny (a play on Penelope) before she marries another man. Bet y’all never made that connection before!
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