Take Ulysses from Homer's "Odyssey," turn him into a dusty but peculiarly dapper hillbilly escaped from a Mississippi chain gang, circa 1937, and whaddya got? Only the funniest, most inspired movie of Coen Brothers illustrious comedy careers.
Taking screwball cues from Depression Era Hollywood and usurping their title from the "message movie" Joel McCrea's frustrated director wanted to make in 1941's satire "Sullivan's Travels," this picture's writers-directors Ethan and Joel Coen cook up a masterpiece of a scruffy romp about a no-class fugitive trying to get home to his wife before she re-marries to a colorless, straw-hatted dandy who holds more promise as a provider.
And who did the Coens get to play their uncouth Cajun hero, Ulysses "Everett" McGill? Why if it isn't George Clooney in a perfectly jaunty performance that seems to channel both the roguish comedic charm of Clark Gable in "It Happened One Night" and the earnest zaniness of Cary Grant in his screwiest comedies.
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