The Man Who Wasn’t There

Poster for The Man Who Wasn’t There

Spring 2002 Main series

Sunday, April 7, 2002 at 4:00pm
Sunday, April 7, 2002 at 7:00pm
Monday, April 8, 2002 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated 14A · 1h 52m

The impressive Coen brothers (Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?) unite once again as one of America’s most unique, important cinematic voices with Cannes Festival award-winner and Academy Award nominee (cinematography – Roger Deakins) The Man Who Wasn’t There. In Santa Rosa, California in 1949, small-town barber Ed Crane (in an Oscar-worthy performance by Billy Bob Thornton, A Simple Plan) lives in a bungalow on a shady street with his loose girlfriend, Doris (Frances McDormand, Fargo). Content to work the second chair in his brother-in-law’s barber shop, Ed’s numbingly passive life changes dramatically when he meets a fasttalking salesman (Jon Polito) who is looking for investors in a dry-cleaning venture. Ed decides to take charge and hatches a plan to raise investment capital by blackmailing Doris’s boss (James Gandolfini, The Mexican), with whom, Ed discovers, she is having an affair. In the tradition of Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, what follows is a riveting, often funny, noir-ish tale of paranoia, murder and redemption, chock-full of whiplash reversals and corkscrew plotting. From its stunningly beautiful black-and-white photography with its Beethoven soundtrack, to its grabbag of Cold War Americana, flying saucers, pulp magazines and rayon shirts, The Man Who Wasn’t There is an utterly fascinating cinematic experience.

“A unique, peculiar, rivetting experience. One of the best films of the year.” – BBC Films

“A haunting, beautifully made movie.” – The New York Times

“The look, feel and ingenuity of this film are so lovingly modulated you wonder if anyone else could have done it better than the Coens.” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times