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O Brother, Where Art Thou - Impossible Rail Traffic
Early on, when escapee George Clooney and his cohorts are unsuccessful at boarding the boxcar of the speeding train, they immediately encounter the Blind Seer pumping his hand car.
There is only one set of tracks. As the boys take places on the Seer's car, the train they missed can be seen maybe 100 feet ahead, steaming out of sight.
The hand car could not be there; it would have to have been crushed by the train, as the train was going much faster.
I don't know my Odessy, maybe this is supposed to be mystical; it's certainly not realistic.
Special Requirements:
Saw it in the Theater
Avg. Rating:    3.3 of 10 - (132 votes cast)
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Contributed By:
RonJLow on 02-01-2001
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Comments:
Little D writes:
Here...I found a list of all the references made between the two stories: -The names of George Clooney and Holly Hunter's characters (Ulysses & Penelope) -one-eyed Big Dan as the Cyclops (blinded with a burning pole) -the three girls by the river as the Sirens -Ulysses' wife marrying someone else when he comes home -the old-man disguise -the changing of one of Ulysses' companions into an animal -the Baptists as the Lotus-eaters. -the Ku Klux Klan has a rank of Grand (or Exalted) Cyclops -they catch a ride on a hand-pumped railcar that is being operated by a blind prophet, who tells them that they will not find the treasure they seek. The prophet character in the Odyssey was Teiresias, whom Odysseus consulted in the underworld when he needed information on how to get home again -Odysseus' first encounter upon reaching his home country is with seven sisters (though not his daughters). -the Ku Klux Klan rally as the trip through the Underworld. -Odysseus nearly drowned, but clings to a piece of wood. -Odysseus and Everett both reveal themselves by performing an act no one else could: Odysseus strings a special bow and fires it through seven rings; Everett sings "Man of Constant Sorrow" as only the leader of the Soggy Bottom Boys can. -"Pappy's" given name, Menelaus, is the same as the king who declared war on Troy in the first place. -the Latin equivalent of the Greek name Odysseus is Ulysses. -a man of constant sorrow is a description of Odysseus himself. -"Sing in me O Muse...", the line at the beginning of the film, is the first line of the Odyssey. -the killing of the cattle of Helios by the "fools" in the Odyssey is mirrored by Baby Face Nelson shooting the cows. -every time Ulysses falls asleep something bad happens. -the song which plays throughout the movie is called "Man of Constant Sorrow", Odysseus means "man who is in constant pain and sorrow".
63 of 63 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
wittyjokes writes:
Firstly, for film making point of views, it would have been boring for the audience to sit and wait an hour for the blind man to turn up, and also by that time they would have been caught. But, the reason it doesn't, is because the man is there to tell us and the characters about what is going to happen. This man is not really a person, but more of a ghostly person there to just explain the film really! So dont worry about the physics, as it doesn't matter....
13 of 16 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
ztasre@bellatlantic.net writes:
Sorry, I don't think this should count as a slip up. A) In my estimation, the train is far more than a hundred feet away. B) Although I realized, upon my first viewing of the movie, that the speeds that the train and the hand car were traveling did not match their proximity, I immediately dismissed it as story-telling technique. Anyone who appears in a story and tells the characters their future is not necessarily bound by physical laws and shouldn't be expected to. His role as a part of the story is much more important. They were on the wrong path and he was immediately there to set them on the right path. C) If you were really paying attention, you also noticed the same man pumping his car at the end when George and Holly's characters finally got together. The blind man was serving as book ends - if you will - for the beginning and ending of George Clooney's travels and adventures. What is the 'realistic' chance of the same guy showing up right then and there as the family just happens to walk across a railroad track? I think this is a non-issue and should be deleted from 'slip ups'.
7 of 10 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Amandadawg writes:
It is something from the Odyssey. The "prophet" in the movie is supposed to by the blind propeht Tyresias from the epic. He comes to Odysseus and tells him of his future and that is what the blind man in the story is doing.
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Mulish One writes:
Did it ever occur to you that there could be a "fork" in the track? Many railroad tracks have them, for the purpose of passing or overtaking other rail traffic. Perhaps the old blind man was on a separate track while the steamer went by, and he joined the main track. Don't forget, (to the person who saw no relationship to the Odyssey) that John Goodman was the Cyclops.. ALMOST killed by the cross in his eye..
1 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
KlownLuv4Life writes:
From a film-making point of view? What films have you ever made?
2 of 6 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Little D writes:
How about these for Odyssey connections? John Goodman's character has one eye (the cyclops), "the cyclops" has his one good eye poked out, George Clooney's character comes back to town in disguise (Odysseus at the end), the wife is preparing to remarry. Might not be a lot but it's more than the person that said it barely had any connections.
0 of 2 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
cloonatic78 writes:
Okay, first I've seen this film three times & haven't noticed this at all. Second, I think it's supposed to be some kind of symbolic, mythical thing the Coens put in the film (I hear they usually have some quirky thing in their films).
3 of 14 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes


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