Written on January 22nd, 2007 by Shawn Anthony
The second installment of a series of posts concerning movie theology comes to you again from the earthy and ever rational Everett (George Clooney) and a few of his more spiritually attuned traveling companions from the sure to be a classic, Joel Coen directed film O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Theology In Popular Film: O Brother, Where Art Thou?’s Everett, Delmar & Tommy On the Economics of Soul and the Physical Characteristics of the Devil!
SCENE: Everett (Clooney), Delmar and Pete are driving an auto down a dusty road. They drive through ominous looking crossroads where they stop the auto to pick up a young African American hitchhiker who is standing all alone on the crossroads with his tattered guitar case.
DELMAR: Pull over, Everett - let’s give that colored boy a lift.
HITCHHIKER: You folks goin’ through Tishamingo?
DELMAR: Sure, hop in.
EVERETT: How ya doin? Name’s Everett, and these two soggy sonsabitches are Pete and Delmar. Keep your fingers away from Pete’s mouth - he ain’t had nothin’ to eat for the last thirteen years but prison food, gopher, and a little greasy horse.
HITCHHIKER: Thank you fuh the lif’, suh. M’names Tommy. Tommy Johnson.
DELMAR: How ya doin’, Tommy. I haven’t seen a house in miles. What’re you doin’ out in the middle of nowhere?
TOMMY: I had to be at that crossroads las’ midnight to sell mah soul to the devil.
EVERETT: Well ain’t it a small world, spiritually speakin’! Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved! I guess I’m the only one here who remains unaffiliated!
DELMAR: This ain’t no laughin’ matter, Everett.
EVERETT: What’d the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?
TOMMY: He taught me to play this guitar real good.
DELMAR: Oh, son! For that you traded your everlastin’ soul?!
TOMMY: I wudden usin’ it.
PETE: I always wondered-what’s the devil look like?
EVERETT: Well, of course there’s all manner of lesser imps’n demons, Pete, but the Great Satan hisself is red and scaly with a bifurcated tail and carries a hayfork.
TOMMY: Oh no! No suh! He’s white-white as you folks, with mirrors for eyes an’ a big hollow voice an’ allus travels with a mean old hound.
PETE: And he told you to go to Tishamingo?
TOMMY: No suh, that was mah idea. I heard they’s a man there pays folks money to sing into a can. They say he pays extra effen you play real good.
EVERETT: How much does he pay?