The film is about feuding gangsters in the Prohibition era, inspired by Dashiell Hammett's novels Red Harvest (1920) and The Glass Key (serialized in 1930).
The following year, they released Barton Fink (1991); set in 1941, in which a New York playwright (the eponymous Barton Fink played by John Turturro) moves to Los Angeles to write a B-movie.
Together, the brothers remade movies they saw on television, with their neighborhood friend Mark Zimering ("Zeimers") as the star.
Joel then spent four years in the undergraduate film program at New York University, where he made a 30-minute thesis film called Soundings.
Frances Mc Dormand appears in a brief uncredited role.
The Coens wrote and directed the crime thriller Fargo (1996), set in their home state of Minnesota. Macy), who has serious financial problems, has his wife kidnapped so that his wealthy father-in-law will pay the ransom.
The film featured Frances Mc Dormand, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam Mc Murray, and Randall "Tex" Cobb.
When a local furniture tycoon (Trey Wilson) appears on television with his newly born quintuplets and jokes that they "are more than we can handle", H. steals one of the quintuplets to bring up as their own.
He settles down in his hotel room to commence writing but suffers writer's block until he is invaded by the man next door (John Goodman).
Barton Fink was a critical success, earning Oscar nominations and winning three major awards at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d'Or.
They often alternate top billing for their screenplays while sharing editing credits under the alias Roderick Jaynes.
They have been nominated for thirteen Academy Awards together, and individually for one award each, winning Best Original Screenplay for Fargo and Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men.