Here are four early screenplays by the internationally lauded filmmaking team, all of which deal with the subject for which they are best known: corruption and crime—especially in situations that combine the real and the surreal with the hilarious.
Blood Simple deals with a cuckolded Texan bar owner who hires a slimy private investigator to kill his unfaithful wife and her boyfriend, but this is merely the start of a grisly chain of back-stabbings and murders.
In Raising Arizona, oddly paired criminal H.I. McDonnough and police woman Edwina marry, only to discover they are unable to conceive a child. In the name of parenthood, the couple kidnap one of the quintuplets of furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona. While trying to keep their crime a secret, H.I's convict friends, his boss, and even the Lone Biker Of The Apocalypse look to use Nathan Jr. for their own purposes.
Miller's Crossing, set in the era of Prohibition, focuses on Tom Reagan, the trusted lieutenant of irish crime boos Leo, endeavours to keeps the peace when Leo gets locked into a feud with rival mobster Jonny Caspar.
This edition also includes Barton Fink, an intense look at the psychological ruin of a New York playwright trying to make it in 1940s Hollywood.