With the smash success of Fargo, the filmmaking team of Joel and Ethan Coen finally received their deserved recognition. But well before that the two brothers were writing and directing terrific films - from the film-noir thriller Blood Simple, to the comedy Raising Arizona, to the gangster epic Miller's Crossing. With each film they have surprised fans and critics alike, always refusing to repeat themselves or compromise their independence. While still in their early twenties, Joel and Ethan Coen raised the money for their first film - by knocking on the doors of the wealthy - in their native Minnesota. Starring an unknown actress named Frances McDormand (who would later become Joel's wife), it was an art-house hit and allowed the brothers to make Raising Arizona with Nicolas Cage and another Coen brothers discovery, Holly Hunter. But despite their high reputation, the brothers would not make another financially successful picture for years. Were their films just too offbeat and intellectual? Here is the story of how two middle-class Minnesota boys have come to write, shoot, and direct some of the most gruesome, exhilarating, and funny films of our time.