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Miller's Crossing
     

Miller's Crossing

4.2 5
Director: Joel Coen, Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden

Cast: Joel Coen, Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden

 

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For their third feature, Miller's Crossing (1990), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen focused their film-literate gaze on the gangster genre, blending it with the film noir legacy they first explored in Blood Simple (1984). Set during Prohibition, the film evokes 1930s gangster

Overview

For their third feature, Miller's Crossing (1990), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen focused their film-literate gaze on the gangster genre, blending it with the film noir legacy they first explored in Blood Simple (1984). Set during Prohibition, the film evokes 1930s gangster film classics and Dashiell Hammett novels in its portrayal of Irish and Italian gangsters and the conflict touched off between them by a complicated web of betrayals involving a sinister crime boss (Albert Finney), his right-hand man (Gabriel Byrne), and a glib bookie John Turturro. Barry Sonnenfeld's shadowy cinematography lends a somber cast to the events, while set pieces like the forest execution and a chandelier-splintering shoot-out to the strains of "Danny Boy" revel in the Coens' talent for combining violence, drama, and high style. Though a few dissenters viewed Miller's Crossing as all surface and no substance, critics were impressed by the strong cast -- especially Turturro and Finney -- and bravura technique, declaring that the Coens had fully come into their own as filmmakers. The writer's block the Coens reportedly suffered while working on the screenplay became fodder for their next film, Barton Fink (1991).Joel and Ethan Coen's third collaboration, the gangster film Miller's Crossing, stars Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan, the right-hand man of big-city Irish mob boss Leo (Albert Finney). The film opens with Italian mobster Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) and his second in command Eddie Dane (J.E. Freeman) informing Leo and Tom that they are going to kill bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) because he has been revealing Caspar's fixed fights to other gamblers. Leo informs Caspar that Bernie pays for protection and is not to be touched. After the Italians leave in a huff, Tom informs Leo that he should give up Bernie. Tom and Leo are both involved with Verna (Marcia Gay Harden), Bernie's sister. After a failed hit on Leo starts a full-scale mob war, Tom reveals to Leo the truth about his relationship with Verna. This leads to a falling-out between the pair. Tom goes to work for Caspar, but in truth, he is still loyal to Leo. Tom figures out how to manipulate all of the situations so that Leo survives, but this may cost Tom his relationship with Verna.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
For their third feature, Miller's Crossing (1990), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen focused their film-literate gaze on the gangster genre, blending it with the film noir legacy they first explored in Blood Simple (1984). Set during Prohibition, the film evokes 1930s gangster film classics and Dashiell Hammett novels in its portrayal of Irish and Italian gangsters and the conflict touched off between them by a complicated web of betrayals involving a sinister crime boss (Albert Finney), his right-hand man (Gabriel Byrne), and a glib bookie John Turturro. Barry Sonnenfeld's shadowy cinematography lends a somber cast to the events, while set pieces like the forest execution and a chandelier-splintering shoot-out to the strains of "Danny Boy" revel in the Coens' talent for combining violence, drama, and high style. Though a few dissenters viewed Miller's Crossing as all surface and no substance, critics were impressed by the strong cast -- especially Turturro and Finney -- and bravura technique, declaring that the Coens had fully come into their own as filmmakers. The writer's block the Coens reportedly suffered while working on the screenplay became fodder for their next film, Barton Fink (1991).

Product Details

Release Date:
08/30/2011
UPC:
0024543706892
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:55:00
Sales rank:
22,397

Special Features

Shooting Miller's Crossing - a conversatino with Barry Sonnenfeld; Still gallery; Theatrical trailers; Cast interviews with Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden and John Turturro

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gabriel Byrne Tom Reagan
Albert Finney Leo
Marcia Gay Harden Verna
Jon Polito Johnny Caspar
John Turturro Bernie Bernbaum
J.E. Freeman Eddie Dane
Danny Aiello Delahanty, a Cop
Joey Ancona Boxer
Michael Badalucco Caspar's Driver
Steve Buscemi Mink
David Darlow Lazarre's Messenger
Kevin Dearie Street Urchin
Dave Drinkx Hitman No. 2
Esteban Fernandez Caspar's Cousin
George Fernandez Caspar's Cousin
Charles Ferrara Caspar's Butler
Lanny Flaherty Terry
Charles Gunning Hitman at Verna's
Jack David Harris Man with Pipe Bomb
Jery Hewitt Son of Erin
Donna Isaacson Actor
Michael Jeter Adolph
Helen Jolly Screaming Lady
Jeanette Kontomitras Mrs. Caspar
Olek Krupa Tad
Robert La Brosse Lazarre's Tough
Zolly Levin Rabbi
John Lyons Actor
Al Mancini Tic-Tac
John McConnell Brian, a Cop
Frances McDormand Actor
Hilda McLean Landlady
Louis Charles Mounicou Johnny Caspar Jr.
Don Picard Gunmen in Leo's House
Sam Raimi Snickering Gunman
Bill Raye Boxer
William Preston Robertson Voice Only
Carl Rooney Lazarre's Toughs
John Schnauder Cop with Bullhorn
Mike Starr Frankie
Monte Starr Gunman in Leo's House
Mario Todisco Clarence "Drop" Johnson
Thomas Toner O'Doole
Salvatore H. Tornabene Rug Daniels
Richard Woods Mayor Dale Levander

Technical Credits
Joel Coen Director,Screenwriter
Ben Barenholtz Producer
Sonny Burke Songwriter
Carter Burwell Score Composer
Allan Byer Musical Direction/Supervision
James Campbell Songwriter
Peter M. Chesney Special Effects
Ethan Coen Producer,Screenwriter
Reg Connelly Songwriter
Image Engineering Special Effects
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Jery Hewitt Stunts
Richard Hornung Costumes/Costume Designer
Kathrine James Makeup
Leslie McDonald Art Director
Kathleen McKernin Set Decoration/Design
Michael R. Miller Editor
Ray Noble Songwriter
Graham Place Producer
Sid Robin Songwriter
Mark Silverman Co-producer
Barry Sonnenfeld Cinematographer
Rudy Vallée Songwriter
Leo Wood Songwriter
Dashiell Hammett Source Author

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Miller's Crossing 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Miller's Crossing is as disturbing and densely beautiful as its opening image, a lofty forest that dwarfs the gangsters as they chuckle over their prey. There is an uncompromising magic about this primeval setting, until it comes over you like a wolf's shadow that this is where the brutal truly belong. The movie is brooding, dark and as coldly gleaming as gun metal. A gangster noir movie written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, it is a grim classic to admire if not to love, a Dashiell Hammett-style jigsaw of hard-boiled argot, dame troubles and existential dread. As violent as the streets of Washington DC, this Prohibition-era drama - ''a dirty town movie,'' the Coens call it - is more than a little at home as a blood-and-pulp parable for these times. While Miller's Crossing is not as inspired as Scorsese's GoodFellas, or as richly grand as The Godfather, it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. It's a smaller gangster movie, more studied and controlled, but features great moments and performances that stay with you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''Miller's Crossing'' is an engrossing tale of loyalty and deceit all spellbindingly sewn together by the Coen Brothers. This film approaches the craftsmanship of ''The Godfather'' and ''The Godfather Part 2'' in design, charachers, sequencing and sound. Of particular note are an older Albert Finney as the Irish mob boss and Jon Polito as his rival Italian mob counterpart. The scene where Finney turns the tables on would-be assassins as ''Danny Boy'' plays is masterful. This is a highly underrated film.