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Miller's Crossing

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Overview

Miller's Crossing is the Coen brothers film that few are familiar with, which is a shame, since it's one of their best works. For the most part, this DVD does justice to an amazing work of art. The high point is unquestionably the image. Framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, it's impossible not to recognize Barry Sonnenfeld's gorgeous cinematography. Of particular interest are the browns, which permeate the film. They are warm and full of detail, as is the remainder of the color scheme. The darkness of the film is ...
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Overview

Miller's Crossing is the Coen brothers film that few are familiar with, which is a shame, since it's one of their best works. For the most part, this DVD does justice to an amazing work of art. The high point is unquestionably the image. Framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, it's impossible not to recognize Barry Sonnenfeld's gorgeous cinematography. Of particular interest are the browns, which permeate the film. They are warm and full of detail, as is the remainder of the color scheme. The darkness of the film is obviously part of the Coens' master plan, and it comes across spectacularly here. It's refreshing to see that this film wasn't give a lesser treatment. The 4.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack can't match the visuals, but that doesn't mean it's not noteworthy. Though surrounds are rarely heard, there is some separation up front, giving the film extra life. Sadly, the supplemental features are rather thin. Though good, an interview with Sonnenfeld on a number of subjects related to this film just isn't enough. It seems clear there is so much more that could have been discussed, but simply isn't. Brief interviews from Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro don't have the time to add much either, though the actors' love of this film is quite obvious. Finally, along with a photo gallery of meager proportions, are trailers for this film, Raising Arizona, and Barton Fink. While lacking in some ways, Fox has done just enough to satisfy the fervent legion of fans that adore this film.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Barry Sonnenfeld featurette; Cast interviews with Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro; Still gallery; Theatrical trailer
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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).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2003
  • UPC: 024543073833
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Time: 1:55:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 5,195

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 III 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
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
Al Mancini Tic-Tac
John McConnell Brian, a Cop
Frances McDormand
Hilda McLean Landlady
Louis Charles Mounicou III 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 Jr. 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
Herbert Pryor Vallée Songwriter
Leo Wood Songwriter
Dashiell Hammett Source Author
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Ethics
2. Main Titles
3. Deep in the Hole
4. Looking for Verna
5. R.I.P. Rug Daniels
6. A Man of Principle
7. Bernie
8. Friends
9. A Question of Murder
10. Death and Danny Boy
11. Trust
12. The Kiss-Off
13. A Couple of Heels
14. Changed Circumstances
15. Miller's Crossing
16. Nothing to Worry About
17. Dane's Threat
18. Bernie's Play
19. Proof
20. A Message for Bernie
21. The Siege of The Sons of Erin
22. The New Boss
23. Calling Bernie's Bluff
24. To a Deep, Dark Place
25. A Lie and No Heart
26. Square
27. Goodbye, Leo
28. End Titles
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Language Selection
      Audio: English 4.0 Dolby Surround
      Audio: French Dolby Surround
      Audio: Spanish Stereo
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Shooting Miller's Crossing: A Conversation With Barry Sonnenfeld
      Interview Soundbites
         Gabriel Byrne
            "The Problem for Critics"
            "Not an Obvious Gangster Film"
            "A Character With Depth"
            "A Woman Motivates the Action"
            "Albert Finney"
            Play All
         Marcia Gay Harden
            "Verna's Lines"
            "Verna's Look"
            "Impression of the Coens"
            Play All
         John Turturro
            "Acting With the Coens"
            "One Man's Journey"
            Play All
      Theatrical Trailers
         Theatrical Trailer
         Barton Fink Trailer
         Raising Arizona Trailer
      Still Gallery
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2001

    Gangster Film Noir!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2000

    Oh, Danny Boy

    ''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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews