Tom Reagan (played by Gabriel Byrne) is the right-hand man, and chief adviser, to a mob boss, Leo (Albert Finney). Trouble is brewing between Leo and another mob boss, Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito), over the activities of a bookie, Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) and Leo and Tom are at odds on how to deal with it. Meanwhile, Tom is in a secret relationship with Leo's girlfriend, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden), who happens to be the sister of Bernie. In trying to resolve the issue, Tom is cast out from Leo's camp and ultimately finds himself stuck in the middle between several deadly, unforgiving parties. Written by
Writers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen suffered writer's block while writing Miller's Crossing (1990). They took a three week break and wrote Barton Fink (1991) a film about a writer with writer's block. The name of Tom Regan's residence is "The Barton Arms". In one of the newspapers an article reads 'Seven Dead in Hotel Fire,' another reference to Barton Fink. See more »
Towards the end of the opening scene, the cigar on Leo O'Bannion's desk mysteriously changes position, although it eventually returns to its original location. See more »
There are very few films that engulf the viewer and demand them to give their full attention. This is one of those rarities. While viewing this film one finds themselves sharing the same space and breathing the same air that the characters do. It's beautiful. It's the stuff of great story-telling.
I must admit, I am a great fan of Gabriel Byrne in anything, no matter what it is, so maybe I'm jaded. And as I have seen practically everything with him in it, I must say it is refreshing to see him work with an amazing cast and script to back up his talent.
And the music is terrific. How ironic to have "Danny Boy"-a sentimental grandparents' favorite- playing while machine guns are ripping apart mens' flesh. The cinematography is superb also. Not only do the characters speak in a language rich with visuals, they live in a moving painting.
This was one of those films where I watched all the way through the credits slack-jawed and was sad to see the film end. It's that good. I'm not especially a fan of gangster films but I am willing to make exceptions and Miller's Crossing is one of them.
76 of 104 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?