A highly styled 'genre' film which can perhaps be seen as a pastiche of all gangster movies. Tom Reagan is the laconic anti-hero of this amoral tale which is also, paradoxically, a look at morals within the criminal underworld of the 1930s. Two rival gangs vie for control of a city where the police are pawns, and the periodic busts of illicit drinking establishments are no more than a way for one gang to get back at the other. Black humour and shocking violence compete for screen time as we question whether or not Tom, right-hand man of the Irish mob leader, really has a heart. 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 »
When Verna and Tom are talking in the women's dressing room, Verna slugs him. As he staggers away, the glass is in his left hand, but he throws it at the mirror with his right. 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.
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