Tom Reagan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
3,139 ( 964)
4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... Tom Reagan
Marcia Gay Harden ... Verna
John Turturro ... Bernie Bernbaum
Jon Polito ... Johnny Caspar
J.E. Freeman ... Eddie Dane
Albert Finney ... Leo
Mike Starr ... Frankie
Al Mancini ... Tic-Tac
Richard Woods Richard Woods ... Mayor Dale Levander
Tom Toner ... O'Doole (as Thomas Toner)
Steve Buscemi ... Mink
Mario Todisco Mario Todisco ... Clarence "Drop" Johnson
Olek Krupa ... Tad
Michael Jeter ... Adolph
Lanny Flaherty ... Terry
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Storyline

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 grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can dangle. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of "Rug" Daniels takes his name from his unconvincing hairpiece. A child is seen removing the hairpiece from the character after he is killed. See more »

Goofs

At 20 minutes into the film, when Tom Reagan pours his third drink at the bar, he never drinks it. When he walks away with the "full" drink in his hand, the glass is empty. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Caspar: I'm talkin' about friendship. I'm talkin' about character. I'm talkin' about - hell. Leo, I ain't embarrassed to use the word - I'm talkin' about ethics.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits list production companies, the title, and the main cast. The crew is not listed until the ending credits, starting with a director credit. See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Palm Beach Story (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

King Porter Stomp
By Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton, Sonny Burke and Sid Robin
Edwin H. Morris & Co., a division of MPL Communications, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
this movie is splendid, magnificent, unique: don't miss it
30 August 2000 | by pzanardoSee all my reviews

In my opinion, "Miller's crossing" is by far the top work of the Coen brothers, and one of the best movies in the history of cinema. The huge Coens' talent being now fully recognized, I hope that this masterpiece will get the credit it deserves.

The plot deals with the war between Irish and Italian gangsters, caused by the Jewish crook Bernie (the Coens like to joke with the rivalry of different ethnic groups). The crook's affectionate sister Verna is the mistress of Leo O' Bannion, the boss of the Irish gang, who consequently opposes to have him killed by the Italians. But Tom Reagan, the old mate and factotum of O' Bannion, has different plans... The story is extremely interesting, exciting, entertaining. There are no flaws in the development of the plot, despite its complications (a homage to the intricate classic film-noirs of the Golden Age). The script is sharp, cynical, sarcastic, full of memorable lines and of black sense of humor, with many delightful subtleties: the celebrated Coens' wit at its best. The photography is magnificent and very original. The music is great. The action scenes are superbly filmed: violence explodes suddenly and unexpectedly. The finale is perfect and splendidly crowns the movie.

Tom Reagan, played by Gabriel Byrne, is one of the most memorable characters I have seen on the screen. A gangster who tries to use intelligence instead of violence (with alternate success), following a peculiar moral code. Cynical but devoted to friendship. A systematic liar, but capable of generosity. Despite his skills, he is not ambitious, he prefer to be subject to a big-shot. And then, with all his smartness, he strangely chooses to destroy himself with alcohol and gambling. A magnificent psychological design. With this sober, brilliant, subtle performance, worth of a Bogart in great shape, Byrne just shows that he is the best actor in the world (my opinion, of course).

The aged Irish boss O' Bannion - Albert Finney is the opposite of Reagan: naive, sometimes dumb, with a strong love and childish attachment for his girl-friend, he is confident only in his own charisma and in brutal force. Speaking of brutal force, he will show in a gun-fight that he's still the number one, in spite of years passing (incidentally: this is one of the best action scenes I've ever seen).

Also the other characters are shaped with outstanding intelligence and care, from the main ones (Bernie, his sister, the Italian boss, his right-hand Dane) to the last of the thugs. The whole cast is fantastic: Finney, Turturro, Marcia Gay Hayden, Polito, Freeman and all the other excellent supporting actors. A special mention for the scaring gangster Eddie Dane - J.E. Freeman: he really makes you shriver. Turturro is a bit histrionic for my taste, but this is his style of acting, suited for the role of the crook, mean and coward, but cunning and dangerous as a snake.

To summarize, in "Miller's Crossing" fun, drama, action, suspense, mystery are masterly blended with deeper themes such as love, friendship and human loneliness. This movie is splendid, magnificent, unique, don't miss it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Irish | Yiddish

Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Miller's Crossing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,202, 23 September 1990

Gross USA:

$5,080,409

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,080,409
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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