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Miller's Crossing (1990)

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Tom Regan, 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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A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Irish | Yiddish

Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De paseo a la muerte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,080,409
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Miller of the title comes from the Coen Brothers' frequent film editor, Michael R. Miller. See more »

Goofs

The robe that Verna wears when Tom visits her the morning after he loses his hat keeps changing positions between shots, alternately revealing and concealing her bra. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Dane: Not so fast, there, Kaputnik.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Guys (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Decatur Street Tutti
Written and Performed by Jabbo Smith
Courtesy of MCA Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Jewel of the Coen Crown
8 July 1999 | by PClarkSee all my reviews

One of the great undiscovered gems of recent movie history. In my opinion, Miller's crossing is easily the best of the Coen brothers' films, and one of the true classics of American cinema.

On the surface, the story of warring gangsters in 1920's America is one that has been told many times before. But never before has it been handled with such artistry and precision. The (rather violent) action scenes keep the movie going along at a brisk pace, and the camera work is every bit the equal of "Fargo".

I became a lifelong Gabriel Byrne fan as a result of this movie, despite his best efforts to disappoint me since. Byrne's Tom Reagan is a compellingly amoral character, who takes more unchallenged beatings than perhaps anyone in film history. Men beat him up. Women beat him up. Collection men, bookies, gangsters, and even his boss gives him a terrible thrashing, and he hardly lifts a finger in opposition (with one notably humorous exception).

Albert Finney is tremendous as Leo, the local crime boss. His "Danny Boy" scene should go down in film history as one of the greatest pieces ever filmed. Jon Polito is at once absurdly funny and threateningly psychotic as Johnny Caspar, Leo's rival in the turf war. J.E. Freeman, John Turturro, and Marcia Gay Harden all lend strong support in a cast that was assembled and performs to near perfection.

I will never understand why this film has not received more recognition and acclaim. As an example of the modern style of Film Noir, it has no equals ("The Usual Suspects" would rate a close second). Among gangster films, only "The Godfather" can compete, and "Miller's Crossing" features superior pacing and dialog, although it lacks "The Godfather's" epic proportions. Perhaps someday this film will receive, like "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Touch of Evil", the belated accolades it so richly deserves.


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