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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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Popularity
2,698 ( 574)

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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4 wins & 15 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:

What's the rumpus? 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:

Miller's Crossing 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

After The Dane punches Tom to the floor in Caspar's house and threatens to beat Mink's fate out of Tom, the line, "Is this how you taught Drop his story?" from Tom is dubbed over his unmoving lips. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Caspar: Friends is a mental state. Wuddya say, kid?
Tom Reagan: I'll think about it.
Johnny Caspar: He'll think about it. Hear that, Bluepoint? That's terrific. The kid's a thinker.
Frankie: Does he want a pillow for his head?
Johnny Caspar: Okay kid, think about it. It's a mental state. But make it quick, my family's waitin'.
Tom Reagan: I'll think about it and tell you later.
Frankie: He needs to think in the thinking room.
Johnny Caspar: Kid, if it'll help you think, you should know that if you don't do this you won't be in any shape to walk outta here.
Tom Reagan: Would that be physically... or ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Preacher: Sonsabitches (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Danny Boy
Music by Rory Dall O'Cahan (uncredited)
Lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly (uncredited)
Sung by Frank Patterson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The answer my friend is a hat blowing in the wind.
10 November 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Coen brothers craft a loving homage to gangster pictures of yore with splendid results. Essentially the plot has Gabriel Byrne as a good - bad guy caught between two rival gangster factions. It's a standard story line that is still providing cinematic water for many a film maker these days, but shot through the Coen prism, with literary astuteness holding court, it's a genre piece of considerable class. A picture in fact that gets better and better with further viewings.

When the Coen's are on form they have the skills to make a grade "A" thriller and blend it with a sort of dry irony. It's like they bite the hand that feeds whilst praising said genre influences to the rafters, but it works as damn fine entertainment. On a narrative level Miller's Crossing molds the Byzantine with the labyrinthine, keeping the complexities just on the right side of the street from that of art for arts sake.

Visually the film is superb, the hard working sweat of the city dovetails impudently with the mother nature beauty of Miller's Crossing the place, a place home to misery, a witness to the dark side of man. All the while Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro and Jon Polito bring an array of characterisations to the party, each one his own man but each craftily proving the folly of man. Marcia Gay Harden, in one of her first mainstream roles, slinks about making the two main boys sweaty, and wonderful she is as well. While Carter Burwell provides a musical score that has a smug (in a good way) self awareness about it.

Style over substance? Yes, on formative viewings it is. But go back, look again, see and sample what is not being said. Pulpers and noirers will I'm sure get the gist. 8/10


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