Coen, Joel. Coen, Ethan. "Miller's Crossing" Byrne
1990 Gangster Film from the talented Coen Brothers. Typically Coen-esque, 'Miller's Crossing' is an arty Ganster movie in the Film Noir genre, with influences ranging from Chandler to Hammett's excellent novel 'Red Harvest' in which the main character and narrator, The Continental Op, instigates an all-out war in a corrupt town. It is a violent novel for its time with much gun fighting and murder, corrupt cops and femme fatales. The Coen's were also influenced by Dashiell Hammett's 'The Glass Key'.
'Miller's Crossing' focuses on the character of Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne). Reagan is friend and confidant of one Leo O'Bannon (Albert Finney) who is the head Gangster or Mobster of a city during Prohibition era. His rival is Johnny Casper (Jon Polito). Casper wants to kill crooked bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Tuturro) and inadvertently asks Leo's permission. Leo refuses. Tom advises him this is a bad move, as Casper is not small fish anymore. Leo and Casper go to war.
Bernie Bernbaum has a sister, Verna, who is seeing Leo and (on the quiet) Tom. Tom wants Verna and Leo to give Bernie to Casper, thus preventing a big gangland war. No good. Tom tells of his affair with Verna and Leo wipes his hands clean of Tom. Tom goes to work for Caspar and is ordered to kill Bernie to prove his loyalty. Taking Bernie out into the woods at Miller's Crossing Tom puts the gun to Bernie's head and ... well ... find out ...
The film also stars Steve Buscemi (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Trees Lounge, Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs) and Mike Starr (Ed Wood, Goodfellas, The Hudsucker Proxy).
Commercial flop. Critically acclaimed.
A Coen Brother's triumph
The Coen Brother's attempt at a take on thirties gangster movies is an absolute triumph! For me Joel and Ethan can do no wrong - from Fargo to No Country For Old Men - I have never seen a Coen Brother's movie that I didn't thoroughly enjoy! I'm a huge fan.
Miller's Crossing, an early film in their repertoire,tells the story of Tom (played by Gabriel Byrne) a lieutenant and counsellor to Irish crimelord Leo,(portrayed here by Albert Finney).
When Italian underboss, Johnny Casper (Jon Polito) feels slighted by Leo following a dispute over rigged betting, Johnny decides it's time that he was in charge and soon the bullets start to fly.
Tom tries to keep the peace but things soon get out of control. He and Leo are both seeing the same woman and he finds himself walking a perilous tightrope.
Also starring Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, J.E. Freeman and a small cameo by Steve Buscemi, Miller's Crossing is a definite must see film.
Haha....a 'must' for fans of Albert Finney
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Bought this as I had been looking for it for a while after reading about it in a book on must-see gangster movies.
It isn't exactly the Godfather but if you can pick it up for less than a pound like I did, it is more than just a bargain.
I loved the film's action scenes which are complete with tommy gun-fuelled shootouts that you'd expect from a gangster flick. Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney and Marcia Gay Harden are pretty good throughout. The only thing that really disappointed me was the fact that its labelled on the cover as a special edition, yet it only seems to include a short documentary and some interviews, aside from the usual bonus features you'd get.
I'd recommend this dvd if you enjoy films such as Public Enemies, O Brother Where Art Thou, Man Who Wasn't There.
Good gangster flick..
The year is 1929. The place is an gangster-ridden American city run by Leo (Albert Finney). But the real power lies with Tom (Gabriel Byrne), the power behind the man. Their friendship is severed when they both fall in love with the same woman (Marcia Gay Harden) and a bloody gang war erupts...
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
I believe this was one of the Coens' first films. So obviously big things are expected. It's a story about rivalry between mobs in an American city, (chicago i think) and during this rivaly, the main boss and his lieutenant argue and fight over a woman, and the lieutanant seeks the employment of a rival mob boss. It's very suspensful, with brutal killings and gore. THere's one bit where the lieutenant is taken into a local forest to check if he has killed the man he's ment to have killed, and you can almost feel your heart pounding. It's very well done, but for some reason I always felt like there was something missing..... Not sure what exactly, but it didn't completely satisfy. Definately worth seeing, and if youv'e liked any of the Coens' other films (such as fargo) then you'll probabably enjoy this one.....
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.