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Miller's Crossing [VHS]

Gabriel Byrne , Albert Finney , Ethan Coen , Joel Coen    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden, Jon Polito
  • Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Dashiell Hammett
  • Producers: Ethan Coen, Ben Barenholtz, Graham Place
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Italian, Yiddish
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 10 Aug 1992
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CLFO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,154 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest gangster films ever made, Miller’s Crossing is directed from an original screenplay by legendary left-field film-making brothers Joel and Ethan Coen (Intolerable Cruelty, Fargo, Raising Arizona and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?). It is a brooding gangster noir movie, dark and cold as gun metal. Set in prohibition-struck 1929 in an unnamed eastern American city, the Coen brothers’ gangster drama is inspired by the works of Dashiel Hammett which will surprise and delight fans of the horrific Blood Simple and the manic Raising Arizona. In filming Miller’s Crossing, the brothers assembled a team of old and new collaborators and a first-rate ensemble cast.

It’s the compelling story of a friendship between the local political boss, Leo (four time Academy Award nominee Albert Finney - Tom Jones, Erin Brockovich) and Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne - The Usual Suspects, End of Days), the ‘man behind the man’. The men’s friendship is severed when Leo and Tom both fall in love with the same woman, Verna (Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden - Pollock, Mystic River). Tom joins ranks with Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito - Barton Fink, The Singing Detective) Leo’s foremost enemy and rival for political power, and a bloody gang war erupts. The lynchpin between them all is Verna’s brother, Bernie (John Turturro - Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, Mr Deeds) who crosses and double crosses all parties. Will Tom sell out to a friend? Is Verna still Leo’s girl? Can Johnny muscle in? Or will Bernie turn the tables on his friends and family? Miller’s Crossing is propelled by gripping action, stunning cinematography and black humour to create an intense and twisting plot that walks a deadly tightrope.

From Amazon.co.uk

Arguably the best film by Joel and Ethan Coen, the 1990 Miller's Crossing stars Gabriel Byrne as Tom, a loyal lieutenant of a crime boss named Leo (Albert Finney) who is in a Prohibition-era turf war with his major rival, Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito). A man of principle, Tom nevertheless is romantically involved with Leo's lover (Marcia Gay Harden), whose screwy brother (John Turturro) escapes a hit ordered by Caspar only to become Tom's problem. Making matters worse, Tom has outstanding gambling debts he can't pay, which keeps him in regular touch with a punishing enforcer. With all the energy the Coens put into their films, and all their focused appreciation of genre conventions and rules, and all their efforts to turn their movies into ironic appreciations of archetypes in American fiction, they never got their formula so right as with Miller's Crossing. With its Hammett-like dialogue and Byzantine plot and moral chaos mitigated by one hero's personal code, the film so transcends its self-scrutiny as a retro-crime thriller that it is a deserved classic in its own right. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER WINNER BY THE COEN BROTHERS... 8 Dec 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is a different kind of gangster flick. It is an intelligent foray into the world of the roaring twenties and the corruption and speakeasies engendered by Prohibition. This money making turf is zealously guarded by rival crime bosses: Leo, masterfully played by Albert Finney, and Johnny Caspar, well played by Jon Polito.
Tom Reagan, beautiful played by the darkly smoldering Gabriel Byrne, is Leo's main man. Unfortunately for him, he is feeling the noose around his neck tighten, as he owes some big gambling debts that he is unable to pay. Moreover, he is head over heels in love with Verna, played with hard edged, sexual intensity by Marcia Gay Harden, who just happens to be Leo's main squeeze. Moreover, Verna's bookmaker brother, Bernie Bernbaum, played with smarmy abandon by John Turturro, has a contract on his life and is on the run. When Tom finds himself helping Bernie, he soon discovers that no good deed goes unpunished. All this makes life very complicated and difficult for Tom.
At times, it is difficult to ascertain who the good guys and the bad guys really are, or for whom they really work, as they all seem to march to the beat of a different drummer. There is more to what is going on than initially meets the eye. Make no mistake, this is a multi-faceted movie that works well on many levels. As with all Coen brothers' films, there is an underlay of sly humor that permeates the film.
The dialogue is sharp and evocative of another time, as it is laden with Prohibition era slang, and its stacatto delivery is most effective. The characters all walk the walk and talk the talk. The performances by the entire case are stellar. Look for Steve Buscemi in the small role of Mink, and do not blink or you will miss Frances McDormand's performance as Johnny Caspar's secretary. All in all, this is an excellent film and another feather in the collective cap of the Coen brothers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mob rule 1 April 2007
The boss of the dominant Irish gangsters stirs up a hornets' nest of trouble with the subordinate Italian gangsters over the Jewish brother of his girlfriend. His second in command has the burden of trying to calm things down and sort out the mess. He sees that the balance of power is likely to tip in favour of the Italians if the rumpus is allowed to escalate, but not before chaos reigns and a lot of profit is lost and people killed - and all for no good reason: just to win the favour of this woman who's only buttering up the boss to buy his protection for her worthless brother. To complicate matters, Tom (the second in command) is also secretly involved with the woman and he suspects she's only obliging him with her attentions, again, to help out her selfish, ungrateful brother. Also, Tom has a gambling problem that leads all the sleaze-merchants around him to believe they can buy his loyalty by paying off his debts. On top of all that, Tom seems to be afflicted with ethics - the biggest complication of all for a man who makes his living as a mobster. He doesn't appear to be cut out for the life at all. Apart from his ability to take a beating on an almost daily basis and survive relatively unscathed, he just doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a bad guy: the 'killer instinct'.

It's all a bit more complicated than that, but easy enough to follow and interesting enough to make it worthwhile. There are a few clever touches that impressed me in addition to the very sound basics of a good story and fine acting: The film manages to be dark and violent but with a smart, subtle script and great comic timing. It's a visual feast from beginning to end. It starts off in a still and tranquil forest - a situation that couldn't be further from the notion of mob violence.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miller's Crossing Blu-ray: UK specs 31 Aug 2011
Fabulous transfer from Fox. The cover only mentions English, but the disc features gobs of languages.

Runtime: 115'.
Region A, B, C.
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p - AR: 1.84:1
Languages/audio: DTS-HD 5.1 (English); DTS 5.1 (Italian, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish); DD 5.1 (Portuguese, Spanish); DD 4.0 (English); DD 2.0 (Thai, Turkish).
Subs: English (HoH), Italian, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Portoguese, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Greek, Chinese, Hebrew, Korean, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian.

# Barry Sonnenfeld featurette (17').
# interview with John Turturro, Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden (9').
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An obligue gangster classic 22 April 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The Coen Brothers are among the best film makers to have arisen from the U.S. independent scene. Their brand of slick dialogue and genre bending is consistently refreshing. Miller's Crossing is definitely their finest film. Influenced by the old Warner Bros. gangster flicks of the 30's and 40's, not to mention the hardened thrillers of Hammet, the plot involves double cross, triple cross, the obligatory femme fatale, betrayal and some gut wrenching violence. It is also the Coens' most emotional film which is ironic as the film's anti-hero (Gabriel Byrne) comes to abandon his feelings, viewing them as a weakness. Fargo was a masterpiece, but Miller's Crossing is even better.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Made with more wit, character and style than a summers worth of holywood blockbusters, the Coen brotehrs cast their magic on the gangster movie.
The main events follow the path of an Irish-American gangsters (Albert Finney) 2nd in command (Gabriel Byrne) as he 'plays the angles' in a complex tale of love, loyalty and betrayal.
The much celebrated set piece with Albert Finney defending himself against a hit while listen to "Danny Boy" and dressed in a smoking jacket and slippers is entirely worth the praise.
The cast is excllent with Gabriel Byrne portaying the seemingly cold and calculating Tom very convincingly without alienating the viewer and ultimately still able to express his feelings of pain and loss without getting all mushy or stepping out of character.
The supporting cast is mostly excellent and never short of ok.
Coen brothers regular John Turturo is well cast as the sleazy, self serving bookie )ernie) who is the cause of everyones troubles and Steve Buscemi (Mink) has barely more than a cameo as another 'funny looking' guy.
The rival italian gang fronted by Jon Polito as Johnny Caspar and his 2nd in command 'the Dane' are both comedic and threatening. The fact that the Dane is almost certainly gay (though in no way camp) adds to the sense of real character while still maintaining the near surrealism of the Coens best work.
The weakest casting is of the gangsters mol, Verna (Marcia Harden) who probably isn't quite attractive or dangerous enough
,but maybe that's the point.
Complex, quirky and compelling.
Watch it and be spellbound..
The DVD is largely devoid of extras, but frankly when a film is this good, who cares ?
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