Miller's Crossing 1990 Subtitles

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(77) IMDb 7.9/10
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Joel and Ethan Coen's third collaboration, the gangster film Miller's Crossing, stars Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan, the right-hand man of big-city Irish mob boss Leo (Albert Finney). The film opens with Italian mobster Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) and his second in command Eddie Dane (J.E. Freeman) informing Leo and Tom that they are going to kill bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) because he has been revealing Caspar's fixed fights to other gamblers. Leo informs Caspar that Bernie pays for protection and is not to be touched. After the Italians leave in a huff, Tom informs Leo that he should give up Bernie. Tom and Leo are both involved with Verna (Marcia Gay Harden), Bernie's sister. After a failed hit on Leo starts a full-scale mob war, Tom reveals to Leo the truth about his relationship with Verna. This leads to a falling-out between the pair. Tom goes to work for Caspar, but in truth, he is still loyal to Leo. Tom figures out how to manipulate all of the situations so that Leo survives, but this may cost Tom his relationship with Verna.~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Gabriel Byrne, J.E. Freeman
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 50 minutes
Starring Gabriel Byrne, J.E. Freeman, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, Albert Finney
Director Joel Coen
Genres Drama, Thriller
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 13 October 2003
Main languages English
Subtitles Spanish, Italian, Swedish, German, Dutch, French, English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 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 By T. Bobley on 1 April 2007
Format: DVD
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
Some totally bizarre reviews of this, the Coen brothers masterpiece, citing too slow, unlikeable characters, no resolution in the ending - really quite mind-boggling!

The Coen brothers have been one of the most unique, creative forces in mainstream cinema for the past 20 years, producing a whole gamut of cinema styles styles and genres. But despite the undoubted quality of films such as Fargo, Blood Simple, No Country For Old Men, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy and A Serious Man, this is for me their crowning achievement.

Essentially a black comedy, but with clear tips of the hat to film noir/gangster pictures, but done in the way only the Coen Brothers could. The film contains some of the outstanding performances in all Coen films. Clearly, both Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney have never been better, playing the chief henchman and gang boss, respectively. But it is in the other casting that this film excels. Jon Polito gives a brilliant performance as one of the most menacing headcases ever to hit the screen ('put it in the brain') and his underling J.E.Freeman (as Eddie Dane) is no less threatening. But the film also contains two of the great 'nerd' (and I do mean that as a compliment) performances from two of the best 'character actors' of the past 20 years, in John Turturro as Bernie Bernbaum and Steve Buscemi as Mink. What has happened to Turturro's acting career? After this film, Barton Fink and Do The Right Thing, he really does seem to have disappeared almost completely (sad).

And finally, the film contains one of the all-time great set-pieces (among the many to be found here) in the sequence where two henchmen are gradually making their way into Finney's house armed with machine guns, about to waste him. The ensuing violent shoot-out (to the tune of Danny Boy) is pure cinematic magic (a la Peckinpah).

One of the all-time greats.
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