Miller's Crossing

Miller's Crossing

DVD | Widescreen ed.
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During prohibition two gangland bosses struggle for control over a city, with one of the boss's lieutenants caught in the middle.
Edition: Widescreen ed.
Copyright Date: ©2003
Branch Call Number: DVD MILLERS
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (115 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
video file,DVD video


From Library Staff

There’s a small contingent of Coen-Heads who believe the Brothers’ best film to date is the darkly comedic gangster film Miller’s Crossing. I am among that small contingent. It not only demands, but rewards multiple viewings. The plot is complex and baffling. Yet, the more you crack its secrets, ... Read More »

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Mar 17, 2020

Good, sometimes very good, but it is Turturro's performance alone that gives the film substance. Astounding performance.

Sep 13, 2019

Cunningly contrived - maybe too cunning. More than one viewer has ended up like Verna, " I don't understand. I don't care!"

But if you like puzzles - the more intricate, the better - this is for you. It's rich in manipulations, betrayals, doublings and love triangles.

The story unfolds in scenes that play almost like tableaux. For starters, there's the lighting: bright for public spaces, dim for private. Then there's the color scheme: green for Tom and 'friendship' (Tom appears at one point with a sign in the background reading 'Fidelity Repairs'), red for Leo and the fiery passions of the heart.,

The driver of the plot is, as Casper declares right at the beginning, ethics, i.e., moral choice, right and wrong.

The characters represent at least four standards of morality. 1) Beasts, like Mink, who have no sense of right and wrong, merely acting on their drives, creating anarchy, the jungle. 2) Caspar, who uses the 'fear of god,' i.e., threats of violence or death, to establish order. 3) Leo, the Lionheart, who helps friends and hurts enemies. 4) Tom, who icily judges gains and losses. (Tom - and only Tom - is addressed, 'Jesus, Tom,' or 'Christ, Tom,' and he can raise the dead.)

Some viewers may sense a void at the heart of the film. Where is the emotion powering the whole complex machination? I think it is what Leo calls 'joy de veever" and Verna, the angel, 'is' it.

Money, as in many Coen Brothers films, is a corrupting influence on friendship. This is why Tom refuses Leo's offer to 'square' his account with the bookie.

Maybe in the end the key is to be found in the dream sequence of the wind-blown hat (like so many scenes, doubled later in the film). Oddly, the dream hat is not Tom's. Tom wears a gray-brown fedora. The dream hat is black. Who wears a black fedora? The Dane? Leo?. My interpretation is that the first part of the dream, with the green title cards set against a cathedral of green trees and accompanied by intensely emotional music (I leave it to the viewer to give a name to the emotion.), represents Tom's relationship with Leo. The second part, with the red (Leo) title card "miller's crossing" leading to the hat sequence, represents Tom's apprehensions that the relationship is threatened.

There follows a brief black-out, and Tom is shown waking from his dream. Returning to a world of lies and manipulation, he asks, "Who're you gonna believe?"

Oct 06, 2018

The third Cohen Bro's film after Blood Simple 1984 and Raising Arizona 1987 on the central characters in a deadly gang war. Enjoyed the story, actions and performance of actors except that of Marcia Harden who played an unconvincing beguiling and bewitching woman.

Dec 12, 2016

Miller's Crossing, 1990, is a loser production from the Coen brothers, written by both of them, produced by one and directed by the other one. It is 115 minutes of tediousness that never delivers. Its' budget was $14 million but the box office flop brought in just $5,080,409. Compare this to the Godfather block buster from 1972 with a budget of $6–7 million and a box office of $245.1 million Yet TIME magazine called Miller's Crossing one of the 100 greatest films made since the inception of the periodical? The viewing public didn't agree with TIME. The movie hinges upon Irish actor Gabriel Byrne's ability to mesmerize us enough to want to stay with him as he plays all these criminals against each other like a game of thrones. He failed. He doesn't ever smile or laugh or exhibit what we call charisma. The entire film is dim lighted and didn't tantalize me at any frame.

Sep 12, 2016

As the film progressed, attitude, language, and suits were similar to that of the 30’s and 40’s crime films based on novels written by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler and the “comic” exaggerated violence seemed to be similar to that of the 1990’s film "Dick Tracy." Tom Reagan and Verna were main characters of "Miller's Crossing," names that I suspect were tributes to Regan and Velma of Chandler novels. As the plot progressed, I noticed a similarity to the plot of Hammett’s novel “The Glass Key.” I’ve come to the conclusion that the Coen Brothers have produced this film as a tribute to the great black and white film noir works of the mid 20th century.

Sep 01, 2015

Gritty yesteryear portrayal of NYC's criminal underworld. The up-&-coming Italians take on the Irish power brokers. Unfortunately the crime bosses seem to do battle over relatively minor affronts. Great cast, great acting but shallow plot.

Aug 31, 2015

Very good crime drama. noir from the Coen Bros- the plot is convoluted but ti makes sense a second time around.

CRRL_CraigG Jul 16, 2015

Quick-witted dialogue and tommy gun bullets fly in equal share, and mob boss Albert Finney commands a hilarious scene of pre-bedtime destruction after a couple of hitmen sneak into his house.

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KateHillier Dec 11, 2013

The acting is supurb, the "Danny Boy" scene is worth the watch on its own, but the film itself sort of rambles off. The look of the film and the music is also amazing.

indigo_lion_24 Mar 12, 2013

Not the Coens best but once again annoying cult fans have to shout to the skies how great it is with their reviews.

The Coens are great filmmakers. That doesn't mean every one of their films has to be great.

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Oct 06, 2018

Many posted, 87 of them, in IMDb already. Thanks to the contributors:

Apr 27, 2012

"What's the rumpus?" said by: everybody.


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