Miller's Crossing [DVD] [1990]

  • SKU: 5402584
  • Release Date: 05/20/2003
  • Rating: R
Miller's Crossing is the Coen brothers film that few are familiar with, which is a shame, since it's one of their best works. For the most part, this DVD does justice to an amazing work of art. The high point is unquestionably the image. Framed at 1.85:1 and anamorphic, it's impossible not to recognize Barry Sonnenfeld's gorgeous cinematography. Of particular interest are the browns, which permeate the film. They are warm and full of detail, as is the remainder of the color scheme. The darkness of the film is obviously part of the Coens' master plan, and it comes across spectacularly here. It's refreshing to see that this film wasn't give a lesser treatment. The 4.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack can't match the visuals, but that doesn't mean it's not noteworthy. Though surrounds are rarely heard, there is some separation up front, giving the film extra life. Sadly, the supplemental features are rather thin. Though good, an interview with Sonnenfeld on a number of subjects related to this film just isn't enough. It seems clear there is so much more that could have been discussed, but simply isn't. Brief interviews from Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro don't have the time to add much either, though the actors' love of this film is quite obvious. Finally, along with a photo gallery of meager proportions, are trailers for this film, Raising Arizona, and Barton Fink. While lacking in some ways, Fox has done just enough to satisfy the fervent legion of fans that adore this film.
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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    96% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (40 out of 42)

    Special Features


    • Barry Sonnenfeld featurette
    • Cast interviews with Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro
    • Still gallery
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Closed Captioned

    Synopsis


    Miller's Crossing
    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, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • Gabriel Byrne
      Gabriel Byrne - Tom Reagan
    • Albert Finney
      Albert Finney - Leo
    • Marcia Gay Harden
      Marcia Gay Harden - Verna
    • Jon Polito
      Jon Polito - Johnny Caspar
    • John Turturro
      John Turturro - Bernie Bernbaum



    Customer rating

    4.5
    96%
    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      not a bad gangster flick

      Posted
      Rocky
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      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 cast 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.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      good ole gangster flix

      Posted
      Rocky
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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      What you see in Miller's Crossing is not what you get, believe me. This film belongs to Gabriel Byrne who plays Tom Reagan. Tom is a hero, anti-hero, maybe, in this gangster film. The Coen Bros, those wonderful film guys, have written and directed this film. You can tell from the very beginning when this marvelous music overpowers you that a Coen film is here. Tom Reagan is an assistant of sorts to Leo, played by Albert Finney. Leo is the crime boss, and the entire city revolves around him. Both Tom and Leo have an affinity for Verna, played by Marsha Gay Harden, though Leo is at first not aware of this. Jon Polito who plays Johnny Caspar, Leo's opposite. John has a thing for "business ethics.", which makes me laugh when you see his temper and his antics. One of the most interesting characters is Bernie Bernbaum, played by John Turrtora. A weasel loved by his sister, Verna, and for whom everything falls apart. The action is violent, beatings a plenty, gunfights a plenty, lots of booze, some sex, but nothing seen. A Coen film must be seen.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      The Coens take on the gangster genre admirably

      Posted
      CrimsonKing42

      Miller's Crossing is the result of the Coen Brothers, legendary writer/directors, taking on the gangster genre. The result is a complex and brilliant tale of betrayals, deception, and the bitter toll that a man's mercy can take upon him. This is the story of Tom Reagan, a lieutenant in crime lord Leo's mob during the Prohibition era. Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito, who is always brilliant in Coen Brothers films, giving what I believe is his finest performance here) is an up-and-coming mobster, who asks that Leo kill Bernie (John Turturro, brilliant) who crossed Caspar. Leo refuses, however, because Leo's girl Verna (Marcia Harden) is Bernie's sister. Reagan disapproves of Leo's choice, and when it is revealed that Reagan and Verna are together, Leo casts off Reagan. Reagan chooses to go join Caspar, but when he is given his first assignment, to kill Bernie, Reagan chooses to secretly spare him. Caspar's right hand man, Eddie Dane (J. E. Freeman, another brilliant presence in the film) keeps a suspicious eye on Reagan, particularly as Reagan continues to maintain contact with Verna and Bernie, forcing Reagan to play a fine line between the many different factions at work. This is a great gangster film, and really has nothing too much in common with other popular films in the genre, which along with the Coens's brilliant screenplay makes this a very unique film. The resolution is particularly excellent, and like many of the better Coen films, it's a very grim film, but not to the extent that it overwhelms the story. This is a great picture.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Miller’s Cossing: A Coen Brothers Gem!

      Posted
      SoylentBill
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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I saw this title on sale and couldn’t resist! So many great films have come from the Coen Brothers but this movie inparticular has often been ignored. Miller’s Crossing is their most under rated film. Hands down. This film noir period piece is rife with crisp dialogue, sumptuous cinematography, stylish costumes and incredible performances. The story deliberately unfolds in a taught, thrilling manner which concludes with an unexpected and completely satisfiying ending. Funny, it is not. Maybe that’s why Miller’s Crossong isn’t mentioned as one of the Coen Brothers best. However, if you’re in the mood for an incredibly crafted original cinematic experience then by all means pop this blu-ray in. A must own for any Coen Brothers completist!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      A Coen Brothers Gangster Film

      Posted
      Snacks
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      I believe the Coen Brothers are one of the greatest pairs of filmmakers out there. Miller's Crossing was there endeavor to make a Gangster Flick and it is a success. A great ensemble cast does tremendous work with a unique take on Mob Life. A must see for any fan of the Coen Brothers.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Coen Brothers At Their Best

      Posted
      Luscan
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      It's a bit unusual, as you'd expect from the Coen brothers. The Irish mob, led by Albert Finney, is at odds with the Italians, and there's trouble ahead. The script is brilliantly written and unpredictable. And the cast is perfect. I especially love the music score, memorable and haunting. This is a film that stays with you.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A Coen Brothers Classic!!!

      Posted
      zerothevillain
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      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Miller's Crossing is my favorite Coen Brothers movie and, for my money, one of the best mobster movies ever made. Everyone involved in the film gives the performance of their careers here. Check it out!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      coen bros

      Posted
      BigSexy
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      Miller's Crossing is one of The Coen Bros. most overlooked films. It is probably one of the best gangster movies of all time, enough so that I confidently put it up against The Godfather, Road to Perdition, and Goodfellas.

      I would recommend this to a friend



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