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Encyclopedia > Miller's Crossing
Miller's Crossing

The movie poster.
Directed by Joel Coen
Produced by Ethan Coen
Written by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring Gabriel Byrne
Albert Finney
Marcia Gay Harden
John Turturro
Jon Polito
Music by Carter Burwell
Cinematography Barry Sonnenfeld
Editing by Michael R. Miller
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) Flag of the United States September 21, 1990
Running time 115 min.
Country US
Language English
Budget $14,000,000 (est.)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Miller's Crossing (1990) is a gangster film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro. The plot concerns a power struggle between two rival gangs and how the protagonist (Byrne) plays both sides off each other. In 2005, Time magazine chose Miller's Crossing as one of the 100 greatest movies ever made since the inception of the periodical. Time movie critic Richard Corliss called the movie a "noir with a touch so light, the film seems to float on the breeze like the Frisbee of a fedora sailing through the forest". Millers Crossing is an episode of the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. ... Image File history File links Millerscrossingposter. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, known as The Coen Brothers, are Oscar-winning American filmmakers. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, known as The Coen Brothers, are Oscar-winning American filmmakers. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, known as The Coen Brothers, are Oscar-winning American filmmakers. ... Gabriel Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor. ... Albert Finney (born May 9, 1936 in Salford, Lancashire, England) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated English actor of Irish descent. ... Marcia Gay Harden Marcia Gay Harden (born August 14, 1959) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... John Michael Turturro (born February 28, 1957) is an Emmy Award-winning American actor noted for his performances in To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), The Color of Money (1986), Five Corners (1987), Men of Respect (1991), Quiz Show (1994), Monday Night Mayhem (1999), Secret Window (2004), The... Jon Polito (born December 29, 1950) is an American actor, best known for working with the Coen Brothers. ... Carter Burwell (born November 18, 1955, in New York) is a composer of film soundtracks. ... Barry Sonnenfeld American film maker Barry Sonnenfeld (born New York City, April 1, 1953) worked as cinematographer for the Coen Brothers, then later he directed and produced big budget films such as Men in Black. ... Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... American cinema has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... Gangster film is a film genre which features gangster characters, such as members of the Mafia and inner city street gangs. ... Joel and Ethan Coen at Cannes 2001 Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly known as The Coen Brothers have written and directed numerous successful films, such as comedies O Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski, as well as darker film noir dramas such as Fargo, Millers... Gabriel Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor. ... Albert Finney (born May 9, 1936 in Salford, Lancashire, England) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated English actor of Irish descent. ... Marcia Gay Harden Marcia Gay Harden (born August 14, 1959) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... John Michael Turturro (born February 28, 1957) is an Emmy Award-winning American actor noted for his performances in To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), The Color of Money (1986), Five Corners (1987), Men of Respect (1991), Quiz Show (1994), Monday Night Mayhem (1999), Secret Window (2004), The... “TIME” redirects here. ... Richard Corliss is a writer for Time magazine who focuses on movies, with the occasional article on music or sports, and has distinguished himself for his clever way with words. ... A Wham-O Professional Frisbee For the amusement ride, see Frisbee (ride). ... A fedora, which in this case has been pinched at the front and being worn pushed back on the head, with the front of the brim bent down over the eyes. ...

Contents

Synopsis

The film is set during the Prohibition era in an unnamed northeastern US city (most of the exteriors were shot in New Orleans, taking advantage of that city's vintage architecture and streetcar line) where two warring gangs face off. Leo O’Bannon (Finney), a headstrong Irishman, controls the town, but his power is in danger of being usurped by a rival gang headed by the ambitiously violent Italian, Giovanni Gasparo, aka Johnny Caspar, (Jon Polito) and his deadly henchman, Eddie Dane (J.E. Freeman). Caught between the two warring sides is Tom Reagan (Byrne), an ambivalent, enigmatic protagonist, who may or may not be plotting against his boss. Either way, he ends up caught in, and partly causes, a bloody gang war. Prohibition in the United States aimed to achieve alcohol abstinence through legal means. ... NOLA redirects here. ... A tram system, tramway, or street railway is a railway on which trams (streetcars, trolleys) run. ... Jon Polito (born December 29, 1950) is an American actor, best known for working with the Coen Brothers. ... J.E. Freeman is an American actor, often cast in tough guy roles. ...


Cast

Gabriel Byrne (born 12 May 1950) is an Irish actor. ... John Michael Turturro (born February 28, 1957) is an Emmy Award-winning American actor noted for his performances in To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), The Color of Money (1986), Five Corners (1987), Men of Respect (1991), Quiz Show (1994), Monday Night Mayhem (1999), Secret Window (2004), The... Marcia Gay Harden Marcia Gay Harden (born August 14, 1959) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... Albert Finney (born May 9, 1936 in Salford, Lancashire, England) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated English actor of Irish descent. ... Jon Polito (born December 29, 1950) is an American actor, best known for working with the Coen Brothers. ... J.E. Freeman is an American actor, often cast in tough guy roles. ... Steven Vincent Buscemi (born December 13, 1957) is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated American actor and film director. ...

Influences

Miller's Crossing contains references to many other gangster films and film noir. Many of its situations, characters and dialogue are derived from the work of Dashiell Hammett, especially his novel The Glass Key and the 1942 movie that was adapted from it. Though several important plot points are different, there are significant parallels between the two stories and many scenes and lines are culled directly from Hammett's novel. Another important source was Hammett's novel Red Harvest, which details the story of a violent internecine gang war in a corrupt American city, a gang war initiated by the secret machinations of the main character. Red Harvest was also the source for Akira Kurosawa's film Yojimbo. This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories. ... The novel The Glass Key is a novel by Dashiell Hammett, said to be his favorite among his works. ... Red Harvest (1929) is a novel by Dashiell Hammett. ... Red Harvest (1929) is a novel by Dashiell Hammett. ... Kurosawa redirects here. ... Yojimbo (Japanese: 用心棒, Yōjinbō) is a 1961 jidaigeki (period drama) film by Akira Kurosawa. ...


Production

While writing the screenplay, the Coen brothers tentatively titled the film, The Bighead - their nickname for Tom Reagan. The first image they conceived of was that of a black hat coming to rest in a forest clearing, then, a gust of wind lifts it into the air sending it flying down an avenue of trees. (This image begins the film's opening credit sequence.) Because of the intricate, dense plot, the Coens suffered from writer's block while working on the script. They went to stay with a close friend of theirs at the time, William Preston Robertson in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the hopes that a change of scenery might help. After watching Baby Boom one night, they returned to New York City and wrote Barton Fink (in three weeks) before resuming the Miller's Crossing screenplay. They alluded to Barton Fink in the film by naming Tom's apartment, the "Barton Arms." State capitol building in Saint Paul Saint Paul is the capital and second-largest city of the state of Minnesota in the United States of America. ... Baby Boom is a 1987 film starring Diane Keaton. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Barton Fink is a 1991 film by Joel and Ethan Coen. ...


The budget of the film was reported by film industry magazines as $14 million but the Coens claimed in interviews that it was only $10 million. During the casting process, they had envisioned Trey Wilson (who played Nathan Arizona in the Coens' previous film, Raising Arizona) as gangster boss Leo O'Bannon, but two days before the first day of principal photography he died from a brain hemorrhage. Albert Finney was subsequently cast in the role. The Coens also cast some of their family and friends in minor roles. Finney also appears in a very brief cameo as an elderly female ladies' room attendant. Sam Raimi, film director and friend of the Coens, appears as the snickering gunman at the siege of the Sons of Erin social club and Frances McDormand, Joel Coen's wife, appears as the Mayor's secretary. The role of The Swede was written for Peter Stormare, but could not be cast since he was playing Hamlet at the time. J.E. Freeman was cast and the name of the character was changed to The Dane, but Stormare went on to be featured two Coen movies, Fargo and The Big Lebowski. Raising Arizona is a 1987 Coen Brothers comedy film starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, and Randall Tex Cobb. ... A cerebral hemorrhage is a condition in the brain in which a blood vessel leaks. ... For the American opera singer, see Samuel Ramey. ... Frances Louise McDormand[1] (born June 23, 1957) is an Academy Award-winning American film, stage, and television actress. ...   (born August 27, 1953) is a Swedish-American film, stage, voice and television actor as well as a theatrical director and playwright. ... For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ... J.E. Freeman is an American actor, often cast in tough guy roles. ... Fargo is a 1996 dramatic and dark comedy film created by Joel and Ethan Coen. ... The Big Lebowski, a 1998 comedy film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, chronicles a few days in the life of a burned-out, unemployed California slacker after he is mistaken for a millionaire with the same name. ...


The Coens shot the movie in New Orleans because they were attracted to the look of the city. Ethan commented in an interview, "There are whole neighborhoods here of nothing but 1929 architecture. New Orleans is sort of a depressed city; it hasn’t been gentrified. There’s a lot of architecture that hasn’t been touched, store-front windows that haven’t been replaced in the last sixty years."[1]


During filming the New Orleans Police would arrive semi-regularly to assess fines for permits the film crew had already procured. Joel Coen commented to Premiere magazine during shooting, "They are acting precisely like the cops that we're depicting in the movie, and they don't even care!" Premiere is an American and New York City-based film magazine published by Hachette Filipacchi Médias, beginning publication in 1987. ...


Soundtrack

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Miller's Crossing
Soundtrack by Carter Burwell
Released October 17, 1990
Genre Film score
Length 28:03
Label Varèse Sarabande
Professional reviews
Coen Brothers film soundtracks chronology
Raising Arizona
(1987)
Miller's Crossing
(1990)
Barton Fink
(1991)

The score to Miller's Crossing is written by Carter Burwell, the third of his collaborations with the Coen Brothers. In film formats, the soundtrack is the physical area of the film which records the synchronized sound. ... Carter Burwell (born November 18, 1955, in New York) is a composer of film soundtracks. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A score is a set of musical compositions written to accompany a film. ... In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. ... Varèse Sarabande is a record label, which specializes in soundtrack record releases, and reissues of hard-to-find (sometimes long- or previously-unavailable) albums, and singles collections. ... The All Music Guide (AMG) is a metadata database about music, owned by All Media Guide. ... Image File history File links 4_stars. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, known as The Coen Brothers, are Oscar-winning American filmmakers. ... Raising Arizona is a 1987 Coen Brothers comedy film starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, and Randall Tex Cobb. ... Barton Fink is a 1991 film by Joel and Ethan Coen. ... Carter Burwell (born November 18, 1955, in New York) is a composer of film soundtracks. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, known as The Coen Brothers, are Oscar-winning American filmmakers. ...


The main theme bears a striking resemblance to "Limerick's Lamentation" an Irish slow air dating back to the 16th century commemorating the fall of Limerick in 1691 to the English.[citation needed]


Selections of the soundtrack are reflective of the American 1920s era in which the film is set, with jazz band tunes such the "King Porter Stomp" and "Running Wild". The soundtrack also includes "Danny Boy", sung by Frank Patterson, an Irish tenor, which is played during the scene in which Albert Finney's character Leo evades and then kills his assassins with a Thompson submachine gun. ... For the Scottish comedian, see Danny Bhoy. ... Frank Patterson (October 5, 1938 - June 10, 2000) He was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland) and was a world famous tenor who died of brain cancer at the age of 61 in 2000. ... Irish music is a folk music which has remained vibrant throughout the 20th century, when many other traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music. ... Albert Finney (born May 9, 1936 in Salford, Lancashire, England) is a five-time Academy Award-nominated English actor of Irish descent. ... For the Clash song, see Tommy Gun (song). ...


References

  1. ^ Levy, Steven. ""Shot By Shot," Joel and Ethan Coen: Blood Siblings", Plexus, 2000, pp. 75. 

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Columbia, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (681 words)
McCoon Crossing -- A hamlet near the south town line, west of South Columbia.
Millers Mills -- A location north of Millers Mills Crossing.
Millers Mills Crossing -- A hamlet in the southwest corner of the town.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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