Miller's Crossing

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Miller's Crossing is a 1990 American gangster film by the Coen brothers and starring Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, Jon Polito 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 films made since the inception of the periodical. Time critic Richard Corliss called it 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."

Contents

Plot

Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) is the long-time confidant of Leo O'Bannon (Albert Finney), an Irish gangster political boss who runs his Prohibition-era city. When Leo's Italian rival Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) announces his intentions to kill the crooked bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro), Leo goes against Tom's advice and extends his protection to Bernie. Bernie is the brother of Verna Bernbaum (Marcia Gay Harden), an opportunistic gun moll who shares a longtime relationship with Leo as well as a secret affair with Tom. Leo goes to war with Caspar as a consequence.

Tom tries everything he can to convince Verna and Leo to give Bernie up to Caspar to end the war, but neither will budge. After an assassination attempt on Leo, Tom reveals his affair with Verna, causing Leo to beat Tom up and turn his back on both. With no alternative, Tom goes to work for Caspar, and is immediately commanded to kill Bernie at Miller's Crossing to prove his loyalty.

Bernie pleads with Tom to spare him, and Tom allows him to escape. The gang war goes well for Caspar and he quickly assumes Leo's position as boss of the city. However, Tom begins sowing discord between Caspar and his most trusted enforcer, Eddie Dane (J. E. Freeman). At the same time, Bernie returns and tries to blackmail Tom into killing Caspar.

Tom's machinations convince Caspar to kill Eddie Dane. Tom then arranges a meeting with Bernie, but sends Caspar instead. Bernie gets the jump on Caspar and kills him. Tom arrives and tricks Bernie into giving up his gun saying they could blame Eddie Dane who unknown to Bernie is dead, then reveals his intention to murder him despite gaining no advantage from the deed. Bernie once again attempts to beg Tom for mercy saying "Look into your heart", but this time Tom shoots Bernie right between the eyes.

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