Archive for December 8th, 2015

Sex, death and money: The Coens’ ‘Miller’s Crossing’ chronicles the lives and loves of Prohibition gangsters

December 8, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 8, 2015

Miller’s Crossing, the third movie written and directed by the prolific cinematic siblings Joel and Ethan Coen, is a love story in which the central romance is wholly sublimated.

The movie’s main character is Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne), the No. 2 man in an urban crime syndicate in the Prohibition era. If a viewer weren’t paying close attention, she or he might think that Reagan’s love interest is Verna (Marcia Gay Harden), the calculating beauty whose brother, Bernie Bernbaum, becomes a bone of contention in gangland tumult.

Bernie (John Turturro) is a troublesome bookie who’s attracted the ire of a powerful Italian underboss named Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) because the former’s handling of betting on fixed fights has prevented Caspar from making major profits. Bernie pays protection money to Liam “Leo” O’Bannion (Albert Finney), Reagan’s boss and the big man in town. And Bernie’s sister is sleeping with both Tom and Leo.

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