There is a deliciously bloody edge to every sentence uttered in Miller’s Crossing. Wicked humour beats the hell out of the sub-machine guns used in this Coen brothers masterpiece. It’s a pity this picture did not get its due in its time. Now regarded as a classic, Miller’s Crossing has to be the capo di tuo or titi or whatever they call the head honcho in the local mafia, of all gangster flicks. Hey, something in me says that this movie wins hands down against ‘The Godfather‘.
Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro, Albert Finney and an inspired extended cameo from Jon Polito enliven every frame of this movie. The movie is all Mr. Byrne – cool, calculating with a streak to live on the edge. Albert Finney plays the cold blooded patriarch of the gangsterhood with elan. John Turturro is the hyena scavenging off borrowed time from all and sundry, all the while using his falsetto to disarm anyone caring enough of a coward. The title of the movie makes its presence felt throughout the movie and you are sure that somethin’s cooking whenever the bunch of double crossing schemers meet. Talking about double crossing there’s a whole lot of it happening throughout the movie and Gabriel Byrne is as foxy as Mr. Fox himself as he charms, manipulates and even gets to show traces of humanity or emotion when he gets to don the role of an executioner in a beautifully constructed setting in the forest. This beautiful execution sequence alternates between a dream and reality as the pleads of the condemned are interspersed with the rolling beauty of the leaf strewn forest bed and the large lumber cover.
So what’s the rumpus? Plenty I say. And don’t miss Sam Raimi‘s cameo in between. It’s pretty tongue-in-cheek cheeky. I never would have spotted it if not for the IMDB entry.