Thursday, October 10, 2013

MILLER'S CROSSING (1990)

I've seen a number of films based (sometimes uncredited) on the writings of Dashiell Hammett, but only MILLER'S CROSSING comes close to what I see in my head when reading one of his wonderful stories.

Set during the Prohibition-era, two rival gangsters run the unnamed city.  Albert Finney is the older, more established of the two, but the other, Jon Polito, is gaining power.  Theirs is an uneasy relationship but when Polito requests permission to kill a protected bookie (Turturro), Finney says no...cause he's boinking Turturro's sister, Marsha Gay Harden.  Finney's right hand man, Gabriel Byrne, tries to convince Finney that he should give up Turturro because he knows he's gonna lead to an all out war, but Finney is defiant.  Things happen and Byrne finds himself on the receiving end of Finney's wrath, so he switches his loyalty over to Polito, but this is only a ruse to intensify the war and cause the two gangs to destroy each other.

If you look it up MILLER'S CROSSING it didn't get shit for awards when it was released and actually bombed at the box office making back less than half of its budget.  Which is a real shame. I guess audiences back in 1990 weren't interested in an intricately written, superbly acted and expertly directed film about the Prohibition filled with awesome violence and murder.  Proof of this would be that MILLER'S CROSSING didn't get a single nomination, whereas GHOST received five (including one for Best Picture) and even won two!

Highly, highly recommended.  If you need me I'll be in my room reading "The Glass Key".