Archive for the ‘Miller's Crossing’ category
On August 30th, 20th Century Fox are releasing the Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray boxset comprising Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing and Fargo. Other than Fargo they are Blu-ray debutants. They will all be available separately and will contain the same special features as their DVD equivalents (links below will take you to the Amazon.com pre-order pages)…
- Commentary with Kenneth Loring of Forever Young Films
- Cast and crew biographies
- Production notes
- Theatrical trailer
- Theatrical trailer
- TV spots
- Shooting Miller’s Crossing: A Conversation with Barry Sonnenfeld featurette
- Interview Soundbites with cast members Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro
- Still gallery
- Theatrical trailers
- Commentary with cinematographer Roger Deakins
- Minnesota Nice featurette
- Trivia track
- Still gallery
- American Cinematographer article on the film
According to the French branch of 20th Century Fox both Raising Arizona and Miller’s Crossing are coming to Blu-ray in August. Not sure (yet) if this means JUST in France. I will keep an eye on the situation.
The Power of Data Visualization website has an infographic detailing the budgets, box offices, genres, Rotten Tomato scores and Oscar noms/wins of all 14 Coen brothers movies. The most interesting thing on it, if you ask me, is that The Hudsucker Proxy scores only 59% on Rotten Tomatoes!
Just spotted this on Twitter but, for some reason, the Raindance website has made the screenplays for EVERY, and I mean EVERY, Coen brothers’ movie available for download. Now, this includes the screenplays for both A Serious Man AND their next movie, True Grit!!! You heard me right- including TRUE GRIT!
Obviously most of them are available right here on YKFK and have been for a long time however, I have gotten into a bit of legal deep water in the past for posting up scripts for forthcoming movies before which is why I have not uploaded the ones for Burn After Reading, A Serious Man and True Grit…
3. Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson), Raising Arizona
5. Tic Tac (Al Mancini), Miller’s Crossing
9. Buzz (Jim True-Frost), The Hudsucker Proxy
11. Officer Lou (Bruce Lohene), Fargo
12. Marty (Jack Keller), The Big Lebowski
14. Freddy Reidenschneider (Tony Shalhoub), The Man Who Wasn’t There
15. Gus Petch (Cedric the Entertainer), Intolerable Cruelty
16. Wheezy Joe (Irwin Keyes), Intolerable Cruelty
17. Deputy Wendell (Garret Dillahunt), No Country For Old Men
18. Gas Station Proprietor (Gene Jones), No Country For Old Men
20. Sy Abelman (Fred Melamed), A Serious Man
Nice to see a couple of entries from Intolerable Cruelty which I still think is massively underrated suffering, as it does, from the weight of Coen quality prior to it.
What do you think? Has anyone been missed? Only ONE from The Big Lebowski? I would have Knox Harrington (David Thewlis) in there right away! And no Jesus Quintana (John Turturro), surely Jesus’ part is small enough to make this list? None from The Ladykillers? Let’s talk…
I have been trying to formulate this into an article myself but I only go as far as making some notes. Vanity Fair has done a much better job than I would have done with a fun article about the chronology of the Coen brothers’ movie output to date and observes that, while they love to trip through time and period, they are yet to make a movie set in the 1970’s. To wit;
1920’s – Miller’s Crossing
1930’s – O Brother, Where Art Thou?
1950’s – The Hudsucker Proxy
1960’s – A Serious Man
Now, obviously some of these movies aren’t period movies at all but contemporary movies set during the time they were made. Interesting none the less.
What historic theme do you think they could tackle to fill this 1970’s-shaped void in their oevre? Watergate? The Beatles breaking up? The founding of Microsoft?
This just popped into my RSS reader. it’s quite a long interview with Gabriel Byrne who, I’m sure I don’t need to say, played Tom Reagan in the Coen brothers’ gangster master piece, Miller’s Crossing. He mainly talks about his current acting gig in the very excellent HBO show In Treatment where he plays a psychiatrist. He speaks at length, and fondly, of his time working with the Coen brothers. I have extracted the relevant parts out below but do read the whole interview.
The next film we have to discuss is Miller’s Crossing, another favorite of mine. Tell us about the Coen brothers and their universe.
Well, there was pre-universe, during it, and post-universe. (laughs) When I read that script, I was just like anybody I think who read it, just really impressed by how visual and literate and how complex those relationships in the story actually were. When you unravel what that movie is about, it’s even more audacious that someone could base a storyline on that single conversation between Steve Buscemi’s character and mine at the bottom of the staircase. All the twists and turns, the betrayals…
Everyone betrays everyone at the end of that film.
Yeah, they do. I think the film was really about the idea of who can you really trust.
And can you even trust yourself at the end of the day?
Exactly. Nobody ever really knows anybody.
I loved your character of Tom Reagan.
Yeah, he’s a watcher and a mover and shaker and really quite ruthless and deadly in the end.
I just finished college when the film came out, and had written a paper on Machiavelli, and it struck me that what the Coens did was to take Machiavelli, put him in a gangster picture in the 1930s, and make him an Irishman.
Well, yeah. (laughs) There were certainly Machiavellian traits in the character and as much as the film is about gangsters, it’s also a film about big business and about the nature of morality. I think when the film came out it was really underrated.
The other element that defines it, as with all the Coens’ films, is its incredible sense of humor. It’s a very satirical film.
Oh, its humor is terrific. There’s laugh out loud moments in that movie, whereas on paper, it didn’t necessarily read that way. When Albert Finney turns around says “They took his hair, Tommy. They took his hair!” (laughs) And of course, we’d just seen the kid run off with the guy’s rug in the earlier scene. I asked the Coens what their inspiration was to write the film, and I forget whether it was Joel or Ethan who said to me: “You always see gangsters in the street, but you never see them in a forest.” I just thought that was so brilliant. Plus, there’s so much amazing imagery: the hat floating by the camera through the forest, which is one of the most original images in film history.
They also pay homage to some of my favorite films, especially the ending, which is a nod to The Third Man.
Yeah, there’s The Third Man, there’s also The Glass Key in there, the original Scarface with Paul Muni. I remember looking at those old gangster films and thinking ‘What can I steal out of here that won’t be too obvious. And I think it’s in Scarface where Paul Muni lights the match off the policeman’s badge. It’s just a throwaway bit, but in order to set up that shot in Miller’s Crossing, it was this really complicated process, where we had to fix the cop’s badge with sulfur and all kinds of props for that bit to work. And it was this wonderful, Coen-esque cop character: “I’m just speculatin’ about a hypothesis, Tom!” (laughs) It looked like a throwaway moment, but it really helped establish Tom’s disrespect for the law, and everything, really.
You got to work with the great Albert Finney in that film.
Yeah, we shot that in and around New Orleans, and I think if they’d had an election for Mayor that year, Albert would’ve won it, hands-down. He led the St. Patrick’s Day parade and was up and down Bourbon Street every night. The last thing you’d think of Albert after talking with him was that he was an actor, which is the greatest compliment I can give him. You’d talk with Albert about race horses, football, politics, what was going on down the road. I never heard him talk about acting, and I’m not someone who likes talking about acting, either, or talking about the business. We had many great conversations. I remember after we shot that scene in the park, we were two hours from New Orleans, and myself and Albert came back together in the van. We didn’t have separate cars in that film, everyone just went in the van together. It was great. Coming back, I just sat with Albert for two hours and he told me all about where he was born, and where he was brought up, what working in England was like in the 1950s and ‘60s…he told me how he turned down the lead inLawrence of Arabia. I said ‘Did you regret it?’ He said “No Gabe, I didn’t regret it, because the next year I won the Oscar for Tom Jones.” (laughs)
This post really has nothing to say. I just wanted to draw your attention to a blog post at Immitation of Life, which also has nothing to say. We all know about the presence of hats in Miller’s Crossing but here it is in pretty pictures.
In addition to this, the same blog has a pictorial look at symmetry in the movie.
Remember Empire’s Big Lebowski cover? It is one of 101 for this month’s issue celebrating their countdown of the 500 Greatest Movies of All Time. 10,000 readers, 150 of “Hollywood’s finest” and 50 “key” film critics were polled to generate the list. Anyhoo, five, 5 count ‘em, Coen brothers pictures made the grade. Oscar winning No Country For Old Men appears at #228, Fargo at #198, Miller’s Crossing at #117, Raising Arizona at #101 and The Big Lebowski at a dizzying #43- the 43rd Best Movie of All Time! Wow.
You can see the entire countdown here but, for your curiosity, here’s the top 10 Greatest Movies of All Time…
1. The Godfather
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
4. The Shawshank Redemption
7. Apocalypse Now
8. Singin’ in the Rain
9. Pulp Fiction
10. Fight Club
It’s interesting to see how the position of the Coen brothers films above differs from their relative position in the YKFK poll. They both have Lebowski way in front but 2nd in the YKFK poll is Fargo, followed by Barton Fink, Miller’s Crossing then No Country For Old Men. Raising Arizona only has 2% of the votes on YKFK. Interesting.