Type
Essay
Pages
8 pages
Word Count
4064 words
School
N/A
Course Code
N/A

Political Science

April 24, 2016
Tallini I
Melissa Tallini
December 6, 2015
POLS 105 Final Paper
Miller’s Crossing released September 21, 1990, distributed by 20th Century Fox takes places in
an unknown town in America in the 1930s. The movie is an American neo-noir black comedy
gangster film starring, Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon, Gabriel Byrne as Tom (Tommy) Reagan,
Jon Polito as Johnny Casper and J.E. Freeman as Eddie (The Dane) Dane. Other supporting
actors/actresses in the movie are Marcia Gay Harden as Verna Bernbaum, John Turturro as
Bernie Bernbaum, Steve Buscemi as Mink Larouie, John McConnell as Bryan, Mike Starr as
Frankie, Al Mancini as Tic-Tac, Olek Krupa as Tad, Michael Jeter as Adolph, Michael
Badalucco as Casper’s Driver, Frances McDormand as the mayor’s secretary and Sam Raimi
as the snickering gunman.
The movie opens in the office of Leo O’Bannon’s Shenandoah Club, an Irish American mob
boss with his right hand man Tommy by his side. Leo’s Italian rival Johnny Casper has come
with The Dane to ask that Leo off Bernie Bernbaum. Leo refuses for two reasons, one Bernie
pays Leo for protection and two Bernie’s sister Verna is the love interest of Leo. Angered by his
decision Johnny Casper storms out of the club creating a power struggle between the two rival
gangs. Tommy tries to convince Leo to give Bernie to Johnny to end the war. After Johnny’s
men attempt to kill Leo in his home Tommy reveals to Leo that he is having an affair with
Verna. Leo physically beats Tommy in his club and they go their separate ways. Tommy’s way
was to the door of Johnny looking for work. Johnny needs Tommy to prove his loyalty by taking
Bernie to Miller’s Crossing and killing him. Tommy fires the gun twice as told by Johnny’s
men, but tells Bernie to run and hide. Soon after, Johnny replaces Leo as boss of the city and
Tommy begins to make Casper think that The Dane is not to be trusted. The Dane has a feeling
about Tommy and escorts him to Miller’s Crossing to see the body of Bernie for himself.
Tallini II
As Tommy begins to feel like this is the end for him, he stops and collapses next to a tree and
proceeds to get sick as The Dane laughs and points a gun at Tommy’s head, Johnny’s men begin
to laugh as they come across an unrecognizable body that had been shot in the face and mangled
by birds. Unknowingly to Tommy, Bernie had returned and killed Mink the Dane’s lover where
Bernie should have been shot and killed by Tommy. Bernie returns to Tommy’s place in the
middle of the night, holding the killing of Mink over his head he tries to blackmail Tommy into
killing Casper. Tommy continues to play Johnny and his men against each other making Johnny
believe that the Dane has betrayed him. Tommy succeeds in allowing Johnny to reach his
boiling point and in a furious rage Johnny kills his right hand man, the Dane. Tommy then
arranges to meet with Bernie, but sends Johnny instead. Bernie expecting to meet with Tommy
immediately shoots not realizing he has just shot and killed Johnny Casper. Tommy shows up as
the shots ring out and explains to Bernie that they will pin the murder on the Dane. When
Tommy talks Bernie into handing over his gun he then tells Bernie that they cannot pin the
murder on the Dane because Johnny just killed the Dane. Tommy now decides that he is going
to shoot Bernie for blackmailing him as Bernie begs for mercy. As the movie concludes and the
Italian boss Johnny Casper and his man Eddie Dane have been killed, Leo returns as the top boss
and Verna returns to Leo, not wanting anything to do with Tommy anymore after murdering her
brother. Leo asks Tommy why he went so far for him and asks him to take his job back, Johnny
refuses and the two men go their separate ways after Verna’s brother Bernie is buried at Miller’s
Crossing.
Political Power according to Volkmer (2013) is the influence of an individual or group on the
political behaviors of others (p. 2). Political power is sought for the sake of the rewards and
benefits that can be gained from it (p.2). A political official can exercise legitimate power only
if most people accept that power and believe that the rules and decisions stemming from it are
right and proper (p. 2). It is possible for anyone to exercise political power by showing or
voicing how they may be for or against a number of political issues, but the power we manage
Tallini III
to display with our opinions may not always compare to a political power that may take
place when a candidate is seeking the vote for an election year, which we have currently
experienced almost on a daily basis with a presidential election occurring next year or more
recently our local elections that just took place in November. A small example of which would
be the numerous amounts of candidate’s signs’ that we would pass every morning on the way to
school or work before those elections, tag lines trying to influence us so one could gain our vote.
We have also learned that political power is not, “based solely on coercion. Instead, we are
referring to legitimate power (p. 2).” According to German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920)
legitimacy in politics is derived from three sources: tradition, charisma, and legality (p. 3).

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