50 Quotes From Miller’s Crossing, In Order Of Awesomeness

‘Miller’s Crossing’ is my fourth favorite movie; behind ‘Star Trek II,’ ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ all of which I have written lists about already. So, a fairly eclectic list of favorite movies. But how can you not love ‘Miller’s Crossing,’ even though no one loved it that much at the time. Still, it’s the best Coen Brothers’ movie (second place: ‘No Country for Old Men’). I love this movie even though I have nothing in common with the characters in it: Irish gangsters who are obsessed with the idea of honor. But how can you not love a movie with dialogue like, “If I was a horse, I’d be down on my fetlocks praying you don’t bet on me.” You can’t not love it, that’s how.
My only other ‘Miller’s Crossing’ anecdote is that when I lived in New York City, I dated a girl — a screenwriter — whose previous boyfriend was… Gabriel Byrne, star of this movie. She dumped Gabriel Byrne for me. My reaction: “Are you sure you want to do that.” I wouldn’t dump Gabriel Byrne for me, but maybe that’s because I love this movie so much. Just the look in his eyes, when Verna holds a gun to his chest, then can’t shoot, “Isn’t so easy, is it, Verna?” Ugh. Kills me. Totally kills me. Anyway; here’s the list.


  1.  “If I’d known we were gonna cast our feelings into words, I’d’ve memorized the Song of Solomon.”
  2. “Nobody knows anybody. Not that well.”
  3. “So you wanna kill him?” “...For starters.
  4. “I suppose you think you raised hell.” “…Sister, when I’ve raised hell, you’ll know it.
  5. “What you doing?” “…Walking.” “Don’t let on any more than you have to.” “...In the rain.”
  6.  “He’s honest and he’s got a heart.” “…Then it’s true what they say. Opposites attract.
  7. “Up is down, black is white.”
  8. “Is there a point… or are you just brushin’ up on your small talk? “...Oh, cool under fire, I like that.”
  9. “You are so goddamn smart. Except you ain’t.”
  10.  “Hey, horses got knees?” “...I don’t know… fetlocks?” “Well if I was a horse, I’d be down on my fetlocks praying you don’t bet on me.”
  11.  “I’ve never met anyone who made being a son of a bitch such a point of pride.”
  12.  “Who’s winning?” “…We are, for the nonce.”
  13.  “Jesus, I open my mouth, the whole world turns smart.”
  14. “You’re a pathetic rumhead!” “…And I love you, angel!
  15. “That’s you all over, Tom. A lie: and no heart.”
  16.  “I’m awake.” “…Your eyes are shut.” “Who you gonna believe?”
  17. “Shouldn’t you be doing your job?” “…Intimidating helpless women is my job.” “Then go find one, and intimidate her.”
  18. “I thought you said you didn’t care about Leo no more.” “...I said we’re through. That’s not the same thing.”
  19.  “I’d worry a lot less if I thought you were worrying enough.”
  20. “Boss wants to see ya. He didn’t have time to engrave nothin’ formal.”
  21. “All in all not a bad guy – if looks, brains and personality don’t count.” “...You better hope they don’t.”
  22. “…What’re you chewin’ over?”
  23. Dream I had once. I was walkin’ in the woods, I don’t know why. Wind came up and blew me hat off.”
  24. “…And you chased it, right? You ran and ran, finally caught up to it and you picked it up. But it wasn’t a hat anymore and it changed into something else; something wonderful?”
  25. Nah, it stayed a hat and no, I didn’t chase it. Nothing more foolish than a man chasin’ his hat.
  26. (*‘Danny Boy’ plays in the background as our hero shoots at the bad guys.*)
  27. “How’d you get the fat lip?” “…Old war wound. Acts up around morons.”
  28. “…Shut up. You’re dead, get me?”
  29. “You double-cross once – where’s it all end? An interesting ethical question.”
  30. “Look… in your heart!”
  31. “...What heart?” (fires gun.)
  32. “We ain’t even been talkin’!”
  33. “Jesus, you’re a pricky pear.”
  34. “Where’s Leo?” “...If tell you, how do I know you won’t kill me?” “Because if you told me and I killed you and you were lying I wouldn’t get to kill you then.”
  35. “Rug Daniels is dead.” “…Gee, that’s tough.” “Don’t get hysterical.”
  36. “So back we go to these questions — friendship, character… ethics.”
  37. “You know I don’t like to think.” “…Yeah. Well, think about whether you should start.
  38. “How’d I do?” “…What do you think? You’re a millionaire. You gonna remember your friends?
  39. “Gimme a stiff one.” “…No small talk, huh?
  40. “Ours is not to reason why, friend.”
  41. “I was just speculatin‘ about a hypothesis! I know I don’t know nothin’. It’s just a damn mess is all–“
  42. “Miss me?” “…Drop dead.”
  43. “Admit it isn’t all cool calculation with you–that you’ve got a heart–even if it’s small and feeble and you can’t remember the last time you used it.”
  44. “Retreat to win.”
  45. “…You always take the long way around to get what you want, don’t you? …You could have just asked.”
  46. What did I want?
  47. “…Me.”
  48. “…He’s still alive.”
  49. “You expect me to believe you?”
  50. “…No. ” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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