Miami Blues (1990)
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Based on the late Charles Willeford's series of hard-boiled crime novels featuring Miami cop Hoke Moseley, the Jonathan Demme-produced Miami Blues opens with the prison release of Frederick Frenger Jr. (Alec Baldwin), a deranged killer who has barely de-boarded his plane before he's killed a Hare Krishna in the airport. Checking into his hotel, Frenger meets up with Pepper (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a young prostitute with dreams of domestic life; the two become romantically involved. Meanwhile, the Hare Krishna murder case is given to Moseley (Fred Ward), a grizzled vet who quickly hunts down Frenger only to have the killer beat him senseless and steal his badge. With Moseley incapacitated, Frenger is free to continue his crime spree, this time with the benefit of police credentials. Finally, Moseley recovers and tracks Frenge to a pawn shop, leading to a bloody confrontation culminating in the shop owner (Shirley Stoller) chopping off Frenger's fingers with a machete. Having broken his promise to stay on the straight-and-narrow, Pepper leaves Frenger; moments later, Moseley kills him. … More
as Frederick J. "Junior...
as Sgt. Hoke Moseley
as Susie "Pepper" Waggo...
as Ellita Sanchez
as Blink Willie
as Sgt. Bill Henderson
as Edie Wulgemuth
as Sgt. Frank Lackley
as Senor Lerner
as Ram Ba
as Mourning Hare Krishn...
as Hotel Desk Manager
as Big Fish Robber
as Edna Damrosch
as Purse Snatch Victim
as Head Bookie
as Convenience Store Ro...
as Woman in Sports Car
as Little Boy
as Eddie Cohen
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Critic Reviews for Miami Blues
Baldwin, Ward and Leigh are all perfect in this violent and funny and underseen gem.
One of Baldwin's best performances in a solid black comedy
Hard-boiled and consistently surprising. The entire cast shines.
A terrific crime movie that's both quirky and gritty.
A cunningly hip crime caper that packs a decent amount of swagger
A solid but unmemorable crime thriller.
Disarming black comedy-drama stands out among others in the pack because its offbeat plot turns make it hard for the viewer to match a rhythm to it
Audience Reviews for Miami Blues
It's better after a second viewing, but I wished I had liked this a lot more, after Edgar Wright recommended it. Alec Baldwin gives a great performance as a halfcocked psychopath whose love of life is so strong, mixed up and unscrupulous, he can't help but enjoy breaking fingers, busting jaws, playing cops-and-robbers, shooting people on a gut feeling and answering questions about his preferred vegetables with a pause to think out the words "I don't want to talk about that at this time." The rhythm and humanity of the rest of the movie is not good enough to swing around Baldwin's homicidal urges and primitive faith in carpe diem.
Demme produced this after directing Something Wild, where Ray Liotta's character was a lot like Alec Baldwin's here, although less wild-eyed and tilting at windfalls. But the earlier movie wasn't so relativistic about whether squares, suckers and slobs were living life more fully than a violent hoodlum, and about whether violence is just the law of nature that we've grown too soft and decadent to understand.
Fine and enjoyable thriller and its mixture of satire, violence and social comment is fresh and invigorating, providing the perfect antidote to Miami Vice.More
An early Alec Baldwin starring role, and one of his best, this is a very good drama with some elements of a black comedy. Worth seeing for Baldwin's performance at the very least.More
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