The directing brothers Joel and Ethan Coen are best known for their ability to breathe new life into old film genres. In this case, film noir is given the Coen treatment — "a noir with a touch so light, the film seems to float on the breeze like the Frisbee of a fedora sailing through the forest" a Time critic wrote. The screenplay is based on several short stories by crime author Dashiell Hammett.
US, 1930s, Prohibition era: Tom Reagan is the right-hand man of mob boss Leo O'Bannon, whose rival, Johnny Caspar, wants to kill bookie Bernie. Leo prevents this from happening, Bernie being the brother of Leo's moll Verna. However, Tom is also fooling around with Verna... Thus begins a story filled with betrayal, trickery and murder. With Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney and John Turturro.