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Miami Blues

4.0 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brace yourself'this intoxicating cocktail with rum and cyanide (Time) is at once brutal, funny, unpredictable and a bit unhinged (Newsweek)! Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this offbeat black comedy about a murdering thief, his simple-minded wife and the denture-wearing cop closing in on his trail. Veteran criminal Junior Frenger (Baldwin) has moved to Miami to get a fresh start at robbing a whole new set of people. But when his streetwalker-gone-straight wife (Leigh) begins to suspect his criminal behavior, and an obsessed cop (Ward) begins to close in, Junior will need a lot more than luck and a bogus badge to escape a crossfire hotter than the barrel of a smoking gun!

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Alec Baldwin should have had an Oscar nomination for his cunning performance as Frederick J. Frenger Jr., the sleek sociopath and master of quicksilver improvisation who sets the pace for this deceptively breezy crime comedy. Junior's a genius in his fashion, yet not especially bright. In moments of repose, his mouth has a way of falling open slightly, like that of an animal panting in the shade, or Marilyn Monroe thinking. Miami Blues, written and directed by George Armitage, from the novel by Charles Willeford, divides its attention among Junior and two other characters who, in their respective ways, are as eccentric as he: Susie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a room-service hooker enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College who dreams of acquiring middle-class stability (say, a Burger King franchise); and Hoke Moseley (Fred Ward), a Miami P.D. detective with false choppers who gets on Junior’s trail. Junior and Susie set up housekeeping in Coral Gables, and when Hoke catches up to his quarry, he sits down in the couple's newly rented kitchen and joins them in a meal of pork chops and beer. At which point--well, see for yourselves.

Jonathan Demme coproduced Miami Blues, and the movie operates as a companion piece to Demme's black-comedy meditation on the elusiveness of contentment in these United States, Something Wild ('86). The three principal actors are all terrific, but it's through Susie--and by all means Jennifer Jason Leigh's complex portrait of this down-to-earth creature--that Miami Blues finally touches a deep, abiding sadness, and the bruised tenaciousness of the American Dream. --Richard T. Jameson


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cecilia Pérez-Cervera, Georgie Cranford
  • Directors: George Armitage
  • Writers: George Armitage, Charles Willeford
  • Producers: Fred Ward, Edward Saxon, Gary Goetzman, Jonathan Demme, Kenneth Utt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L92S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Miami Blues" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie managed to stay under almost everyone's radar screen, and this is truly a shame. This is a quirky, unorthodox, and unpredictable film with potent acting and a very intriguing story. It's a compelling and intelligent film that is very funny and yet quite sad. The movie came and went before Alec Baldwin emerged as a (sometimes) legitimate star. And he's really at his best, acting opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh, who delivers one of her trademark credible and powerful performances. Alec Baldwin portrays an ex-con who has just been released from a prison in Florida, and it doesn't take long before he's returning to his criminal ways. Early in the film Alec intentionally breaks the thumb of a Harry Krishna follower at the airport, who proceeds to die as a result of the trama. At this point, a detective (aptly and humorously portrayed by Fred Ward) begins investigating and pursuing Baldwin. Ward doesn't have enough evidence to arrest Baldwin, but he is pretty certain he's got the right man. An interesting and funny cat-and-mouse game follows. Baldwin makes his living by stealing from other criminals, mostly by robbing muggers just after they have robbed someone. Midway through the film Baldwin obtains a detective's badge and proceeds to impersonate a police officer, which allows him to more easily apply his trade and opens the way for several hysterical scenes. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a prostitute who, after a tryst with Baldwin, ends up falling in love and living with him. The dynamic between these two characters occupies a central role in this film, and it is both convincing and interesting. As the film progresses, it becomes obvious that Baldwin is battling himself and facing large changes and challenges within himself.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
Alec Baldwin shines as "Junior" in this offbeat, quirky, action/crime/comedy adventure. That sounds like an odd combination, and it is just that unique combination that really makes this film work.

The fun begins when "Junior", a career criminal, is on the loose in Miami, hence the title. After stepping off a plane, and breaking the finger of a Hare Krishna at the airport who later dies of shock, Sgt. Hoke Mosley (Fred Ward) is on the case.

Meanwhile, Junior is going about his business of robbing, assaulting, and assuming the identity of "Herman Gotlieb". That is funny all by itself, but that's the wallet lifted, so that's who Junior is. He is living in a cheap hotel where the bellboy is a pimp. So, when Junior wants a lady for "entertainment" he gets a roomservice prostitute, enter Jennifer Jason Leigh as "Susie", a not too bright, but sweet girl who is "working" the hotel. Once she is sent to Juniors room, they remain together as a couple. Blissfully ignorant, Susie naively trusts Junior, and plays the role of dutiful wife, oblivious to his frighteningly deviate behavior. Everyone is happy, until..........

Trouble starts for Junior as Sgt. Hoke Mosley, a denture toting vice veteran who lives up to his hokey name, closes in. Particularly amusing is a shared dinner at Junior and Susies place, where Mosley lets Junior know, he's a suspect for the airport Hare Krishna death incident. Fred Ward is very amusing in this role, and repugnant as well. Looking at him makes you think you can smell him right through the screen. He drinks up all the beer, eats all the food, and exits after asking Junior if he'd mind taking a look at a line-up, and standing in it too. Junior knows it's time to make a serious move, or it's back to jail.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
One of the most over-looked, under-rated 90's noir killer-on-the-loose films of the times, that had Oscar all over it. The most Elmore Leonard-like film to date (Out of Time,too)which says this stands taller than most movies with guns and cars.Alec Baldwin displays the marks of genius here, over the top, beyond the fringes of insanity and then he pulls back from sociopath to sweet, chummy boyfriend to his thespian equal, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays the dim-witted,sweet girlfriend forever to endearing believability. A twist on the Bonnie and Clyde matchup,as this Bonnie, Leigh never catches on to the pathological insanity of her boyfriend. Baldwin, the serial killer, is dogged by a careless detective,Fred Ward, who also brings a bag of acting chops.Baldwin takes on other alter egos as required, even impersonates a cop, to mock the men in blue further as they draw the net in. When Baldwin slips out of his hideout to kill and return unaware of anything out of the ordinary, projecting innocence, you know you are in for a ride. The whole range of crazy, offbeat characters that fill an Elmore Leonard pulp get their proper due in this suspenseful, climactic look at insane homicide or normal domesticity in a single moment. When justice gets served you are drained and yet filled with genuine feeling for the used,innocent girlfriend, Leigh. Baldwin, Leigh and Ward live up to the highest standards of the profession in this Miami concoction. Unforgettable performances.
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By asdf on August 3, 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Really good. If you haven't seen this, you've never seen Alec Baldwin play this character. He's young, super fit and nuttier than squirrel crap. This movie is a cult classic, imo. Jennifer Lee is GREAT in this. She plays her character perfectly. Fred Ward is great as a run down older cop as well. I highly recommend this if you like quirky crime / action type movies. Yes, there is some drama, but mostly just Baldwin's crazy character.
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