25 Best Coen Brother Characters

From Barton Fink to the Dude, counting down Joel and Ethan's craziest, most unforgettable creations

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Bernie Bernbaum ('Miller's Crossing')
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20th Century Fox Film/Everett22/25

22. Bernie Bernbaum ('Miller's Crossing')

Bernie Bernbaum knows how to push buttons. The knotty plot to Miller's Crossing kicks off when John Turturro's Shmatte Kid gives Johnny Caspar the high hat by leaking information on fixed fights. "Bernie ain't satisfied with the honest dollar he can make off the vig!" is the chief complaint (and another example of why the Coens' retro-mob movie is so damn quotable). This breach of ethics won't stand, but it only gets worse when he weasels out of gettin' whacked by squirtin' a few and pleading Tom Regan to "look in his heart." This appeal will only work once, though, no matter the degree of his sister's bed artistry. JH

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