"That there is one
damn fine coat you're wearin'."
- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium
City, also known as Frank Miller's Sin City, is a 2005 American
neo-noir crime action thriller anthology film written, produced, and
directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It is based on
Miller's graphic novel series of the same name.
The film is primarily based
on the first, third, and fourth books in Miller's original comic
series. The Hard Goodbye: About a man who embarks on a brutal rampage
in search of his one-time sweetheart's killer, killing anyone, even
the police, that gets in his way of finding and killing her murderer;
The Big Fat Kill: Focuses on a street war between a group of
prostitutes and a group of mercenaries, the police, and the mob; and
That Yellow Bastard: Follows an aging police officer who protects a
young woman from a grotesquely disfigured serial killer. The intro
and outro of the film are based on the short story "The Customer
is Always Right", which is collected in Booze, Broads &
Bullets, the fifth book in the comic series.
The film stars Jessica
Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke,
Bruce Willis and Elijah Wood, and features Alexis Bledel, Rosario
Dawson, Carla Gugino, Rutger Hauer, Jaime King, Michael Madsen, and
Nick Stahl, among others.
Sin City opened to wide
critical and commercial success, gathering particular recognition for
the film's unique color processing, which rendered most of the film
in black and white but retained or added coloring for select objects.
The film was screened at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival in-competition
and won the Technical Grand Prize for the film's "visual shaping".
After his negative personal
experience working in Hollywood on RoboCop 2 and 3, Miller was
reluctant to release the film rights to his comic books, fearing a
similar result. Rodriguez, a long-time fan of the graphic novels, was
eager to adapt Sin City for the screen. His plan was to make a fully
faithful adaptation, follow the source material closely, and make a
"translation, not an adaptation". In hopes of convincing
Miller to give the project his blessing, Rodriguez shot a "proof
of concept" adaptation of the Sin City story "The Customer
is Always Right" (starring Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton).
Rodriguez flew Miller into Austin to be present at this test
shooting, and Miller was very happy with the results. This footage
was later used as the opening scene for the completed project, and
(according to Rodriguez in the DVD extras) to recruit Bruce Willis
and others to the project.
This is one of the first
films along with Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Casshern, and
Immortel (Ad Vitam) to be shot primarily on a digital backlot. The
film employed the Sony HDC-950 high-definition digital camera, having
the actors work in front of a green screen, that allowed for the
artificial backgrounds (as well as some major foreground elements,
such as cars) to be added later during the post-production stage.
Three sets were constructed by hand:
Kadie's Bar, where all of
the major characters make an appearance at least once and also the
only location in which all objects are in color.
Shellie's apartment. The
front door and kitchen are real, while bathroom and corridors are artificial.
The hospital corridor in
the epilogue. Although the first shot of walking feet was done on
green screen, the corridor in the next shot is real. The background
becomes artificial again when the interior of the elevator is shown.
While the use of a green
screen is standard for special effects filming, the use of
high-definition digital cameras is quite noteworthy in this film's
production. The combination of these two techniques made Sin City at
the time (along with Sky Captain, which was produced the same way)
one of the few fully digital, live-action films (since then, digital
has grown in popularity). This technique also means that the whole
film was initially shot in full color, and was converted to black-and-white.
Colorization is used on
certain subjects in a scene, such as Devon Aoki's red-and-blue
clothing; Alexis Bledel's blue eyes and red blood; Michael Clarke
Duncan's golden eye; Rutger Hauer's green eyes; Jaime King's red
dress and blonde hair; Clive Owen's red Converse shoes and Cadillac;
Mickey Rourke's red blood and orange prescription pill container;
Marley Shelton's green eyes, red dress, and red lips; Nick Stahl's
yellow face and body; and Elijah Wood's white glasses. Much of the
blood in the film also has a striking glow to it. The film was
color-corrected digitally and, as in film noir tradition, treated for
heightened contrast so as to more clearly separate blacks and whites.
This was done not only to give a more film-noir look, but also to
make it appear more like the original comic. This technique was used
again on another Frank Miller adaptation, 300, which was shot on film.
Principal photography began
on March 29th, 2004. Several of the scenes were shot before every
actor had signed on; as a result, several stand-ins were used before
the actual actors were digitally added into the film during post-production.
Rodriguez, an aficionado of cinematic technology, has used similar
techniques in the past. In Roger Ebert's review of the film, he
recalled Rodriguez's speech during production of Spy Kids 2: The
Island of Lost Dreams: "This is the future! You don't wait six
hours for a scene to be lighted. You want a light over here, you grab
a light and put it over here. You want a nuclear submarine, you make
one out of thin air and put your characters into it."
The film was noted
throughout production for Rodriguez's plan to stay faithful to the
source material, unlike most other comic book adaptations. Rodriguez
stated that he considered the film to be "less of an adaptation
than a translation". As a result, there is no screenwriting in
the credits; simply "Based on the graphic novels by Frank
Miller". There were several minor changes, such as dialogue
trimming, new colorized objects, removal of some nudity, slightly
edited violence, and minor deleted scenes. These scenes were later
added in the release of the Sin City Collectors DVD, which also split
the books into the four separate stories.
The soundtrack was composed
by Rodriguez as well as John Debney and Graeme Revell. The film's
three main stories ("The Hard Goodbye", "The Big Fat
Kill", and "That Yellow Bastard") were each scored by
an individual composer: Revell scored "Goodbye", Debney
scored "Kill", and Rodriguez scored "Bastard".
Additionally, Rodriguez co-scored with the other two composers on
Another notable piece of
music used was the instrumental version of the song "Cells"
by the London-based alternative group The Servant. The song was
heavily featured in the film's publicity, including the promotional
trailers and television spots, as well as being featured on the
film's DVD menus.
by Silvestre Revueltas is also used on the end sequence of "That
Yellow Bastard". Fluke's track "Absurd" is also used
when Hartigan first enters Kadie's.
Three directors received
credit for Sin City: Miller, Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino, the
last for directing one scene in the film. Miller and Rodriguez worked
as a team directing the rest of the film. Despite having no previous
directorial background, Miller was substantially involved in the
film's direction, providing direction to the actors on their
motivations and what they needed to bring to each scene. Because of
this (and the fact that Miller's original books were used as
storyboards), Rodriguez felt that they should both be credited as
directors on the film.
When the Directors Guild of
America refused to allow two directors that were not an established
team to be credited (especially since Miller had never directed
before), Rodriguez first planned to give Miller full credit. Miller
would not accept this, as he certainly could not have done it without
Rodriguez. Rodriguez, also refusing to take full credit, decided to
resign from the Guild so that the joint credit could remain.
film opened on April 1st, 2005, being acclaimed by reviews. Film
review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 78% of critics gave
the film a positive review based on 242 reviews with a "Certified
Fresh" rating, with an average score of 7.4/10. The site's
consensus states: "Visually groundbreaking and terrifically
violent, Sin City brings the dark world of Frank Miller's graphic
novel to vivid life." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised
rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score
of 74 (citing "generally favorable reviews") based on 40 reviews.
Roger Ebert awarded the
film four out of four stars, describing it as "a visualization
of the pulp noir imagination, uncompromising and extreme. Yes, and
brilliant. Online critical reaction was particularly strong: James
Berardinelli placed the film on his list of the "Top Ten"
films of 2005. Several critics including Ebert compared the film
favorably to other comic book adaptations, particularly Batman and
Hulk. Chauncey Mabe of the Sun-Sentinel wrote: "Really, there
will be no reason for anyone to make a comic-book film ever again.
Miller and Rodriguez have pushed the form as far as it can possibly go."
There were several reviews
predominantly focused on the film's more graphic content, criticizing
it for a lack of "humanity". William Arnold of the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer described it as a celebration of "helpless
people being tortured ... I kept thinking of those clean-cut young
American guards at Abu Ghraib. That is exactly the mentality
Rodriguez is celebrating here. Sin City is their movie." Other
critics focused on especially negative elements: "scenes
depicting castration, murder, torture, decapitation, rape, and misogyny."
New York Times critic Manohla Dargis claimed that the directors'
"commitment to absolute unreality and the absence of the human
factor" made it "hard to get pulled into the story on any
level other than the visceral". Credit is given for Rodriguez's
"scrupulous care and obvious love for its genre influences"
but Dargis notes "it's a shame the movie is kind of a bore"
where the private experience of reading a graphic novel does not
translate, stating that "the problem is, this is his private
experience, not ours".
In a more lighthearted
piece focusing on the progression of films and the origins of Sin
City, fellow Times critic A. O. Scott, identifying Who Framed Roger
Rabbit as its chief cinematic predecessor, argued that "Something
is missing something human. Don't let the movies fool you:
Roger Rabbit was guilty," with regard to the increasing use of
digitisation within films to replace the human elements. He applauds
the fact Rodriguez "has rendered a gorgeous world of silvery
shadows that updates the expressionist cinematography of postwar
noir" but bemoans that several elements of "old film noirs
has been digitally broomed away", resulting instead in a film
that "offers sensation without feeling, death without grief, sin
without guilt, and, ultimately, novelty without surprise".
Sin City grossed $29.1
million on its opening weekend, defeating fellow opener Beauty Shop
by more than twice its opening take. The film saw a sharp decline in
its second weekend, dropping over fifty percent. Ultimately, the film
ended its North American run with a gross of $74.1 million against
its $40 million negative cost. Overseas, the film grossed $84.6
million, for a worldwide total from theater receipts of $158.7 million.
Mickey Rourke (above) won a
Saturn Award, an Online Film Critics Society Award, a Chicago Film
Critics Association Award, and an Irish Film & Television Award
for his performance. The film was in competition for the Palme d'Or
at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, and Rodriguez won the Technical
Grand Prize for the film's visual shaping. Graeme Revell's work in
the film was honored with a Best Film Music Award at the BMI Film
& TV Awards.
Sin City was nominated at
the 2006 MTV Movie Awards in three categories: Best Movie, Best Kiss
for Clive Owen and Rosario Dawson, and Sexiest Performance for
Jessica Alba, winning the latter. The film also received three
nominations at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie: Action/Adventure,
Choice Movie Actress: Action/Adventure/Thriller for Jessica Alba and
Choice Movie Bad Guy for Elijah Wood.
Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is an upcoming 2014 American
crime thriller film and sequel to the 2005 film Sin City. Robert
Rodriguez and Frank Miller are set to direct a script co-written by
them and William Monahan and primarily based on the second book in
the Sin City series by Miller. One of the smaller plots of the film
is based on the short story "Just Another Saturday Night",
which is collected in Booze, Broads & Bullets, the fifth book in
the comic series. Two original stories written by Miller were also
created exclusively for the film. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was
scheduled to be released on October 4th, 2013 but was pushed back
until August 22nd, 2014.
The film stars an ensemble
cast including returning cast members Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson,
Jaime King, Powers Boothe, Mickey Rourke, and Bruce Willis. Newcomers
to the series include Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Jamie Chung, Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
Dennis Haysbert, Marton Csokas, Julia Garner, Juno Temple, Ray
Liotta, Stacy Keach, Christopher Meloni, Lady Gaga, Jeremy Piven, and
In 2005, after Sin City was
released, Rodriguez announced plans for a follow-up film that would
feature many of the same characters. He planned for the film to be
based on A Dame to Kill For. Miller said the film would be a prequel
and a sequel with interlinking stories both before and after the
first film. Miller, who was writing the screenplay in 2006, had
anticipated for production to begin later in the year. However,
Rodriguez had also said that official casting would not start until
the script was finalized and in studio's hands. At the 2007
Comic-Con, Frank Miller confirmed that he and Robert Rodriguez had
completed a script, but blamed the Weinstein brothers for the delay.
During the 2011 San Diego
Comic-Con, Rodriguez stated that the script for Sin City 2 was
nearing completion and that it was his hope that shooting could begin
before the end of the year. Rodriguez said that the Sin City 2 would
comprise A Dame to Kill For, Just Another Saturday Night and two
original stories Sin City creator Frank Miller has written for the
film, one new story reportedly titled "The Long, Bad Night".
In August 2011, Rodriguez stated that the script is almost
completely finalized and that he has already received funding for the
film, and that production will commence once the script is finalized.
In September 2011, it was revealed that William Monahan has been
brought in to add the finishing touches to Miller's screenplay. In
March 2012, Rodriguez announced that production on Sin City 2 would
begin in mid-2012. He also mentioned that the cast would be "of
the same caliber and eclecticism" as that of the previous film.
April 13th, 2012, the film was confirmed, in addition to the new
title, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The film was expected to go into
production in the summer of 2012, but principal photography began
near the end of October 2012. On June 17th, 2013, the film's release
date was pushed back from October 4th, 2013, until August 22nd, 2014.
Rodriguez later explained that the film was always intended for
release in 2014 and that they were merely holding the October date
for Machete Kills.
pre-production after the release of the first film in 2005, Angelina
Jolie was said to be Rodríguez's first choice in the role of
Ava, so much so that he was delaying production to correspond with
her pregnancy, according to Rosario Dawson, but subsequent articles
throughout the years stated that other rumored frontrunners in
addition to Jolie were Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan, and Rachel Weisz.
However, on January 29th, 2013, it was officially announced that Eva
Green (right) had been cast in the role.
On October 29th, 2012, it
was confirmed that Devon Aoki would not return to reprise her role as
Miho due to her second pregnancy, and that Jamie Chung would take
over the role in the second film. On December 5th, 2012 it was
announced that Dennis Haysbert would replace Michael Clarke Duncan
(who died before production began) as Manute.
January 7th, 2013 it was confirmed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (left)
was cast as new character Johnny, described as "a cocky gambler
who disguises a darker mission to destroy his most foul enemy at his
best game." The character is not to be confused with another
character named Johnny, featured in the short story "Daddy's
Little Girl". The next day, it was reported that Josh Brolin was
cast as Dwight. On January 29th, 2013 it was revealed which
characters new castmembers Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Christopher
Meloni, and Jeremy Piven would play (their casting was announced much
earlier, but their roles unspecified). Liotta was cast as Joey
Canelli, a married businessman who is cheating on his wife. Temple
was cast as Sally, Joey's mistress and a girl from Old Town. Meloni
was cast as Mort, Bob's new partner and one of the few straight cops
of Basin City. Piven replaces Michael Madsen as Bob (although Madsen
was initially announced to be returning during pre-production). The
same day, it was announced that Julia Garner was cast as new
character Marcy, a young stripper who crosses paths with new
character Johnny. On February 5th, it was announced that Stacy Keach
had been cast as villain Wallenquist.
SIN CITY CAST OF CHARACTERS
a hulking, violent giant of a man, who possesses an uncanny
athleticism along with remarkable endurance for pain. As an ex-con,
he spends his time on the streets doing odd jobs for various people.
He is described as an "over the hill do-gooder" by several
people, and admires long overcoats, taking them from those he kills.
He suffers from an unknown mental condition (most likely some form of
dementia) that causes him to, as Marv describes, "get
confused." His symptoms seem to involve experiencing short-term
memory loss and possibly hallucinations. Lucille, his parole officer,
supplies Marv with medication to control these effects of his
condition, though he doesn't seem to be supplied with anything that
would curb his violent nature. His personal code of honor dictates
the repayment of debts and a sort of chivalry towards women. He is a
classic example of a noir anti-hero. Creator Frank Miller describes
Marv as "Conan in a trench coat" in the book Sin City: The
Making of the Movie. He was portrayed by Mickey Rourke in the film adaptation.
McCarthy, a private investigator-turned-vigilante and a close
ally of the Old Town girls. In his first appearance (A Dame to Kill
For), Dwight is manipulated by his ex-lover Ava Lord into killing her
husband and then betrayed by her, leaving him a wanted murderer. Gail
and the Old Town girls surgically reconstructed his face, drastically
changing his identity and allowing him to take revenge. He is thus
deeply in debt to the women of Old Town and will go to great lengths
to aid them, to the point of singlehandedly starting a mob war to
avenge a murdererd prostitute. Dwight is highly intelligent, a
skilled marksman, and an intimidating physical fighter. Elements of
Dwight's personality and of the stories which feature him prominently
frequently evoke other hardboiled figures common to noir, crime and
mystery fiction genres, especially Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe
character. Portrayed by Clive Owen in the film adaptation.
John Hartigan, An honest, determined 60-year-old ex-con/ex-cop
with a severe heart condition (Angina). Hartigan was one of the few
honorable cops on the Basin City Police force. On his last night on
the job he saved Nancy Callahan from being raped and murdered by
Roark Junior when she was 11 years old, only to be framed and
imprisoned for the crime himself. He has a distinguishing X-shaped
scar on his forehead, which is a tribute to Harry Callahan of the
Dirty Harry film series, Miller's inspiration for the character.
Portrayed by Bruce Willis in the film adaptation.
a fit, long-haired artist-turned-vigilante hero who falls in love
with and then rescues Esther from The Colonel's organ-harvesting
scheme. He is a former Navy SEAL and was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Wallace is portrayed as an unbeatable fighter, though he prefers to
avoid fighting whenever possible. Unlike the other Sin City
protagonists, especially Marv and Dwight, he has no reluctance to
kill a woman; killing Delia and Maxine in cold blood. Until going on
a killing spree to save Esther, Wallace seems to be the most
law-abiding person in Sin City.
and Wendy, beautiful identical twin prostitutes who are in
charge of Old Town. Little is known about Goldie, who is killed after
learning too much about the Roarke family farm at the beginning of
The Hard Goodbye, and she is seen mainly through the eyes of Marv,
who is stunned when she offers herself to him in exchange for
protection and considers her "an angel." Wendy is a tough,
hot-tempered leader who is quick to avenge any wrong done to the
girls in her care. After she delivers a vicious beating to Marv, who
she believes to be her sister's murderer, he notes that Goldie must
have been "the nice one." However, once Wendy comes to
understand Marv's motives and intentions for his quest, and the
lengths he will go to see them through, she softens to him, becoming
his helper throughout The Hard Goodbye. Wendy is the last visitor
Marv receives before his execution, and she spends the night with
him. She tells him that he can call her by her sister's name that
last night. They likely make love although that is never shown. After
Marv is killed she is never seen without his crucifix around her
neck. Portrayed by Jaime King in the film adaptation.
Callahan, an angelic erotic dancer at Kadie's bar, she is the
only character to appear in each of the 7 volumes of Sin City,
usually as a silent presence dancing on stage. In "That Yellow
Bastard" it is revealed that she was saved by Det. John Hartigan
when she was 11 years old (roughly 12 years before The Hard Goodbye)
from the murderous pedophile Junior Roarke. His actions to protect
her in adulthood are the focus of that book. She is also a good
friend to Marv, who often doubles as her protector. Portrayed by
Jessica Alba (as an adult) and Makenzie Vega (as an 11-year-old girl)
in the film adaptation. A new story about Nancy, focusing on the
events after "That Yellow Bastard" will be part of the
a prostitute, dominatrix and one of the leaders of the Old Town
community, second only to the Twins. Standing 6 feet tall and wearing
an outfit made of a combination of leather, fishnet stockings and
metal studs, (and occasionally bondage masks,) she has a love/hate
relationship with Dwight McCarthy. Indeed, the reason Dwight is still
alive at all is 'that one fiery night when she was mine' and the
unrequited love she feels for him; in A Dame to Kill For, when the
girls of Old Town are deliberating whether or not to kill Dwight,
Gail states that he is the only man she has ever loved, and that if
he dies, she wants to die with him. Her preferred weapon is an Uzi
submachine gun. Portrayed by Rosario Dawson in the film adaptation.
often referred to as "Deadly Little Miho" by Dwight, is a
highly skilled, incredibly dangerous assassin who serves as an
enforcer and defender of Old Town. She never speaks. Among her
arsenal are twin katana samurai swords, throwing stars in the shape
of a Manji, and a Mongolian-styled longbow. She is often seen on
roller blades and is capable of killing several men while skating.
She owes a debt of honor to Dwight for saving her life, and he is the
only male she interacts with on a friendly basis. Dwight likens her
to a cat, in that she uses her swords to "play" with her
opponent by dodging her opponent while hitting them in return. She is
especially sadistic if the opponent uses anti-Japanese racial slurs.
Frank Miller considers the character to be a "supernatural
being" of Sin City that characterizes a "good demon."
Portrayed by Devon Aoki in the film adaptation and Jamie Chung in the sequel.
a barmaid at Kadie's, She is Dwight McCarthy's occasional
girlfriend. Her brother often troubled her with problems that brought
the police to her. Portrayed by Brittany Murphy in the first film.
is a mute serial killer who resides at "The Farm", a
shadowy retreat owned by the powerful Roark family. Though he is
never shown speaking a single word, his erstwhile protector Cardinal
Roark claims that he has the voice of an angel. He kills prostitutes,
mounts their heads on a wall like hunting trophies, and cannibalizes
their remains, giving the leftovers to his pet wolf. He is sheltered
by Cardinal Roark, to whom he supposedly confessed being tormented by
guilt over his crimes. Being close with Cardinal Roark, he is also
well known to the family and is good friends with Roark Junior. He
appears as a small, shadowy figure with occasionally glowing glasses
and razor-sharp fingernails that he uses as weapons. Kevin is
preternaturally quick and silent, and ferociously skilled at martial
arts. Marv laments that Kevin is the only person to have ever
successfully snuck up on him, and is also the only person to beat him
in single combat; Marv only defeats Kevin in their rematch by luring
him in close and handcuffing himself to Kevin so that Kevin's
trademark speed is useless. Despite suffering a gruesome and
lingering death by Marv's hands, Kevin does not scream once, staring
placidly straight ahead even as his pet wolf begins to eat him.
Portrayed by Elijah Wood in the film adaptation.
Patrick Henry Roark, a Catholic Cardinal, is brother to Senator
Roark. Roark occasionally uses Kevin (who is akin to a son) as his
personal assassin, and even joins him in his cannibalistic rituals.
He's killed by Marv in an unspecified (but implied to be extremely
gruesome and painful) way. Portrayed by Rutger Hauer in the film adaptation.
a huge African American man, typically dressed as a valet, who is
very gentlemanly and polite in all situations, even while committing
homicide, who served Ava Lord and is later recruited by the Colonel
and Wallenquist. He is, like Marv, nearly indestructible, having been
crucified (by Miho), shot repeatedly (by Dwight), beat up numerous
times (by Marv and Wallace), and relieved of an eye (again, by Marv).
Manute is finally gunned down by Old Town hookers during 'The Big Fat
Kill'. In the deleted scenes of the film, he was shown to have
escaped from the assault by the Old Town girls with Schutz and
another thug, only to be sliced down the middle by Miho in an alley
way. Portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan in the film adaptation and
Dennis Haysbert in the sequel.
aka The Kraut, the mysterious and powerful leader of the Sin
City mob. His goal is merely to achieve power and profit, regardless
of what underhanded methods can lead him to that goal. Unlike the
other antagonists, however, he is somewhat an honorable person, as he
sees revenge as an unnecessary extravagance and will often take
losses, (such as his enforcers' defeat in The Big Fat Kill and Hell
and Back, even the death of Bruno in Family Values,) with a fair
amount of dignity. He also proves to be one of the few men able to
resist Ava Lord's wiles. Portrayed by Stacy Keach in the sequel.
Jack "Iron Jack" Rafferty, a.k.a. Jackie-Boy is
Shellie's abusive former boyfriend. Miho kills him and his four
buddies after they threaten Becky with a gun. His spirit later haunts
Dwight's imagination, and his murder is what precipitates 'the big
fat kill' of the title. Despite his blatant alcoholism and abusive
behavior towards women, Rafferty is a well-respected hero cop, having
ascended to the ranks of Lieutenant. He was given the moniker
"Iron Jack" by the newspapers. Portrayed by Benicio del
Toro in the film adaptation.
Junior, aka That Yellow Bastard, is the son of Senator
Roark. He is handsome, young, and rich; he is also a sadistic child
molester and serial killer who rapes and murders prepubescent girls,
a pastime covered up by his father and the Basin City police. In That
Yellow Bastard, Hartigan shoots off Junior's left ear, right hand and
genitals while rescuing an 11-year-old Nancy Callahan, and Sen. Roark
pays millions in physical rehabilitation treatments to rebuild him.
Due to these treatments, however, his body cannot process waste
properly, resulting in his skin turning bright yellow and making him
smell like rotting meat. He finally meets his end twelve years later,
when Hartigan stabs him in the gut with a switchblade, castrates him
again (this time with his bare hands), and proceeds to pound his head
to a pulp. Portrayed by Nick Stahl in the film adaptation.
Roark, a corrupt politician with huge political and financial
power; he has the influence to eliminate whomever he chooses. He even
beat his own wife to death with a baseball bat, leaving his
fingerprints all over it, and blackmailed someone else into
confessing. His son is Roark Junior. He hushes up Junior's crimes by
threatening to kill Hartigan's family if he doesn't confess to the
murders Junior committed. The Senator's brother is Cardinal Roark.
Portrayed by Powers Boothe in the film adaptation.
Colonel, aka The Salesman, also goes by The Man. A shadowy,
poetic freelance assassin, allied with both the cops and the Mafia.
He trains and co-ordinates assassins, and is one himself at some
point. He runs an organ harvesting ring as well as other ventures in
organized crime. His operations are eventually shut down by the Basin
City Police in a sting operation and he is captured and shot by
Commissioner Liebowitz after mouthing off to him. He is also known as
"the Salesman", a gentle, poetic hit-man who ensures his
target's last moments are happy before he quietly kills them. It is
assumed he kills Becky at the end of the movie adaptation. Portrayed
by Josh Hartnett in the film adaption.
the dame to kill for. An ex-lover of Dwight McCarthy and an expert
manipulator and liar. She convinces Dwight to kill her husband
Damien, who she claims is abusive, then betrays him. She later
manipulates police detective Mort into falling in love with her,
eventually leading to his suicide. She is considered a goddess by her
servant Manute and a manipulative bitch by Dwight, who eventually
kills her. She represents the classic femme fatale, acting as a foil
to Dwight's typically hard-boiled but cool-headed anti-hero.
Portrayed by Eva Green in the sequel.
("Blue Eyes"), an assassin trained by The Colonel. Her
first job is killing the only man she has ever loved. She uses the
powers of seduction to lead unsuspecting men to their deaths and
considers her co-worker Mariah to be "sloppy". She usually
has sex with her victims before killing them. She herself is killed
by Wallace, despite begging for her life.
a psychopharmacologist who works alongside Delia. She administers a
strong hallucinogen into Wallace's system, and later gives him the
antidote at gunpoint. Dies for her troubles. She was also involved in
Esther's attempted brainwashing.
a young Old Town prostitute who is instrumental in getting Jackie
Boy killed by Miho. She also works for the Colonel as a spy, mainly
because she didn't want her mother to discover that she was a
prostitute, partly because he offered her a considerable sum of money
and a new life. Killed during The Big Fat Kill, but in the epilogue
of the movie adaptation, she survives only to encounter the Salesman
while leaving the hospital, and it is implied he kills her. Portrayed
by Alexis Bledel in the film adaptation.
City is the title for a series of neo-noir comics by Frank Miller.
The first story originally appeared in "Dark Horse Presents
Fifth Anniversary Special" (April, 1991), and continued in Dark
Horse Presents #5162 from May 1991 to June 1992, under the
title of Sin City, serialized in thirteen parts. Several other
stories of variable lengths have followed. The intertwining stories,
with frequently recurring characters, take place in Basin City.
Basin City, almost
universally referred to by the nickname Sin City, is a fictional town
in the American west. The climate is hot and arid, although Sacred
Oaks is characterized as being heavily wooded. A major river runs
through the city, which has an extensive waterfront. Usually twice a
year, a major downpour comes, and the city is prone to heavy snowfall
in the winter. In the comics, Basin City has a surreal, Pan-American
feel. Desert lizards and palm trees are common, while tar pits,
desert areas, mountain ranges and flat farmland make up the landscape
around the city.
The Basin City Police are
more or less along the lines of paramilitary or SWAT, as they have to
deal with incredibly high crime rates among criminals and civilians
alike, which is why they have access to what most would consider
"heavy weaponry" and full body armor. Those who make up the
force have been described as commonly being lazy, cowardly and/or
corrupt. Only a handful of the cops are honest, though frequently the
wealthy of the city bribe the corrupt members of the police into
performing their duty (usually as a result of some crime being
committed (or threatened) against a member of their family).
the California Gold Rush, the Roark family "imported" a
large number of attractive women to keep the miners happy, making a
fortune and turning a struggling mining camp into a thriving,
bustling city. Over the years, as the Roark family migrated into
other areas of business and power, these women ended up forming the
district of Old Town, the prostitute quarter of the city where they
rule with absolute authority. In addition, the people charged with
governing the city, most of them from the Roark line, remained in
power for generations, running it as they saw fit.
As the various yarns
progress, the audience gradually becomes familiar with key locations
in and around Basin City.
The Projects, the run-down
and poor side of Sin City, are a tangle of high-rise run-down and
desolated apartments where crime runs rampant with no police inside.
Its inhabitants have apparently evolved their own independent society
with almost no legal contact with the outside world and SWAT teams
rarely go in The Projects. Marv was born in the Projects, and
currently resides there. Dwight avoids The Projects and hates the neighborhood.
The Docks, a collection of
wharfs and warehouses that are local to the Projects, since The Docks
overlook The Projects. Hartigan and Roark Junior have their first
confrontation here in That Yellow Bastard, and Marv drives a stolen
police car off one of the piers at the beginning of The Hard Goodbye.
Kadie's Club Pecos is a
strip club and bar in Old Town, where Nancy Callahan and Shellie
work, and where Dwight McCarthy and Marv spend their spare time.
Despite being filled with drunk and violent men, Kadie's bar is one
of the safest areas in Sin City since it is heavily guarded by
prostitutes and their protectors. Marv, who possesses an
extraordinarily high sense of chivalry, protects the female employees
of Kadie's from any violence that makes its way inside.
Roark Family Farm (a.k.a.
"The Farm") is located at North Cross and Lennox on the
hills outside Basin City and shows up in several stories, including
The Hard Goodbye, That Yellow Bastard, The Babe Wore Red and Hell and
Back. It was also home to Kevin, a serial killer with ties to the
Roark family. Marv burns down one of the buildings, and the Farm is
abandoned sometime after the initial Sin City storyline. The Farm is
the only location in the comic books that is outside Basin City.
Old Town is the red-light
district, where the city's population of prostitutes reside. Old Town
is run by Goldie and Wendy. Old Town is off limits to the police.
Though willing to engage in almost any sexual act for the right
price, the women of Old Town show no mercy to those who "break
the rules," and back up their independence with lethal force.
The mafia families and pimps who were into Old Town's business were
thrown out of the neighborhood.
Sacred Oaks is the home to
the rich and powerful of Sin City. This suburb is located on the
outskirts of Basin City as a protection. A university is located in
Sacred Oaks, and the entire area is patrolled by armed employees of
its wealthy inhabitants, mostly SWAT teams.
City Central Train Station, which has a direct connection to
Phoenix. It is located in the outskirts near The Docks and it is
considered one of safer places.
Mimi's, a small run-down
motel on the far outskirts of Basin City, with only few rooms and a
place where young couples make love. Nancy and Hardigan hid in Mimi's
where she confessed his love to him. Junior also attacked Hartigan
here and left him to die, although he saved himself.
The Santa Yolanda Tar Pits,
an abandoned amusement park of sorts outside the city, where several
tar pits are located and dinosaur bones were excavated at some time.
After a 'big-budget dinosaur movie' (presumably a reference to
Jurassic Park) caused a sensation, the county put up concrete statues
of dinosaurs there to draw crowds. However, after an old lady fell
through a railing into one of the pits and had a heart attack, the
place was shut down indefinitely. They are frequently used as a place
to dump things that people don't want found; high-schoolers also tend
to sneak in there a lot. This is where Delia tells Phil to drive in
Wrong Turn and where Dwight takes the corpses of Jackie Boy and his
friends in The Big Fat Kill. Frank Miller has admitted the main
reason the Tar Pits exist is as an excuse to draw the dinosaur statues.