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- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

SIN CITY

Sin 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.

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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 several tracks.

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.

"Sensemayá" 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.

The 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."

The 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.

Frank 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 Crystal McCahill.

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.

On 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.

During initial 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.

On 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

Marv, 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.

Dwight 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.

Det. 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.

Wallace, 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.

Goldie 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.

Nancy 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 film's sequel.

Gail, 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.

Miho, 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.

Shellie, 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.

Kevin 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.

Cardinal 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.

Manute, 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.

Wallenquist 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.

Det. 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.

Roark 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.

Senator 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.

The 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.

Ava Lord, 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.

Delia ("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.

Maxine, 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.

Becky, 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.

Sin 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 #51–62 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).

During 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.

Basin 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.

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