7.1/10
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Bad Lieutenant (1992)

While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness.

Director:

Writers:

(as Zoe Lund),

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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
LT
Brian McElroy ...
Frankie Acciarito ...
...
LT's Wife
...
LT's Daughter
Dana Dee ...
LT's Baby Girl
...
Beat Cop
...
Cop #1 (as Paul Calderone)
...
Cop #2 (as Leonard Thomas)
Anthony Ruggiero ...
Lite
...
JC
Robin Burrows ...
Ariane
Victoria Bastel ...
Bowtay
G. Elvis Phillips ...
Young Cop
Stephen Chen ...
Korean Store Owner
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Storyline

A police Lieutenant goes about his daily tasks of investigating homicides, but is more interested in pursuing his vices. He has accumulated a massive debt betting on baseball, and he keeps doubling to try to recover. His bookies are beginning to get agitated. The Lieutenant does copious amounts of drugs, cavorts with prostitutes, and uses his status to take advantage of teenage girls. While investigating a nun's rape, he begins to reflect on his lifestyle. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gambler. Thief. Junkie. Killer. Cop.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for sexual violence, strong sexual situations & dialogue, graphic drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 December 1992 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Teniente corrupto  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,000,022 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Editor Anthony Redman referred to Christopher Walken - the original choice to play the lieutenant - as "Chris", for short. According to the trivia for Walken, "He adopted the name "Christopher" when a friend told him the name suited him better than "Ronnie". Has since stated that his adopted name sounds "like a sneeze", and he prefers to be called "Chris"". See more »

Goofs

When the Lieutenant goes out at night he wears a suit with a red shirt, this can be seen when he is chatting with the girls outside of their car. However, when he enters the church his red dress shirt changes to a red button sweater. See more »

Quotes

The Lieutenant: [to his young sons as he drives them late to school] Hey, listen to me. I'm the boss, not Aunt Wendy. When it's your time to use the bathroom, you tell Aunt Wendy to get the fuck out of the bathroom! What are you, men or mice? She's hoggin' the bathroom - call me! Call me, and I'll throw her the fuck out!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Driller Killer (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

WE DID IT BEFORE, WE'LL DO IT AGAIN
Written by Cliff Friend (as C. Friend) and Charles Tobias
Published by Warner Bros. Inc & Tobias
Performed by Peter Yellen & Greg Hollister
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Relentlessly depressing, sleazy study of a morally bankrupt cop...
15 February 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

If there is at least one thing to admire in BAD LIEUTENANT, it's Harvey Keitel's method performance as the corrupt cop without a moral compass who goes through the film indifferent to everyone but himself, getting high whenever he's in the need of a fix, intimidating anyone under his charge--including teen-age girls in the film's most exploitational scene--and upset through the entire film over the rape of a nun who has forgiven her attackers.

Keitel throws himself completely into the role, gnashing his teeth and clenching his jaw effectively whenever stirred to emote, crying like a wounded animal when he feels no justice in a world where injustices are free to roam. He's quite an intense actor and always seems to be cast in these kind of roles that show the underbelly of human beings, usually in stories of the kind that Martin Scorsese likes to tell about corrupt cops. Unfortunately, any director needs a good script.

Well, Abel Ferrara is no Scorsese. He's made a cheap looking exploitation film about a sleazy subject and seems to think that the more gross it is, the more gritty he makes it look, and the shakier the hand held camera is at catching grimy glimpses of New York streets, the better it will be appreciated by fans of this kind of schlock.

Summing up: He's a bad lieutenant in a bad film. Too bad Keitel can't find a film worthier of his talents. All he needs is a good script.


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