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

Director Abel Ferrara originally wanted Baybi Day, one of his leading ladies from The Driller Killer (1979), to appear in this movie but she declined. See more »

Goofs

When the Mets win the pennant, we see the Met catcher roll the ball toward the mound and run toward the dugout. This is obviously the end of an inning, but not the end of a game. See more »

Quotes

The Lieutenant: [to Jesus Christ] Mutt! You got something that you want to say to me? You fuck! You ratfuck, you ratfuck! Here's your... What? Say something, I know you're just standing there. What am I gonna do? You gotta say something! Something! You fuck, you fucking stand there and you want me to do every fucking thing! Where were you? Where the fuck are you? Where were you? Where the hell were you? I... I... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry! I'm sorry! I did so many bad things. I'm sorry. I tried to do... I try to ...
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Connections

Featured in Cinéma, de notre temps: Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

PLEDGING MY LOVE
Written by Don D. Robey (as Robey) / Fats Washington (as Washington)
(P) 1954 Music Corporation of America, Inc.
Performed by Johnny Ace
Used by permission of MCA Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Intense, subtle, and in some ways unique- Bad Lieutenant is the sleeper of 1992
23 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Abel Ferrara has on his hands a small masterwork of one man's existence in the doldrums, and he has such a way of dealing with "the streets" as a perpetually gritty, hellish world in a movie that I didn't disbelieve it for a second. In a sense he can be compared to the likes of Scorsese, however he certainly works in a different frame of honesty in mind in depicting his lead character and those he encounters.

At the core of this extremely well made, unconventional film is the best performance Harvey Keitel delivered in the nineties, a bravado piece of work in which he bares all of the qualities that can make up the badness in the lieutenant. The Lieutenant spends little time with his kids, and when he does is hardly happy, and when he leaves them he goes into the underworld to do coke, crack and heroin, gulps down alcohol like Evian, and tries to cling onto whatever dignity he has left in betting on the Mets in the championship series.

When a startling case occurs - a nun is raped by two street kids - the lieutenant is on the scene, however fogged in his muck, and can't understand how somebody, even a nun, can forgive such a crime. This leads into the third act of the film, and this is where the work propels itself into a higher ground, mature, spiritual, and ultimately fascinating in every aspect. Overall, Bad Lieutenant is a lean, un-abashed first-person singular in a rather sophisticated delivery. We are delivered a character, like Alex in Clockwork Orange for example, who is not even a half-way decent person.

But just by the way Ferrara and Keitel bring us into his world, and the details of his existence, a viewer can start to understand that the film works on other levels besides those of a conventional "all around bad-cop" story.


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