A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.
An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Much of the movie was filmed guerrilla style. Like many indie-minded directors of low-budget films, Abel Ferrara didn't bother with permits most of the time. "We weren't permitted on any of this stuff", Editor Anthony Redman admitted. "We just walked on and started shooting." For the scene where a strung-out Lieutenant walks through a nightclub, they sent Harvey Keitel through an actual, functioning club during peak operating hours. See more »
When LT is getting the $30,000 from the drug dealer, he sits down and watches TV. The audio from the game show on can be heard repeating itself. Towards the end of the scene it repeats, suggesting it was a limited clip, on a loop. See more »
Can I help you?
Yeah, I'm in charge of the investigation. I'm just checking security.
Yeah. You wouldn't want those guys coming back, huh? For the nun? Or for you?
See more »
This film was passed uncut in the UK in 2003. The previous releases suffered from the following cuts: Rape of the nun: cut: scene where nun's pants are removed revealing pubic hair. Injecting heroin: cut: close-up of Zoe Lund's arm as she injects herself. Injecting heroin: cut: Keitel drinking as he watches Zoe. Injecting heroin: cut: another shot of Zoe's arm with the needle in it. Injecting heroin: cut: close up of Zoe's face. Injecting heroin: cut: Zoe drawing liquid from spoon. (still present in the trailer!) Injecting heroin: 31s replaced by crude dissolve: Zoe injects Keitel. Led Zepplin threatened legal action against a track sounding slightly like "Kashmir". The offending song has been removed from 4 points in the video. Street drug dealing just before Keitel arrives to buy crack: now no music at all. Nun's rape originally to backing track "signifying rapper": now church organ music. Long tracking shot following Keitel into the hospital: now no music at all. End credits: now have Abel Ferrara himself singing. See more »
Harvey Keitel gives the performance of a lifetime in a brilliant, unflinchingly gritty street ballad that holds up next to Scorcese's greatest moments. A depressingly underrated character study, Bad Lieutenant is truly Abel Ferrara's masterpiece, and a high point in independent cinema of the 90's.
Harvey Keitel plays a New York cop who, to put it bluntly, is a pretty awful person. Throughout the film, we watch as he goes from situation to situation exploring the depths of depravity and corruption. Ferrara keeps it voyeuristic -- Keitel is often shot from a distance, and he is presented without judgment. This matter-of-fact approach to his character is what makes this film so believable, so real. Keitel is portrayed not as a monster, but as what he is -- a human. As easy as it is to hate him (and boy, is it easy), it is just as easy to forgive him -- a point which is highlighted by the religious themes and Catholic imagery throughout. And ultimately, it really is a film more concerned with forgiveness and redemption than power and corruption. All of the evils perpetrated by our protagonist build over the course of 90 minutes and lead to a final act of humanity. He is not necessarily vindicated, but he is most certainly human.
It's not a feel-good film, and it's unpleasantness is not always easy to endure, but Bad Lieutenant is a powerful, rewarding film experience. One of the absolute best of its kind. 9 out of 10.
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