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Fingers
     

Fingers

4.0 1
Director: James Toback, Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown

Cast: James Toback, Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown

 

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James Toback's superb debut film, Fingers, one of the great little-seen films from the golden age of the '70s, comes to DVD with a superb widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Considering that the film had been previously available in poor videotape releases only, it would be safe

Overview

James Toback's superb debut film, Fingers, one of the great little-seen films from the golden age of the '70s, comes to DVD with a superb widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Considering that the film had been previously available in poor videotape releases only, it would be safe to say that the film has never before looked this good on home video. The picture will surprise anyone who has never seen the film on the big screen. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. Subtitles are accessible in both of those languages as well. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by the director. Toback proves himself to be every bit the Harvard student that he was. His words are informed, informative, and measured. Oddly he lacks the crazy passion on display throughout the film, but it is a fascinating track all the same. A short interview with Toback and star Harvey Keitel and the original trailer round out this release from Warner Bros. This is simply an excellent release for a woefully underrated film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Jimmy is seen alone at his piano playing Bach. When he finishes, he sees a beautiful girl outside the window. He chases after her. This establishes Jimmy's nature. He is full of passion and can channel it in any number of directions. What will happen if he can't channel that passion? Jimmy's gangster father enlists his help in picking up payments. Simultaneously, Jimmy is practicing for a Carnegie Hall audition. The film, which barely has a plot, is an examination of Jimmy slowly becoming psychologically undone because of the pressures from both the outside world and his internal intensity. James Toback's script sets the audience up for Jimmy's instability. His institutionalized mother, his violent father, and his passionate nature all work together to create a portrait of a man slowly losing his grip. In addition to the beautifully structured script, Keitel is willing and capable of making viewers believe the character. In one early scene, Jimmy is sitting in a restaurant playing a radio very loudly. A man asks him to turn the noise down. Keitel, with a sinister smile on his face, explains to the man that the song is one of the most innovative rock songs of all time. Jimmy is brimming with the desire to deck the man. Keitel captures the fervent, violent, and tumultuous inner life of the character. Toback utilizes many of the same filmmaking techniques Martin Scorsese applied in his earliest work. The prominent use of popular music, the shot-on-location New York settings, and the display of low-level gangsters' everyday lives are reminiscent of both Who's That Knocking at My Door? and Mean Streets, both films in which Keitel stars. While certainly paying tribute to Scorsese, Toback has a purpose to his style beyond simple homage. By putting viewers in this violent, realistic, un-Hollywood location, Jimmy's madness becomes palpable. The world of the film affects the character and the audience in equal measure, making the audience identify all the more with the disturbing aspects of Jimmy's inner life. It is worth noting that Toback gave the disturbed lead character in his directorial debut the same first name as himself.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/05/2002
UPC:
0053939629927
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
R
Source:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:29:00

Special Features

Feature-length audio commentary by writer/director James Toback; "Fingers: A Conversation About Independent Film" with Harvey Keitel and James Toback; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harvey Keitel Jimmy Angelelli
Tisa Farrow Carol
Jim Brown Deems
Michael Vincente Gazzo Ben Angelelli
Marian Seldes Mother
Carole Francis Christa
Georgette Muir Anita
Danny Aiello Butch
Dominic Chianese Arthur Fox
Tony Sirico Riccamonza
Tanya Roberts Julie
Ed Marinaro Gino
Zack Norman Cop
Jane Elder Esther
Lenny Montana Luchino
James Toback Actor
Murray Moston Dr. Fry
Frank Pesce Raymond

Technical Credits
James Toback Director,Screenwriter
George Barrie Score Composer,Producer
Michael Chapman Cinematographer
Les Lasarowitz Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Lawrence Editor
Gene Rudolf Production Designer
Bill Varney Sound/Sound Designer
Fred C. Weiler Set Decoration/Design
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Piano Solo Credits [3:07]
2. For a Ride [4:35]
3. Carol's Place [3:57]
4. Dining With Dad [8:19]
5. Pizzeria Slice [5:47]
6. Wrong Notes [4:12]
7. Patsy's Woman [6:55]
8. Prostate Checkup [3:09]
9. Following Carol [4:28]
10. Officer Levy [2:56]
11. Bach Behind Bars [2:00]
12. The Audition [6:26]
13. Mom's Understanding [2:19]
14. "I Need You to Want Me" [3:58]
15. Next Morning [2:46]
16. Club of Dreems [5:02]
17. Partying Uptown [5:45]
18. Dad's Disapproval [3:36]
19. Now or Never [1:31]
20. Bloody End [2:12]
21. Retribution [3:54]
22. On Edge [1:05]
23. End Credits [1:44]

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Fingers 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's because this is a tribute to Marty 20 years before its time. This gritty and intensely interesting character study was unfairly stuck with an X rating by the MPAA when first released in 1979, so it didn't get the play it deserved. Harvey Keitel works the screen to perfection, just as he did with the same character in MEAN STREETS, whose torn between 2 worlds.Worth a look and then some.