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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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Jimmy Angelelli (Harvey Keitel) wants to be a concert pianist. Jimmy's dad, Ben Angelelli (Michael V. Gazzo), wants his son to go into the family business. So far, so banal. But the "family business" depicted in Fingers is organized crime, and therein lies the film's perverse appeal. Fingers represents the directorial

Overview

Jimmy Angelelli (Harvey Keitel) wants to be a concert pianist. Jimmy's dad, Ben Angelelli (Michael V. Gazzo), wants his son to go into the family business. So far, so banal. But the "family business" depicted in Fingers is organized crime, and therein lies the film's perverse appeal. Fingers represents the directorial debut of screenwriter James Toback, who also wrote the script.

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:
10/04/2011
UPC:
0883316398128
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:30:00
Sales rank:
42,301

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

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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.