Gambler. Thief. Junkie. Killer. Cop.
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.
Mr. White as a cop living on the mother fucking edge. Blow. Bo fuckin' Dietl. A smart bet. Baseball. A street pharmacist. Crack is whack. Naked dancing. Flaccid Harvey. A convenience store shakedown. A despicable-horrific-sad-face act of violence. Darryl fuckin' Strawberry. Stealing from the dead. Chicks in penguin suits. A nude nun. Jersey bad girls. A serious question. Extreme-chicken-chokin'. Fuck you cassette player! Holy communion. Yummy wafers! Sad confessions. Not giving a flyin' fuck who you snort coke in front of. Nightclub action. Playing dumb. Uncontrolable laughter. An empty threat. China fuckin' White. Real fuckin' justice. Holy fuckin' hallucinations. Some real good shit. The way Harvey says cocksucker. The bus. Checking out for good. Harvey fuckin' Keitel blows it out…
Bad Lieutenant is a crime drama that follows the story of a cop who, while investigating a nun's rape, tries to straighten out his life. Ferrara builds an excellent character study on an unlikeable man who leads a life of corruption (by abusing his authority as a lieutenant) and who finds himself cornered with his addictions (drug and gambling) that threaten to destroy his life.
Instead of trying to establish a real 'story', director Abel Ferrara insvests in a controversial study on a man who tries to find redemption after a life of corruption and bad choices, in a detailied examination of a man's nihilist life, a cop who abuses of his social position to lead a semi anarchist life.…
For some reason I've always remembered Bad Lieutenant as a 70s film. There's something about its detachment and struggles with morality that harks back to early Scorsese, especially with Harvey Keitel in the lead role. It becomes more than a mere homage to Mean Streets as Abel Ferrara mirrors Scorsese by weighing down Keitel's boots with Catholic guilt and having him commit a series of unforgivable sins.
The Lieutenant in question is more than a corrupt cop, he's a pervert, a drunk, and a drug addict. He's the sort of guy John Doe and Jigsaw would have a field day with as sin oozes from every pore of his body like thick black tar. His actions are not mere indulgences,…
Less a narrative than an examination of the depths of redemption, Bad Lieutenant takes an unlikable asshole and asks us how much we can take before we want him dead. Harvey Keitel's Lieutenant is a complete monster, a walking pharmacy cabinet, and, besides a strikingly inane suburban side-life, has nothing redeeming about him. We're treated to increasingly detestable episodes that showcase his brutality, hubris, and utter nihilism until there's seemingly no deeper he can sink.
The showcasing of his banal domestic life seems to be director Abel Ferrara's indication that most, if not all, of LT's woes are of his own causing. He mistakes self-destruction for pride. He thinks himself untouchable, even as he becomes more and more erratic. It…
This is one of Ferrara's greatest films, bar none. It's as much a remarkable character study as it is portrait of a city. Both suffering from a moral and spiritual crisis. Harvey Keitel has never been better. He plays a corrupt New York City police detective with a serious drug and gambling addiction who, while investigating a nun's rape, tries to change his ways. That alone won't be enough. He'll have both look inward and outward to find forgiveness. Ferrara knows this. Christian faith and symbolism are very important to the film. But Ferrara doesn't offer easy answers. Rightly so given how complex a character his protagonist truly is. The finest American film of the '80s.
Managed to bring this to a screening at my local (student) film club, on 35mm even, and counting me we were 15 people there. Good times.
Good times were not what Harvey Keitel's cop was going through. Penned by Ferrara himself, together with Zoe Lund, star of Ferrara's earlier Ms. 45, this is a pure, unadulterated downward spiral into the deepest darkest corners of a rotten soul. Keitel pours every inch (yes, literally) of himself into the part, and his cathartic climax is brutal. He's never better than here, in my view.
He's not backed up by much, though, the rest of the cast are more extras than anything else, although the "drug buddy" pretty much nails it.
The pacing isn't all that either, and if it's fun you're looking for, you want Herzog's "remake", not this.
The ending has never sat right with me, and the women tonight really didn't care for it.
Bad lieutenant is a raw & visceral cop film, but its also great.
This guy was really bad at his job.
There was so much of this film I enjoyed, it was dark and strange and weirdly funny. Harvey Keitel was a proper bastard in it, probably one of the most deplorable characters i've ever seen in a film.
Solid film, pared down to the pure spiral of the character. It's a bit piled on, but works due to Keitel's performance which is brave (though I'm not convinced how 'great' it is, at first glance). The Cage film is superior, but both work pretty well.
Harvey, you donated your penis to a great cause.
Watching in reverse order to it's namesake, 'Bad Lieutenant' was a film that had been on my radar for quite some time, and let's face it; long overdue.
What the film gave me, was a gritty, undocumented or celebrated underworld of the police 'justice' department. A detective, with grand ability, and flawed fundamentals. It is excruciatingly menacing, morbid, sleazy and very, very melancholic.
With Keitel playing the role of a life time as a drunk, coke addled junky, trying to solve crimes, but after hours using his badge for whatever filth he could obtain, we observe the good, the bad and the truly ugly. Fantastic debauchery, and on par with Ferrara's gritty, urban styles.
Intense film, a true bad-cop film. Sure highlights all that is sad in this world, which is excellent.
This movie is rated NC-17, and man, oh man, does it deserve every bit of that rating.
the first part of this movie is pretty good, but after a while the storyline is somewhat lost..... well the main character is somewhat lost as well so it's probably not a coincidence.
harvey keitel does a nice job acting, but when he cries he sounds like chewie from star wars.
"Show me how you suck a guy's cock"
A very entertaining watch and a very good character study.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.