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Fingers (1978)

Harvey Keitel , Tisa Farrow , James Toback  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown, Michael V. Gazzo, Marian Seldes
  • Directors: James Toback
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: November 5, 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FDBU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fingers" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Fingers: A Conversation About Independent Film" with Harvery Keitel and James Toback

Editorial Reviews

Harvey Keitel plays a piano virtuoso with a twisted second job - he's the muscle man who 'collects' on his mob father's debts. Of course, this creates an internal struggle between the artist's commitments to his father and his love of music.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manual Dexterity January 31, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
In all my years of movie viewing, there have been only two movies that I completely hated upon my first viewing: James Toback's FINGERS and David Lynch's BLUE VELVET. To me, the former was a 90-minute exercise in incompetence, with the director wallowing in material unfit for a sewer. The latter was indescribable - an eclectic assortment of unrelated images sewn together by momentary fits of brutal and sexual savagery. I never would have thought that my utter lack of understanding in film as a visual language would soon come to pass, and ultimately permit me to enjoy further viewings of these films which have become two of my all-time favorites.
FINGERS is one of the best movies you've more than likely never heard of. Though I found it to be initially revolting, I gave the film another chance and boy am I glad I did. Watching the film a second time revealed one of the most audacious and best films made in the 1970's. Harvey Keitel gives what to me is his best film performance. As Jimmy Angelleli (an Angel in Hell - nice symbolism!), he's an aspiring concert pianist moonlighting as a collector for his loan shark father, played wonderfully by the late Michael V. Gazzo. The predominantly New York City cast is made up primarily of great character actors from THE GODFATHER films, in particular Dominic Chianese (finally getting recognition on THE SOPRANOS) and Lenny Montana. Tony Sirico, who plays Pauly Walnuts on THE SOPRANOS, is terrific as a gangster who has a nasty scuffle in a stairwell with Keitel. Danny Aiello and Ed Marinaro are great as Sirico's henchmen, and Tanya Roberts(!) plays Sirico's girlfriend. Marian Seldes is excellent in her small role as Keitel's mother. Tom Signorelli is great as a convict sharing a cell with Keitel.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparable to MEAN STREETS February 3, 2004
The principal difference between MEAN STREETS and FINGERS is that the focus in FINGERS is exclusively on the character played by Mr Keitel and his relationship with his father (mainly) and his mother, and his search for a partner who will give expression to his sexual longings. The maintenance of tone throughout the film by Mr Toback is superb. He also does not rush and cross cut scenes - he allows the inherent momentum of the scene to develop at the pace of the characters conversation, reactions and interactions. The location shooting is vivid and relevant. The sex and violence are also dramatically relevant and quite powerful, but the macho world may be offensive to a modern perspective where women are treated as compliant , and sometimes not so compliant, sex objects. Just one memorable scene: Jimmy informs his mother that his piano audition did not go so well. His mother stares, squints, scrunches up her face and turns to the wall, utters no words but speaks volumes. In another scene his father tells him he should have been strangled at birth. Jimmy takes out his rage in a number of ways.
Well worth owning. Good Bach piano too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An educated look at the underside of life. February 5, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Many times over the years James Toback has been referred to as `brilliant', and a good deal of those times the film `Fingers' is mentioned in the same sentence.
It stands right there with Resevoir Dogs, Bad Lieutenant, and Mean Streets-all Harvey Keitel films which have over the years gotten far more applause than they did earlier..
Actually the premise is just enough unique: the concert pianist from the wrong side of the tracks, the carefree and confused collector for his bookie father.
Toback's dialogue is very raw, but it is on target for the very raw world he describes.
Michael Gazzo gives one of his best performances ever as Keitel's father.
Not to be missed, but if you look to Toback to recreate this magic with his later efforts, `The Pick-Up Artist" or "Exposed", don't waste your time. Even his recent "Two Girls and a Guy" might have been "Two Mil Down the Drain" without the superb performance of Robert Downey Jr.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keitel Is Perfect As Usual January 13, 2003
James Toback is quoted as telling Harvey Keitel in the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1977 that Keitel "was born to do Fingers." Toback was right; Keitel delivers a first-rate performance that is arguably his best ever, alongside his work in Mean Streets and Bad Lieutenant. This story is about mental anguish derived from perfectionism; Keitel tries to please his mobster father and his high-strung(describing his mother at best)pianist mother and fails, causing him to fall deeper and deeper into a brewing vat of psychosis. He can find no love from his parents; to satisfy his hunger for love, he becomes fixated on a call girl named Carol (an excellent performance by Tisa Farrow)who he can never have. The rejection of him by his mother, the death of his father, and the loss of Carol combine to push Keitel's character, Jimmy Angelelli, over the edge. Keitel is the father of method acting; his ability to apply the pain he has suffered in real-life situations to scenes in films strengthens the impact of the story once it is told. It's important to remember that this man was praised by Jack Nicholson, a multiple Oscar Winner, as "the best actor I've [Nicholson] ever worked with." This film bombed at the box office; it only played for a few weeks and prior to VHS proliferation in the mid 80s, only hard-core film buffs would have seen this. The film was a failure primarily because Keitel was never taken seriously by Hollywood as a leading man. Hollywood producers only ever saw the young Italian hood Charlie Cappa from Mean Streets when they saw Keitel. If you like stories about tormented characters, Keitel provides an Oscar-caliber performance. Of course, this clashes with Hollywood's view on Keitel, but let me leave you with the following truism: There is no such thing as meritocracy in acting; connections, not talent, make stars. This is why Keitel's career was dead from the making of Fingers until his comeback in the early 90s with Bugsy, Bad Lieutenant, and Reservoir Dogs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tanya Roberts mucho hottie!!
Awesome!! that scene w/ Tanya Roberts in the bath room was HOTT!!!
Published 3 months ago by Frank Natale
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film. Very enjoyable.
I thought Harvey Keitel was just great in this. Well directed. Good, believable performances by all the actors. Give it 5 stars.
Published 4 months ago by Thomas Trotter
3.0 out of 5 stars I saw this on cable years ago and wanted to see it again.
Not the greatest. but what Expected ok for the price but a great film I like the actors and do not see them much these days.
Published 8 months ago by James C. Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvey Keitel goes boom-box before there was boom-box
A deliciously dark and fascinating character study. James Toback has spewn forth an iconic mob figure in the dichotomous Jimmy Fingers who tenuously tiptoes the tightrope... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MTEMD
4.0 out of 5 stars Ben: "I should have strangled you in your crib!"
James Tovack's FINGERS is one helluva directing debut. In some aspects, it's reminiscent of TAXI DRIVER. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Annie Van Auken
5.0 out of 5 stars Old school at it's best!
This was an old 70's era gangster and pimp flick that was well acted. It brought back fond memories of that era!
Published 21 months ago by rob52ert
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it twice.
Like another reviewer, it took a second viewing of this movie---in the latter instance, listening to the director's commentary---to really put the hook into me. Read more
Published on July 31, 2012 by Age Of The Wheel
2.0 out of 5 stars A nightmare lasting 90 mins, when a man's morality is at stake
FINGERS (1977) is not a traditional horror movie, as in the genre,
but in the reaction that is imparted to the audience, as the action
unfolds over 90 minutes, with... Read more
Published on June 4, 2007 by Pork Chop
3.0 out of 5 stars Harvey Keitel Plays Bad Glenn
Director James Toback are to interracial relationships what Oliver Stone is to Vietnam. In this early effort, sponsored no less by Brut cologne, Harvey Keitel rehearses his... Read more
Published on January 9, 2007 by Pristine
4.0 out of 5 stars Mean Streaks
"Fingers" is solid 1970s character study starring Harvey Keitel as conflicted man struggling to unite his disparate persona. Read more
Published on September 30, 2006 by Westley
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