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Fingers (1978)

Jimmy “Fingers” Angelelli (Harvey Keitel) is the son of ageing New York loan shark Ben Angelleli (Michael V. Gazzo) and a brutal repo man himself, but Jimmy wants more from life than threatening people for repayment.

A self-taught pianist, he has visions of performing at Carnegie Hal – although his passion for the piano seems more indicative of neurosis (his concert pianist mother is already in a mental hospital) than of any real possibility for a concert career.

Jimmy seems to be playing the piano in numerous scenes but the camera shows only glimpses of his hands actually touching the keys. In each of these scenes, a tape recorder unspools mysteriously in the background while he plays.

Suspicion that Jimmy only thinks he can play the piano is confirmed when he auditions for a recital at Carnegie Hall. And so the viewer realises that here is a man who is even crazier than he already appears.

Other evidence of his madness includes his habit of carrying a tape recorder wherever he goes, subjecting everyone within earshot to blaring renditions of Summertime, Summertime by The Jamies and other 1950s classics.

Jimmy is a sexual active daredevil who can’t resist the thrill of the chase – most of the time he’s attracted to women but sometimes to men – and everything in his twisted psyche conspires to shift his focus away from his dream.

There’s awkward sex, graphic violence, a little bit of rape and a vigorous rectal exploration.

The sex and violence in the film were heavily cut by the British Board of Film Censors when Fingers was first released in the UK in 1979.

Jimmy “Fingers” Angelelli
Harvey Keitel
Carol
Tisa Farrow
Dreems
Jim Brown
Ben Angelelli
Michael V. Gazzo
Ruth
Marian Seldes
Butch
Danny Aiello
Gino
Ed Marinaro
Anita
Georgette Mosbacher
Julie
Tanya Roberts
Christa
Carole Francis
Luchino
Lenny Montana
Luchino’s Son
Vasco Valladeres
Riccamonza
Tony Sirico
Arthur Fox
Dominic Chianese
Pianist
James Fields
Carmine
Frank Pesce
Patrolman Levy
Zack Norman
Esther
Jane Elder
Dr Fry
Murray Moston
Leonard
Henry Judd Baker
JR
Charles Polk
Sam
Sam Coppola
Dr Schwartz
Joe De Kama

Director
James Toback