Fingers (1978 film)

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Fingers poster 1978.jpeg
Theatrical poster
Directed by James Toback
Written by James Toback
Starring Harvey Keitel
Tisa Farrow
Jim Brown
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Edited by Robert Lawrence
Distributed by Brut Productions
Release date
  • March 2, 1978 (1978-03-02)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Fingers is a 1978 drama film directed by James Toback.


Jimmy "Fingers" Angelelli (Harvey Keitel) is a brilliant young pianist who also works as a debt collector for his father Ben (Michael V. Gazzo), a local loan shark. Wherever Jimmy goes, he always carries a stereo with him, playing classic rock from the '50's and '60's. While trying to concentrate on an up-coming recital interview at Carnegie Hall, Jimmy loses focus when he falls for a woman named Carol (Tisa Farrow). He gets further side-tracked with collecting a large debt from a mafioso named Riccamonza (Tony Sirico), who eventually threatens Ben's life. This forces Jimmy to seek retribution.



James Toback said he originally wanted Robert de Niro to play the lead but then decided to use de Niro's best friend, Harvey Keitel. "Harvey agreed to play Jimmy and quickly began to astonish me by taking the character into dimensions of darkness well beyond my original imagining," wrote Toback.[1]


The film was remade in 2005 in France as The Beat That My Heart Skipped.[citation needed]

Director Brett Ratner has stated that Fingers is one of his three favorite movies, along with The Godfather and Jaws. [2]


Two notable pieces from the film are "Angel of the Morning" by Merrilee Rush and "Summertime, Summertime" by The Jamies. Director Toback, initially wanted to use the song "Summertime"[citation needed] because the movie had "a summertime feel to it," and they wanted to shoot it during the summer months. It wasn't to be however, yet he thought it appropriate enough to leave the song in there. The whole film, however, is framed by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata in E minor (BWV 914), which Keitel's character plays throughout the film, including during his audition at Carnegie Hall.


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