7.1/10
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180 user 81 critic

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

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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 and redemption.

Director:

Abel Ferrara

Writers:

Zoë Lund (as Zoe Lund), Abel Ferrara
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Keitel ... LT
Brian McElroy Brian McElroy ... LT's Son (#1)
Frank Acciarito Frank Acciarito ... LT's Son (#2) (as Frankie Acciarito)
Peggy Gormley ... LT's Wife
Stella Keitel ... LT's Daughter
Dana Dee Dana Dee ... LT's Baby Girl
Victor Argo ... Beat Cop
Paul Calderon ... Cop #1 (as Paul Calderone)
Leonard L. Thomas ... Cop #2 (as Leonard Thomas)
Anthony Ruggiero Anthony Ruggiero ... Lite
Vincent Laresca ... JC
Robin Burrows Robin Burrows ... Ariane
Victoria Bastel ... Bowtay
G. Elvis Phillips G. Elvis Phillips ... Young Cop
Stephen Chen Stephen Chen ... Korean Store Owner
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Storyline

A police Lieutenant goes about his daily tasks of investigating homicides, but is more interested in pursuing his vices. He has accumulated a massive debt betting on baseball, and he keeps doubling to try to recover. His bookies are beginning to get agitated. The Lieutenant does copious amounts of drugs, cavorts with prostitutes, and uses his status to take advantage of teenage girls. While investigating a nun's rape, he begins to reflect on his lifestyle. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gambler. Thief. Junkie. Killer. Cop.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for sexual violence, strong sexual situations & dialogue, graphic drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 December 1992 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Lieutenant See more »

Filming Locations:

1911 Hone Ave Bronx NY 10461 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,454, 22 November 1992, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,000,022

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,527,895
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bad Lt. Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zoë Lund admitted in an interview that she "co-directed" several scenes in the film. Lund also claimed that she wrote the screenplay alone, and believed that Abel Ferrara did not put much effort in his contributions in the film. See more »

Goofs

When the Lieutenant goes out at night he wears a suit with a red shirt, this can be seen when he is chatting with the girls outside of their car. However, when he enters the church his red dress shirt changes to a red button sweater. See more »

Quotes

Zoe: Vampires are lucky, they can feed on others. We gotta eat away at ourselves. We gotta eat our legs to get the energy to walk. We gotta come, so we can go. We gotta suck ourselves off. We gotta eat away at ourselves til there's nothing left but appetite. We give, and give and give crazy. Cause a gift that makes sense ain't worth it. Jesus said seventy times seven. No one will ever understand why, why you did it. They'll just forget about you tomorrow, but you gotta do it.
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Alternate Versions

The UK cinema release was uncut, but the 1995 Guild video version was shorn of 1 min 47 seconds of "instructional" heroin use, and the rape scene was slightly trimmed. The video version also omits the rap song. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemadonna: Dangerous Game (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

LET'S GET HIGH
Written by Adams / Van Lierop / Praga Khan (as Somora)
(P) 1991 Be's Songs
Performed by Lords of Acid
Used by permission of Antler / Subway Records & Caroline Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

deeply unpleasant movie with a star performance
19 May 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

'Bad Lieutenant' is not an easy film to watch. The lead character on the surface has no redeeming virtues - he's corrupt, he's sexually and morally deviant, he is really and truly on the slide. A nun's rape is supposed to awaken his conscience in some way and affect him so deeply that he almost gets to be a decent citizen, but for the bleak and empty ending.

All this would be so much hogwash if it wasn't for the stunning lead performance of Harvey Keitel, certainly taking his acting talent right to the edge to give us a nothing-held-back portrait of his character. There are several scenes of great power (and one or two which are deeply repellent); certainly this isn't a film you can easily forget when you've seen it.


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