Bad Lieutenant (1992)

NC-17 | 96 mins | Drama | 20 November 1992

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HISTORY

The 22 Feb 1991 Screen International announced an Apr 1991 start date in New York City. However, according to two separate items in the 11 Nov 1991 Var, principal photography began 7 Oct 1991 and ended four weeks later on 4 Nov 1991. Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Jersey City, NJ.
       The picture held its world premiere at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, as noted in the 6 May 1992 DV film review.
       The 3 Aug 1992 DV reported that director Abel Ferrara included a clause in his contract allowing him artistic freedom to make an unrated film. The result was an “NC-17” rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Despite the restrictions imposed by the rating, however, Aries Film Releasing, who acquired co-distribution in partnership with Live Entertainment, planned to release the picture theatrically with the NC-17. Although an edited version received an “R-rating” from the MPAA, there was a question of whether Live Entertainment would use the edited version for home video release. According to the 12 Oct 1992 Var, Ferrara denied having cut an “R-rated” version himself.
       A news item in the 8 Feb 1993 HR reported that Bad Lieutenant was banned in Ireland.
       According to the 14 Dec 1994 DV, Live Home Video was ordered by a federal judge to destroy any unsold copies of Bad Lieutenant , and Aries Film Releasing was ordered to destroy its inventory as well, following a ruling that a featured song infringed on the copyright of songwriters Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, ... More Less

The 22 Feb 1991 Screen International announced an Apr 1991 start date in New York City. However, according to two separate items in the 11 Nov 1991 Var, principal photography began 7 Oct 1991 and ended four weeks later on 4 Nov 1991. Production notes in AMPAS library files list locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Jersey City, NJ.
       The picture held its world premiere at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, as noted in the 6 May 1992 DV film review.
       The 3 Aug 1992 DV reported that director Abel Ferrara included a clause in his contract allowing him artistic freedom to make an unrated film. The result was an “NC-17” rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Despite the restrictions imposed by the rating, however, Aries Film Releasing, who acquired co-distribution in partnership with Live Entertainment, planned to release the picture theatrically with the NC-17. Although an edited version received an “R-rating” from the MPAA, there was a question of whether Live Entertainment would use the edited version for home video release. According to the 12 Oct 1992 Var, Ferrara denied having cut an “R-rated” version himself.
       A news item in the 8 Feb 1993 HR reported that Bad Lieutenant was banned in Ireland.
       According to the 14 Dec 1994 DV, Live Home Video was ordered by a federal judge to destroy any unsold copies of Bad Lieutenant , and Aries Film Releasing was ordered to destroy its inventory as well, following a ruling that a featured song infringed on the copyright of songwriters Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, of the band Led Zeppelin. Samples of their song, “Kashmir,” were used without permission in the recording “Signifying Rapper,” performed by Schoolly D. Live Entertainment agreed to destroy some 5,000 videocassettes, and planned to release a new home video with “Signifying Rapper” replaced by a new song. Page and Plant won an earlier ruling that stopped HBO from premiering the picture with the use of the infringing song. A substitute song was used for the cable network presentation. Later home video releases included the track “The Bad Lieutenant,” written by director Abel Ferrara and performed by Ferrara and actor Paul G. Hipp.
       End credits include the following acknowledgements: “The Producers would also like to thank the following: Lynn Pressman Raymond; Dr. Louis Katz, MD; New York City Mayor’s Office for Film, Theater & Broadcasting; The East Coast Council & Bryan Unger; Camera Service Center & Peter Schnitzler; TVC/Precision & Bernie Barnett.” Actress Victoria Bastel is correctly acknowledged in opening credits, but end credits misspell her surname as "Bastell." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 May 1992
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1992
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Dec 1994
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1992
p. 5, 9.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Dec 1992
Calendar, p. 7.
New York Times
20 Nov 1992
Section C, p. 15.
Screen International
22 Feb 1991.
---
Variety
11 Nov 1991
pp. 16 & 17.
Variety
4 May 1992
pp. 284-285.
Variety
12 Oct 1992
p. 205.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Edward R. Pressman production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Line prod
WRITERS
Wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam intern
Still photog
Best boy elec
Elec truck helper
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
"Bertha" crane tech
Grip truck helper
Video playback op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept asst
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed (LA)
Asst ed (LA)
Asst ed (LA)
Asst ed (NY)
Asst ed (NY)
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Leadman
Set dresser
Addl dresser
Prop master
Asst props
Prop shopper
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Sd intern
Post prod sd des
Supv sd des
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley ed
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Prod supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
Loc asst
Scr supv
Creative consultant
Driver capt
Driver
Baseball adv
Set nurse
New York casting
Los Angeles casting
Extras casting
Craft services
Key set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Office prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc asst
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Prod intern
Asst to Edward R. Pressman
Asst to Edward R. Pressman
Prod business liaison
LA prod asst
LA prod asst
LA prod asst
LA prod asst
Picture cars
Pub relations
Completion bond
Insurance company
Prod finance
Prod finance
Prod counsel, Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn
Prod counsel, Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn
Prod counsel, Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn
Baseball footage licensed from
Fifth Column Mouse licensed from
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Signifying Rapper," written by Jesse Bonds Weaver, Jr., performed by Schoolly D, courtesy of Jive ReocrdsZomba
"Pledging My Love," (Robey/Washington) ℗
1954 Music Corporation of America, Inc., performed by Johnny Ace, used by permission of MCA Records, Inc.
+
SONGS
"Signifying Rapper," written by Jesse Bonds Weaver, Jr., performed by Schoolly D, courtesy of Jive ReocrdsZomba
"Pledging My Love," (Robey/Washington) ℗
1954 Music Corporation of America, Inc., performed by Johnny Ace, used by permission of MCA Records, Inc.
"Let's Get High," (Adams/Van Lierop/Somora), ℗
1991 Be's Songs, performed by Lords of Acid, used by permission of Antler/Subway Records & Caroline Records
"We Did It Before, We'll Do It Again," written by C. Friend and Charles Tobias, published by Warner Bros. Inc. & Tobias, performed by Peter Yellen & Greg Hollister.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 November 1992
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 20 Nov 1992; Los Angeles opening: 30 Dec 1992
Production Date:
7 Oct--4 Nov 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Lt. Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 May 1992
Copyright Number:
PAu1642114
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
96
Length(in feet):
8,647
MPAA Rating:
NC-17
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31693
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, “Lieutenant” drives his young sons to school, and instructs them to curse at their Aunt Wendy, who “hogged” the bathroom and made them late. Afterward, he snorts cocaine before reporting to the scene of a double-murder of two women inside their automobile. Lieutenant takes bets from his colleagues on an upcoming baseball playoff series between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and places a large bet for himself. Sometime later, he visits a drug dealer who owes him money, and takes some of his cocaine until the man can pay his debt. At night, Lieutenant does drugs and has sex with two women. He goes to a liquor store, where an officer from his precinct is trying to settle a dispute between the storeowner and two young men he claims stole money from his register. Lieutenant instructs the officer to take the storeowner to the station to write a report. When left alone, he orders the young men to return the stolen money, which he keeps, and allows them to leave without being arrested. Afterward, Lieutenant visits another woman named Zoe, and uses more drugs with her. Meanwhile, at a Catholic church in Spanish Harlem, two men rape a nun on the altar. When Lieutenant learns of the crime, he insults the Catholic Church, although he claims to be a Catholic himself. He is more concerned with the bets his colleagues have made with him, and encourages them to place additional bets instead of taking their winnings. Sometime later, Lieutenant goes to the hospital where the nun is being examined. He watches her through the door, but leaves without speaking to her. ... +


In New York City, “Lieutenant” drives his young sons to school, and instructs them to curse at their Aunt Wendy, who “hogged” the bathroom and made them late. Afterward, he snorts cocaine before reporting to the scene of a double-murder of two women inside their automobile. Lieutenant takes bets from his colleagues on an upcoming baseball playoff series between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and places a large bet for himself. Sometime later, he visits a drug dealer who owes him money, and takes some of his cocaine until the man can pay his debt. At night, Lieutenant does drugs and has sex with two women. He goes to a liquor store, where an officer from his precinct is trying to settle a dispute between the storeowner and two young men he claims stole money from his register. Lieutenant instructs the officer to take the storeowner to the station to write a report. When left alone, he orders the young men to return the stolen money, which he keeps, and allows them to leave without being arrested. Afterward, Lieutenant visits another woman named Zoe, and uses more drugs with her. Meanwhile, at a Catholic church in Spanish Harlem, two men rape a nun on the altar. When Lieutenant learns of the crime, he insults the Catholic Church, although he claims to be a Catholic himself. He is more concerned with the bets his colleagues have made with him, and encourages them to place additional bets instead of taking their winnings. Sometime later, Lieutenant goes to the hospital where the nun is being examined. He watches her through the door, but leaves without speaking to her. Later, he pulls over two young girls driving with a broken taillight. When they admit to stealing their father’s automobile and driving without a license, Lieutenant sexually harasses them. Threatening arrest, he orders one girl to lift her skirt, and demands the other simulate oral sex, while he stands outside their vehicle and masturbates. He gets in his automobile and drives away. Strung out on drugs, he goes to the church where the rape occurred, but leaves when he finds fellow detectives conducting their investigation. As the sun comes up, Lieutenant snorts more cocaine and drinks from a flask as he drives around and listens to a baseball game on the radio. When the Mets lose, he becomes furious and shoots the radio, then places a flashing light on top of his car and turns on the siren as a distraction. He drives erratically, cursing the losing team. He attends a church where his daughter takes her first communion, and is approached by his bookie, asking for $30,000 he owes in gambling debts. However, Lieutenant refuses to pay, insisting on doubling his wager on the next game. Sometime later, Lieutenant overhears the nun telling her priest that she knows the young men who assaulted her, but refuses to name them, as they are ”good boys” who attend Catholic school, and she feels sympathy for them. Lieutenant watches the next baseball game at a bar, and his gambling debt skyrockets when the Mets lose again. He goes to a disco and does more drugs, then insists that his bookie place a $120,000 bet for him on the next playoff game. Lieutenant continues his bender, and goes to the home of a drug dealer who owes him money. The young man repays his $30,000 debt, and worries about the detective’s state of mind. Lieutenant carries the box of cash to his vehicle with his gun drawn. Visiting his lover, Zoe, he shoots up heroin and hallucinates seeing Jesus Christ nailed to the cross. Sometime later, Lieutenant visits the nun, but when he promises her justice if she names her assailants, she tells him she has already forgiven the young men. When he warns that the perpetrators could rape other nuns, she instructs Lieutenant to pray on the matter. After she leaves, Lieutenant falls to the church floor and wails. He sees Jesus Christ standing before him, curses God, and throws a rosary at the hallucination. Lieutenant laments his life, accusing God of abandoning him. Through screams and tears, he apologizes for his many sins, and begs God for forgiveness. When the illusion disappears, Lieutenant finds himself kissing the feet of an old woman. He leaves the church with her, then goes to a drug house to arrest the two Hispanics who raped the nun. Handcuffing the youths, he holds them at gunpoint and smokes “crack” with them, while watching the baseball game on television. The Mets finally win, but Lieutenant does not react to the good news. He escorts the youths to Port Authority Bus Terminal, cursing them along the way. He forces them to board a bus and never return, and gives them his box with the $30,000. As the bus pulls away, Lieutenant lets out a wail, and walks away in tears. He drives aimlessly around the city in the middle of the day, and after parking his unmarked vehicle, a man drives by, shouts “Hey, Cop,” and shoots him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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