Fingers (1978)

R | 91 mins | Drama | 2 March 1978

Director:

James Toback

Writer:

James Toback

Producer:

George Barrie

Cinematographer:

Michael Chapman

Editor:

Robert Lawrence

Production Designer:

Gene Rudolf

Production Companies:

Brut Productions , Fingers Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film’s closing credits state: “Filmed entirely on location in New York City.”
       Fingers was the feature film directorial debut of writer-director James Toback according to a 23 Jul 1976 DV news item. With a budget of $1.3 million and a five-week shooting schedule, the film was shot on location with a New York film crew, as stated in a 24 Apr 1977 LAT article. Pre-production began on 17 Jan 1977 and principal photography commenced on 14 Feb 1977, according to a 7 Feb 1977 Box article.
       In 2005, French writer-director Jacques Audiard adapted Fingers as a French production titled The Beat That My Heart Skipped (De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté) starring Romain Duris in the role that Harvey Keitel ... More Less

The film’s closing credits state: “Filmed entirely on location in New York City.”
       Fingers was the feature film directorial debut of writer-director James Toback according to a 23 Jul 1976 DV news item. With a budget of $1.3 million and a five-week shooting schedule, the film was shot on location with a New York film crew, as stated in a 24 Apr 1977 LAT article. Pre-production began on 17 Jan 1977 and principal photography commenced on 14 Feb 1977, according to a 7 Feb 1977 Box article.
       In 2005, French writer-director Jacques Audiard adapted Fingers as a French production titled The Beat That My Heart Skipped (De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté) starring Romain Duris in the role that Harvey Keitel originated.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Feb 1977.
---
Daily Variety
23 Jul 1976.
---
Daily Variety
3 Mar 1977.
---
Daily Variety
1 Feb 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 1978
p. 3, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 2005.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Apr 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 May 1978
p. 1.
New York Times
3 Mar 1978
p. 9.
New York Times
3 Jul 2005.
---
Variety
1 Feb 1978
p. 40.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
George Barrie Presents
A Film By James Toback
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Chief elec
Chief grip
Cam op
1st asst cam
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men`s cost
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Classical mus coord
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Boom man
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opt
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Business affairs
Prod office coord
Transportation capt
Loc bookkeeper
Loc coord
Extra casting
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Unit pub
SOURCES
SONGS
"Now Is Forever," music by George Barrie, lyrics by Sammy Cahn and Italian lyrics by Pat Noto, sung by Jerry Vale, released by Buddah Records
"Summertime, Summertime," written by Sherman Feller and Thomas Earl Jameson, performed by The Jamies, courtesy of Epic Records
"Mockingbird," written by Charlie James Foxx and Inez Foxx, performed by Charlie & Inez Foxx, courtesy of United Artists Records
+
SONGS
"Now Is Forever," music by George Barrie, lyrics by Sammy Cahn and Italian lyrics by Pat Noto, sung by Jerry Vale, released by Buddah Records
"Summertime, Summertime," written by Sherman Feller and Thomas Earl Jameson, performed by The Jamies, courtesy of Epic Records
"Mockingbird," written by Charlie James Foxx and Inez Foxx, performed by Charlie & Inez Foxx, courtesy of United Artists Records
"One Fine Day," written by Gerald Goffin and Carole King, performed by The Chiffons, courtesy of Laurie Records
"Angel Of The Morning," written by Chip Taylor, performed by Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts, courtesy of Bell Records
"Baby Talk," written by Melvin Schwartz, performed by Jan and Dean, courtesy of United Artists Records
"There Goes My Baby," written by Jerry Leiber, Benjamin Nelson, Lover Patterson, Mike Stoller and George Treadwell, performed by The Drifters, courtesy of Atlantic Records
"Cry Baby," written by Norman Meade and Bert Russell, performed by Garnet Mims, courtesy of United Artist Records.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 March 1978
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 2 March 1978
Los Angeles opening: 17 May 1978
Production Date:
14 February--late March 1977
Copyright Claimant:
Brut Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 September 1978
Copyright Number:
PA14954
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Technicolor® New York and Hollywood
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25010
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Jimmy “Fingers” Angelelli plays classical music on a piano in his apartment. He is completely engrossed, and as he finishes playing, he notices Carol, a beautiful young woman watching through the window. He rushes out to meet her and they flirt, then kiss in her apartment, but Carol abruptly stops. Jimmy cannot understand why she has suddenly lost interest. Feeling confused, Jimmy later meets his father, Ben, at a restaurant, where Jimmy insists on blasting music from his ever-present cassette player. Ben gives Jimmy some debt collection jobs with two troublesome clients, Luchino and Riccamonza. As Ben explains the situation, Jimmy nervously looks at three gay men who are eyeing him; one is openly flirting from across the room. Ben talks about how Riccamonza’s men threatened him, but eventually changes the subject and asks Jimmy about his music. Jimmy informs his father that he has an audition at Carnegie Hall with Arthur Fox, his mother’s former colleague. Later, Jimmy goes to Luchino’s to collect the debt. After exchanging insults, Jimmy pistol-whips Luchino until he turns over the money. That evening, Jimmy practices for his audition, and the next day, meets his father at another restaurant and gives him the money. Jimmy continues to blast music and upsets a customer. A fight ensues until the manager pulls them apart. After the altercation, Ben berates Jimmy for fighting. Ben also thinks it’s crazy that Jimmy needs to play his music all the time but the young man insists it’s the only thing that keeps him sane. When Ben pushes his son to “take care” of ... +


Jimmy “Fingers” Angelelli plays classical music on a piano in his apartment. He is completely engrossed, and as he finishes playing, he notices Carol, a beautiful young woman watching through the window. He rushes out to meet her and they flirt, then kiss in her apartment, but Carol abruptly stops. Jimmy cannot understand why she has suddenly lost interest. Feeling confused, Jimmy later meets his father, Ben, at a restaurant, where Jimmy insists on blasting music from his ever-present cassette player. Ben gives Jimmy some debt collection jobs with two troublesome clients, Luchino and Riccamonza. As Ben explains the situation, Jimmy nervously looks at three gay men who are eyeing him; one is openly flirting from across the room. Ben talks about how Riccamonza’s men threatened him, but eventually changes the subject and asks Jimmy about his music. Jimmy informs his father that he has an audition at Carnegie Hall with Arthur Fox, his mother’s former colleague. Later, Jimmy goes to Luchino’s to collect the debt. After exchanging insults, Jimmy pistol-whips Luchino until he turns over the money. That evening, Jimmy practices for his audition, and the next day, meets his father at another restaurant and gives him the money. Jimmy continues to blast music and upsets a customer. A fight ensues until the manager pulls them apart. After the altercation, Ben berates Jimmy for fighting. Ben also thinks it’s crazy that Jimmy needs to play his music all the time but the young man insists it’s the only thing that keeps him sane. When Ben pushes his son to “take care” of Riccamonza, Jimmy tracks down the man at a country club. Jimmy makes verbal threats over the phone and demands that Riccamonza pay by tomorrow; however, Riccamonza does not take the situation seriously and hangs up. After Jimmy leaves, he approaches Julie, a girl who was with Riccamonza, then follows her into the bathroom and propositions her. After they make love, he asks Julie to inform Riccamonza about their activities. Later, Jimmy spies on Carol and follows her to a bar where she meets the owner, Dreems. Jimmy tries to enter, but the security guards keep him out. Jimmy returns home to rehearse for his audition. The next day, he meets up with two of Riccamonza’s men in the park. They warn him to back off and call over a police officer, claiming that Jimmy has been engaging in illegal public gambling. The officer arrests Jimmy, who worries that he will not get out of jail in time for his audition. However, Ben’s lawyer bails Jimmy out just in time, and he rushes to Carnegie Hall. Even though Arthur Fox offers a warm greeting, Jimmy freezes during his audition and Fox tells him to return when he is ready. Unwilling to stop, Jimmy insists he is prepared but repeatedly messes up the song and leaves humiliated. Later, he visits his mother, Ruth, in a mental institution. When he informs her that he failed his audition, she recoils, deeply ashamed. Upset, Jimmy goes to Carol’s apartment for sex. The next morning, Jimmy proclaims they have something special, but Carol tells him to leave. He follows her as she goes to Dreems’s bar, where he informs former boxer Dreems that he loves Carol, even though Dreems is her current boyfriend. Unfazed, Dreems invites Jimmy to come with him and Carol to meet a girl named Christa at a hotel. There, Dreems kisses Christa and pulls Carol closer to create a threesome as Jimmy looks on uncomfortably. Dreems insinuates that Jimmy is impotent. When Christa and Carol refuse to kiss each other, Dreems slams their heads together and warns Carol not to cross him again. Later that day, Jimmy cries alone in his apartment. Ben arrives, furious that his son has not collected from Riccamonza yet, and demands that Jimmy kill the man. Jimmy refuses, as he has never killed before, and Ben says that he should have strangled Jimmy in his crib. Later, Jimmy finds Carol and Dreems together and demands that Carol leave the bar owner, but Carol says nothing and Jimmy leaves, defeated. That evening, Jimmy gets a phone call from a man saying, “It’s over.” Jimmy rushes to his father’s house and finds Ben shot to death. Jimmy tracks Riccamonza down at his country club and drags him into a stairwell where a bloody fight ensues. Jimmy repeatedly shoots Riccamonza in the face. The next day, Jimmy sits naked and alone in his apartment, panting. +

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

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