Fingers (1978 film)
|Directed by||James Toback|
|Written by||James Toback|
|Edited by||Robert Lawrence|
|Distributed by||Brut Productions|
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 1950s and 1960s. While trying to concentrate on an upcoming recital interview at Carnegie Hall, Jimmy loses focus when he falls for a woman named Carol (Tisa Farrow). He gets further sidetracked when 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.
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" because the movie had "a summertime feel to it", and they wanted to shoot it during the summer months. 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.
- James Toback, "A Hollywood Mis-Education", Vanity Fair, March 2014 accessed 10 February 2014