Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2000
Country: United States
Run Time: 98 minutes


Harvey Keitel's explosive performance as a rotten cop on the streets of New York is a welcome return to the tough characters he played in Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" and "Mean Streets." In BAD LIEUTENANT, Keitel plays a brutal, self loathing law enforcer known only as "Lieutenant." He is hopelessly hooked on crack and forever in debt to his bookie. Just before he hits rock bottom, the lieutenant is assigned to investigate the rape of a young nun. Reminded of his Catholic upbringing, the Lieutenant grapples with heaven, hell, redemption and forgiveness. Director Abel Ferrara is no stranger to the mean street genre. Born in the Bronx, Ferrara's experiences fueled the grisly realism behind the 1979 "Driller Killer" and the cult favorite "Ms. 45." In BAD LIEUTENANT, Ferrara graphically portrays this modern day "decline of Man" with brutal, in your face violence, extremely strong language, and jumpy cinematography, keeping the audience constantly shocked and on edge. Ferrara and cowriter Zoe Lund have created a harrowing picture of the agony of lost souls in the absence of hope and God. The film has a warranted NC 17 rating, please be forewarned.

Zoe Lund, Abel Ferrara

Edward R. Pressman, Mary Kane

Ken Keisch

Anthony Redman

Principal Cast
Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Paul Calderone, Leonard Thomas

Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today