Harvey Keitel's Top 10 Films, Ranked on Revu-It

Harvey Keitel's Top 10 Films, Ranked on Revu-It
Ranking Harvey Keitel's Best Movies

From the dimly lit streets of Mean Streets to the sun-drenched neon of Las Vegas, Harvey Keitel has carved out a legendary career portraying gritty, unapologetic characters that dwell in the underbelly of society. With a presence that demands attention and a talent that transcends the screen, Keitel's filmography is a treasure trove of unforgettable performances. In this ranking, we'll explore his top 10 films based on upvotes from fans on our Movie Platform, Revu-It, from crime capers to haunting dramas that showcase the full range of his remarkable abilities.

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Ranking Harvey Keitel’s Best Movies
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10. Cop Land (1997) - A Tale of Corruption

Film Details:
Director: James Mangold
Writers: James Mangold
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro
Genre: Crime
Budget: $15,000,000
Revenue: $44,862,187
Cop Land (1997)

In this gritty crime drama, Keitel takes on the role of Ray Donlan, a corrupt New York City cop who attempts to sweep his nephew's death under the rug. Keitel's nuanced portrayal captures the inner turmoil of a man torn between loyalty and justice.

9. Dangerous Game (1993) - A Daring Exploration of Obsession

Film Details:
Director: Abel Ferrara
Writer: Nicholas St. John
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
Genre: Drama
Budget: $10,000,000
Revenue: $1,261,210
Dangerous Game (1993)

Directed by Abel Ferrara, this psychological thriller delves into the mind of a film director whose life begins to mirror his violent on-screen exploits. Keitel's fearless performance as the unhinged protagonist is both captivating and unsettling, showcasing his ability to immerse himself in complex, troubled characters.

8. The Duellists (1977) - A Compelling Study of Rivalry

Film Details:
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Gerald Vaughan-Hughes, Joseph Conrad
Cast: Keith Carradine, Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney
Genre: Drama
Budget: $900,000
Revenue: $0 (Data unavailable)
The Duellists (1977)

In Ridley Scott's directorial debut, Keitel and Keith Carradine deliver electrifying performances as two French officers caught in a decades-long feud. Keitel's intensity and commitment to the role are undeniable, elevating this period piece into a gripping exploration of obsession and honor.

7. Bugsy (1991) - The Rise and Fall of a Legendary Mobster

Film Details:
Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: James Toback
Cast: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley
Genre: Crime
Budget: $30,000,000
Revenue: $49,114,016
Bugsy (1991)

In Barry Levinson's acclaimed biopic, Keitel portrays the notorious gangster Mickey Cohen, providing a supporting performance that crackles with intensity. While Bugsy may be Warren Beatty's show, Keitel's presence adds an undeniable authenticity to the film's portrayal of the criminal underworld.

6. The Two Jakes (1990) - A Noir Odyssey Through 1940s Los Angeles

Film Details:
Director: Jack Nicholson
Writer: Robert Towne
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe
Genre: Crime
Budget: $19,000,000
Revenue: $10,005,969
The Two Jakes (1990)

Jack Nicholson's directorial debut, a sequel to the classic Chinatown, sees Keitel stepping into the shoes of Jake Gittes, the iconic private eye. While the film may not have garnered as much acclaim as its predecessor, Keitel's performance is a standout, capturing the essence of the hard-boiled detective genre.

5. Fingers (1978) - A Gritty Descent into Moral Ambiguity

Film Details:
Director: James Toback
Writer: James Toback
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tisa Farrow, Jim Brown
Genre: Drama
Budget: $0 (Data unavailable)
Revenue: $0 (Data unavailable)
Fingers (1978)

In this cult classic directed by James Toback, Keitel delivers a tour de force performance as a debt collector torn between his dreams of becoming a concert pianist and his involvement with the mob. Fingers is a gritty, unflinching exploration of a man's descent into moral ambiguity, and Keitel's portrayal is nothing short of mesmerising.

Other Standout Harvey Keitel Performances

While Keitel's top 10 films showcase his most iconic roles, his prolific career is filled with other standouts that highlight his incredible range:

  • The Piano (1993) - Keitel is captivating as the obsessive neighbour in Jane Campion's haunting period drama.
  • Smoke (1995) - He anchors this quirky ensemble comedy with a grounded, naturalistic performance as a Brooklyn smoke shop owner.
  • Lulu on the Bridge (1998) - Keitel navigates complex emotions as a famous jazz saxophonist whose life takes an unexpected turn.
  • The Grey Zone (2001) - He brings gravitas to this searing Holocaust drama about the Auschwitz Sonderkommando.
  • The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) - Keitel has a memorable supporting role in Scorsese's controversial biblical drama.

4. Reservoir Dogs (1992) - A Masterclass in Tension and Style

Film Details:
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn
Genre: Crime
Budget: $1,200,000
Revenue: $2,859,750
Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Quentin Tarantino's debut feature introduced the world to Keitel's commanding screen presence in the role of Mr. White. From the iconic opening sequence to the film's unexpected twists and turns, Keitel's performance anchors this stylish heist gone wrong, cementing his status as a master of the crime genre.

3. Pulp Fiction (1994) - A Pop Culture Phenomenon

Film Details:
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Cast: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel
Genre: Thriller
Budget: $8,500,000
Revenue: $213,928,762
Pulp Fiction (1994)

In Tarantino's wildly popular and influential crime anthology, Keitel delivers a memorable supporting turn as Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe, the cool-headed fixer called in to clean up a particularly messy situation. With his trademark intensity and effortless charisma, Keitel steals every scene he's in, contributing to the film's enduring legacy.

2. Mean Streets (1973) - The Birth of a Cinema Icon

Film Details:
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers: Martin Scorsese, Mardik Martin
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, David Proval
Genre: Drama
Budget: $500,000
Revenue: $3,000,000
Mean Streets (1973)

In Martin Scorsese's gritty, semi-autobiographical crime drama, Keitel's electrifying performance as the volatile Charlie cemented his reputation as one of the most compelling actors of his generation. His raw, uncompromising portrayal of a small-time hustler navigating the mean streets of Little Italy is a true master class in method acting.

1. Bad Lieutenant (1992) - Keitel's Tour de Force

Film Details:
Director: Abel Ferrara
Writers: Zoë Lund, Abel Ferrara
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy, Frankie Acciarito
Genre: Crime
Budget: $1,000,000
Revenue: $2,019,469
Bad Lieutenant (1992)

At the top of our list is Keitel's fearless, unforgettable turn as the titular Bad Lieutenant, a corrupt cop spiralling into a dark abyss of drug addiction and moral decay. Directed by Abel Ferrara, this searing character study features Keitel at his absolute best, delivering a performance that is both shocking and deeply human, cementing his status as one of the greats.

From the grittiest crime dramas to the most stylish thrillers, through Keitel's intense, uncompromising performances, make him a truly unforgettable actor for the ages. His ability to inhabit complex, morally ambiguous characters has made him a true icon of the silver screen, and his top 10 films are a testament to his enduring talent and impact on the art of acting.

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