Since making his screen debut in 1967, Harvey Keitel has emerged as one of America’s most intriguing actors. And while he continues to deliver the goods, it’s arguable that the 1990s was the decade in which he truly peaked. Mark Fraser looks back at 10 of his finest moments.
8. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
Although this was something of a breakthrough movie for Robert De Niro, it’s really Harvey as Charlie who provides the story with its dramatic core. A wannabe New York gangster who is perpetually torn between his “profession”, the Catholic Church, his friendship with the dangerously loose Johnny Boy (De Niro) and his epileptic girlfriend (Amy Robinson), this dapper hoodlum is ultimately unable to reconcile these disparate elements. Loyalty, guilt, sin and redemption – as with Keitel’s many other subsequent roles, these sometimes conflicting metaphysical concerns all contribute significantly to his character’s complex persona.