A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
When Jake LaMotta steps into a boxing ring and obliterates his opponent, he's a prizefighter. But when he treats his family and friends the same way, he's a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any moment. Though LaMotta wants his family's love, something always seems to come between them. Perhaps it's his violent bouts of paranoia and jealousy. This kind of rage helped make him a champ, but in real life, he winds up in the ring alone. Written by
Martin Scorsese was worried about the On the Waterfront (1954) recitation because he knew he'd be inviting critical comparison between the scene in this film and the original film's scene. Robert De Niro read it in various ways. Scorsese chose the take in which the recitation is extremely flat specifically to mute the comparison, and to suggest that it is simply a recitation and not indicative of how Jake LaMotta felt about his brother. See more »
Joey and Jake attend a dance that occurs on "Saturday," 6 August 1941. This date was a Wednesday. See more »
Jake La Motta:
I remember those cheers / They still ring in my ears / After years, they remain in my thoughts. / Go to one night / I took off my robe, and what'd I do? I forgot to wear shorts. / I recall every fall / Every hook, every jab / The worst way a guy can get rid of his flab. / As you know, my life wasn't drab. / Though I'd much... Though I'd rather hear you cheer / When you delve... Though I'd rather hear you cheer / When I delve into Shakespeare / "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a ...
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The film is in black and white, but during the opening credits, the title is in red letters. See more »
The story of boxer Jake La Motta from his rising star in the 1940's through to his own downfall and his eventual living on the cabaret circuit in the present day.
Scorsese and De Niro nobody needs say any more. Whether it be media satire (King of Comedy), small time thugs (Mean Streets) or real gangsta s**t (Goodfellas), the two rarely miss. This was one of their best to date (and probably for ever). The story is fascinating in itself but as an examination of masculinity it excels. The film allows us to watch a man who goes along with all the things he thinks make him a man even when those characteristics and habits begin to destroy everything he has his marriage, his realtionships and his career. Combine this with the gripping boxing tale of ups and downs and you have a film that never outstays it's welcome.
Scorsese is on top form the use of black and white any have been a quality issue, but he uses it well. The fight scenes are other worldly exaggerated to the extent that it is breathtaking and more shocking than previous boxing scenes in other movies. My favourite effect is the sound editing in the fights where silence and calm seem to descend just before key moments ..amazing. The relationship stuff is also gripping and Scorsese handles he human cost just as well as he shows us the physical beatings.
De Niro is amazing the method stuff alone is great, but his whole performance is intense. Similarly Moriaty, Pesci and Frank Vincent are excellent however they all stand in De Niro's shadow.
Overall an excellent film on so many levels, as a story, as a examination of masculinity, as a sports film, as a lesson in direction and editing ..this excels in so many ways may it never drop out of the top ten from the twentieth century!
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