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
Thelma Schoonmaker's husband, director Michael Powell, was consulted about the weight gain scenes. In Powell's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), the lead character gets significantly bigger during the course of the movie. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro were curious how the actor Roger Livesey had achieved that effect. Powell informed them that Livesay had gotten bigger through careful use of camera angles, shaving his hair to make his head appear larger and judicious use of padding. Scorsese and De Niro felt that the film was too realistic to get away with that kind of effect so the decision was made for De Niro to physically bulk up through overeating. See more »
In the entrance to the last fight as Jake makes his way to the ring you can hear the ring announcer but as Jake passes the bottom of the ring the announcer has his hand by his side holding the microphone, therefore not able to be broadcasting. 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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There is a reason why they are referred to as the greatest....
From my understanding, before this film was made, Martin Scorsese, arguably America's greatest filmmaker, was at the end of his rope. He was about to call it quits. His good friend, arguably America's greatest film actor, Robert De Niro, approached him with a book he had read. The title of the book was Raging Bull. After some coaxing, Robert finally convinced his friend to do the film, and it resulted in a MASTERPIECE!!!!!
"Raging Bull" is the story of former boxing middleweight champion Jake La Motta, and his penchant for self-destruction. La Motta is not in the least a nice guy. He is well, a jerk, who eventually drives any and everyone who has ever cared about him out of his life. He evolved from a lean, trim boxer to an overweight loser who owns a night club.
This film currently ranks on AFI's 100 Greatest Movies at #24, and for very good reason. It contains arguably THE GREATEST acting performance in the history of cinema, by arguably the greatest actor in the history of cinema, directed by arguably the greatest director in the history of cinema. But together, nothing needs to be argued, they are the greatest tag team in the history of cinema. Robert De Niro is flawless, superb, excellent, amazing, any positive adjective is warranted by his performance. There is a reason why they call him the greatest actor. This is it. (also "Taxi Driver") Naturally, Scorsese's direction is flawless, and Thelma Schoonmaker's editing will pretty much speak for itself. The black-and-white(or tinted monochrome) was an ingenious touch, similar to William Friedkin's gunshot at the very end of "The French Connection". It is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen, if it were a woman I could only beg to drink its bathwater. Joe Pesci is excellent as Jake's brother Joey, as is Cathy Moriarty as Jake's long suffering wife. It is sad when you realize that De Niro will never act that great again, but you find solace in the fact that he once did. He is maybe my favorite actor, Scorsese maybe my favorite director, and I only hope to have a millionth of the impact they've had on film. Far superior to "Rocky", even though Rocky is very good and contains maybe the most inspirational theme song ever.
This film was criminally robbed of 1980's Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards, by "Ordinary People", another one of those dysfunctional family drama's. The Academy has since lost a huge amount of credibility, but I find solace in the fact that they honored De Niro with an award for Best Actor, in a performance that warrants two of them and makes me want to shine his shoes.
The film gets nothing less than a 10. It was voted the film of the 1980's decade. I agree wholeheartedly.
Scorsese and De Niro forever.
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