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 claims that nothing should be read into his using the On the Waterfront (1954) quote. Jake LaMotta, in his declining years, used to appear on stage reciting dialogue from television plays and even reading William Shakespeare. According to Scorsese, he'd planned to use something from "Richard III" (because in the corresponding real-life event LaMotta used it), but director Michael Powell suggested that "Richard III" wouldn't work in the context of the film because the film in general and LaMotta in particular are inherently American. Scorsese picked the lines from "On the Waterfront", which was a favorite recital source for LaMotta in real life. See more »
In a shot that introduces Jake's post-boxing life in Florida, the license tags of his two Cadillacs are shown in close-up. One of the Florida plates bears a "5" prefix, which in the 1950s indicated an automobile registered in Polk County (Lakeland). If Jake was living in the Miami area, it's far more likely his automobiles were registered in Dade County (prefix "1") or perhaps Broward ("10"), but not in a county 150 miles away. 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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Jake La Motta's story is no doubt the best movie about boxing of all times together with Robert Wise's The Set-Up. Besides the legendary performance of Robert De Niro, there are many things in this film that will remain in my heart forever: the splendid black & white, the contrast between the slow moving scenes and the frenetic ones, the choice of the music and the sense of loss which entangles the whole movie. De Niro faces another "born loser" role (after Travis Bickle, John Rubin, Johnny Boy) and strikes again; Martin Scorsese is the most poetic director of the last 30 years.
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