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Raging Bull (1980)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  19 December 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 215,380 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 484 user | 142 critic | 14 from

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it.



(based on the book by) (as Jake La Motta) , (with), 3 more credits »
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Top 250 Movies #115 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Adonis ...
Joseph Bono ...
Frank Topham ...
Lori Anne Flax ...
Charlie - Man with Como
Don Dunphy ...
Himself - Radio Announcer for Dauthuille Fight
Bill Hanrahan ...
Eddie Eagan
Rita Bennett ...
Emma - Miss 48's


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama | Sport


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Raging Bull  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,568 (USA) (28 January 2005)


$45,250 (USA) (11 February 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jake (Robert De Niro) asks Joey (Joe Pesci) "Did you fuck my wife?". Director Martin Scorsese didn't think that Pesci's reaction was strong enough, so he asked De Niro to say "Did you fuck your mother?". Scorsese also did not tell Pesci that the script called for him to be attacked. See more »


Early in the film when Jake is leaning out of a back window, shouting, he is leaning right out of the window when viewed from outside, but is hardly leaning out at all when viewed from inside. See more »


[first lines]
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 ...
See more »


Featured in Arizona Dream (1992) See more »


Scapricciatiello (Infatuation)
Music by Fernando Albano (uncredited)
Lyrics by Pacifico Vento (uncredited)
Performed by Renato Carosone
Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

It really is harder to Stay At the Top than to Reach the Top; just because Life has No Justice.
24 September 2008 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

Whoever is dissatisfied by Raging Bull, I'm sure they watched it with expectations of watching a sports movie, like Rocky. Despite the AFI chose Raging Bull as the #1 sports movie of all time, you can't expect to see the most breathtaking boxing match nor to witness the best crochet of boxing history. Raging Bull can only be classified as a drama/biography. Director Scorsese chose to go with black&white cinematography only to keep the young viewers away from this masterpiece of art. It's not fair to compare Rocky with Raging Bull. Rocky was a populist movie mostly for young viewers, and Raging Bull is a cinematic masterpiece. From a wide point of view, for instance, if you look at one of the Michelangelo's paintings; at first you see a nude woman, if you look longer and deeper you realize that her nudity expresses some thought, if you look continuously and give a life to it in your imagination you discover that the women are not just their bodies. Accordingly, like it is not enough looking once to a painting to understand what opinion does it defend; it is not reasonable and not fair to watch Raging Bull so as to see a sports movie. Also it is not reasonable to see Raging Bull only once. Raging Bull is one movie that, every time you watch it you get a better taste, every time you watch it you discover something new.

Raging Bull taught us that even if you are the best at some skill, even if you are the best of all; you need to create witnesses, admirers and supporters of your skill. It's the only way to reach the top. Moreover, it is harder to stay at the top than to reach the top. Not because someone better than you can defeat you, it's just because of the need to be accepted on every authority; like the Council of Judges, the Media and the Admiration of People. Director Scorsese draws benefit from the hypocrisy of fame. He empowers Raging Bull to make people ask to their conscience if the popular values that people choose can really cherish their values.

In Raging Bull, Jake La Motta was the best boxer of all, but people didn't like him. He was disrespectful, he was uncivilized, he was very ugly, he was arrogant, he was irritable and he didn't care; 'cause he believed himself. Despite the fact that he is the best, everybody disliked him. Soon, he was left alone; and in a very short time he lost everything he possessed. When he opened his eyes back to life, he found himself in prison. The scene that he is punching and butting the wall facing him is one of the most heart rending memorable scenes of the whole cinema history.

At the end, he finally throws in the towel of believing himself, he loses his faith and becomes to learn what he never wanted to learn: The Fame. He starts running his own business at a night club under his name, working as a stand-up comedian at the stage. People laugh at him for the jokes he made out of his memories, the jokes paraphrasing the bitter facts of life; including the very famous joke of the British King Richard-III which he said in the year 1485 just before dying: "A horse, a horse... My kingdom for a horse!". There we understand truly: For every joke there lies a share of a fact underneath.

34 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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