7.3/10
24,497
121 user 59 critic

Rumble Fish (1983)

R | | Drama | 21 October 1983 (USA)
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Rusty James, an absent-minded street thug struggles to live up to his legendary older brother's reputation, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Cassandra
...
...
...
B.J. Jackson (as Christopher Penn)
...
Midget (as Larry Fishburne)
...
Michael Higgins ...
Mr. Harrigan
...
Biff Wilcox
...
Herb Rice ...
Black Pool Player
Maybelle Wallace ...
Late Pass Clerk
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Storyline

Rusty James is the leader of a small, dying gang in an industrial town. He lives in the shadow of the memory of his absent, older brother -- The Motorcycle Boy. His mother has left, his father drinks, school has no meaning for him and his relationships are shallow. He is drawn into one more gang fight and the events that follow begin to change his life. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Rusty James can't live up to his brother's reputation. His brother can't live it down. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ley de la calle  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (some shots)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

S.E. Hinton: a prostitute. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow visible on Rusty-James' torso after The Motorcycle Boy has shown him the photograph of himself in the magazine. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Midget: Biff Wilcox is looking for you, Rusty James. He's gonna kill you, Rusty James.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Box Me In
Written by Stewart Copeland and Stan Ridgway
Performed by Stewart Copeland and Stan Ridgway
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
My favorite film of all time
20 May 2002 | by (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) – See all my reviews

I realize that's not saying it's the best ever made, but it certainly marked me so much as to regard it as my all-time fave.

The movie reminisces of Elia Kazan's Dean movies, and "The Wild One" starring Marlon Brando. Just as those movies (and much better done, IMHO), Rumble Fish is about violence as a consequence of uncomprehension; loneliness; and family relations in a sordid, black and white environment. Not even this choice is random, as its B&W filming (and somewhat deficient sound quality) is yet another commentary on life as seen through the eyes of its characters - and author.

Every scene in this movie brings a realization, though some of the dialogues are indeed a bit naive when seen after its time. And here I could engage in a debate on "naiveté" vs. "savvy", and whether an innocent view of life really means less message depth (or whether a jaded outlook really guarantees understanding), but I digress. The point is, I'm a 27-year old man and I still cry every time I see this movie.

The first time I saw Rumble Fish, I thought I identified with the Motorcycle boy and his alienation from the world he was put in. After a few more times, I realized more and more that I "was" Rusty-James - That, to an extent, EVERY man is a little Rusty-James; trying to live up to a hero image, and helplessly watching as your ideal slips past your reach and lets himself be killed, without you ever understanding anything until it's too late... or is it?

Where Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis speak to the hero we WANT to be, Matt Dillon speaks to the MEN who want to be that hero, and leads the way out.

*sigh*

The astounding soundtrack, exquisite photography and perfect takes don't hurt any, either.

Buy it, rent it, whatever. See the goddamn movie. It is worth a try (and a much, much better score than 6.7).


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