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A sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Vietnam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old army buddy.
Francis Ford Coppola
James Earl Jones
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Before filming started, Francis Ford Coppola ran regular screenings of old films during the evenings to familiarize the cast and in particular, the crew with his visual concept for the film. Most notably, Coppola showed Decision Before Dawn (1951), the inspiration for the film's smoky look, The Last Laugh (1924) to show Matt Dillon how silent actor Emil Jannings used body language to convey emotions, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), which became the film's "stylistic prototype". Coppola's extensive use of shadows, oblique angles, exaggerated compositions, and an abundance of smoke and fog are all hallmarks of these German Expressionist films. Koyaanisqatsi (1982), shot mainly in time-lapse photography, motivated Coppola to use this technique to animate the sky in his own film. See more »
In the arcade, Rusty James is playing the video game "Pole Position", but the sound effects are from the game, "Pac Man". See more »
Biff Wilcox is looking for you, Rusty James. He's gonna kill you, Rusty James.
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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.
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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