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Rumble Fish (1983)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 October 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 22,942 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 119 user | 57 critic | 8 from

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.


(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Rumble Fish (1983)

Rumble Fish (1983) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ley de la calle  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$2,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Author S.E. Hinton claims that the script to this movie was written "on one of the first personal computers" in less than two weeks. 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 »


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


Referenced in Deuces Wild (2002) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I thought I was the only one who loved this movie
4 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was surprised about how many people wrote good reviews about this movie.I thought I was the only only one who appreciated the artistic value of Rumble Fish.It's my favorite movie and it finally got the special edition DVD it deserves.Most people don't get the deeper meaning of the film because nowadays people don't wanna think too hard watching a movie.It's a piece of art just as much as it is entertainment.You can get lost in the film for the visual and musical boundaries it pushes.I've watched it a thousand times and I never lost my appreciation for it's beauty.It's groundbreaking and a masterpiece in film making.

57 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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