IMDb > Rumble Fish (1983)
Rumble Fish
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Rumble Fish (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Rumble Fish -- Trailer for Rumble Fish
Rumble Fish -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   20,303 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
S.E. Hinton (novel)
S.E. Hinton (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Rumble Fish on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 October 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Motorcycle Boy's Never Coming Back See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(83 articles)
10 Fantastic Stories From Francis Ford Coppola
 (From FilmSchoolRejects. 17 June 2014, 10:50 AM, PDT)

Cannes 2014: Screen's dailies
 (From ScreenDaily. 20 May 2014, 5:01 PM, PDT)

Rumble Fish launches with Dealer
 (From ScreenDaily. 19 May 2014, 10:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
An effective, well-acted and visually stimulating art-house movie - the forgotten masterpiece of Francis Ford Coppola See more (109 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Matt Dillon ... Rusty James

Mickey Rourke ... The Motorcycle Boy

Diane Lane ... Patty

Dennis Hopper ... Father

Diana Scarwid ... Cassandra

Vincent Spano ... Steve

Nicolas Cage ... Smokey

Chris Penn ... B.J. Jackson (as Christopher Penn)

Laurence Fishburne ... Midget (as Larry Fishburne)

William Smith ... Patterson the Cop
Michael Higgins ... Mr. Harrigan

Glenn Withrow ... Biff Wilcox

Tom Waits ... Benny
Herb Rice ... Black Pool Player
Maybelle Wallace ... Late Pass Clerk
Nona Manning ... Patty's Mom

Sofia Coppola ... Donna (as Domino)
Gian-Carlo Coppola ... Cousin James (as Gio)

S.E. Hinton ... Hooker on Strip
Emmett Brown ... Mr. Dobson

Tracey Walter ... Alley Mugger #1
Lance Guecia ... Alley Mugger #2
Bob Maras ... Policeman
J.T. Turner ... Math Teacher
Keeva Clayton ... Lake Girl #1
Kirsten Hayden ... Lake Girl #2
Karen Parker ... Lake Girl #3
Sussannah Darcy ... Lake Girl #4
Kristi Somers ... Lake Girl #5
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shannon Sukovaty ... Party Girl (uncredited)
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Directed by
Francis Ford Coppola 
 
Writing credits
S.E. Hinton (novel "Rumble Fish")

S.E. Hinton (screenplay) &
Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)

Produced by
Doug Claybourne .... producer
Francis Ford Coppola .... executive producer
Gian-Carlo Coppola .... associate producer
Roman Coppola .... associate producer
Fred Roos .... producer
 
Original Music by
Stewart Copeland 
 
Cinematography by
Stephen H. Burum 
 
Film Editing by
Barry Malkin 
 
Production Design by
Dean Tavoularis 
 
Set Decoration by
Mary Swanson 
 
Costume Design by
Marjorie Bowers  (as Marge Bowers)
 
Makeup Department
Jeff Kennemore .... makeup artist
Tim McNally .... makeup artist
Susan Mills .... hair stylist
Peter Tothpal .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Thomas M. Hammel .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mark Radcliffe .... second assistant director
David Valdes .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Sue Belknap .... set dresser
Nick F. Caprarelli .... lead man (as Nick Caprarelli)
Carl Carlson .... set dressing coordinator
Roger Dietz .... set artist
Douglas .... property master
Kurt Ehlers .... construction foreman
Donald Elmblad .... set dresser (as Don Elmblad)
Dennis Gassner .... graphic designer
Robert C. Goldstein .... set designer (as Robert Goldstein)
Allan Kuhn .... property assistant
John O'Connell .... set painter
John J. Rutchland III .... construction foreman
John J. Rutchland Jr. .... construction coordinator (as John Rutchland)
Scott Clark .... sets and props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
C.J. Appel .... sound editor
James Austin .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Beggs .... sound designer
Richard Beggs .... sound re-recording mixer
Tom Bellfort .... assistant sound editor
Edward Beyer .... supervising sound editor
Allan Byer .... sound effects recordist
David Carroll .... adr system
Marissa De Guzman .... assistant sound editor
Doug Hemphill .... sound effects recordist
Michael Jacobi .... sound editor
Kevin Lee .... assistant sound editor
David Parker .... sound mixer
Mark Rathaus .... assistant sound editor
Maurice Schell .... sound editor
Leslie Shatz .... dialogue editor
Randy Thom .... production sound mixer
Randy Thom .... sound effects recordist
Randal A. Goya .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Maurice Schell .... foley artist (uncredited)
Mel Zelniker .... adr recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Martin Bresin .... special effects
Dennis Dion .... special effects coordinator
David Marconi .... production supervisor: effects unit
Robert Spurlock .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Martin Bresin .... special visual effects (as Marty Bresin)
Bill Hansard Jr. .... process coordinator (as William Hansard Jr.)
Robert Spurlock .... special visual effects
 
Stunts
Tim A. Davison .... stunts (as Tim Davison)
Freddie Hice .... stunts
Billy Hank Hooker .... stunts (as Bill Hooker)
Buddy Joe Hooker .... stunt coordinator
Buddy Joe Hooker .... stunts
Dick Ziker .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jack Bauer .... grip
Ben Beaird .... dolly grip
Mat Beck .... computer camera operator: effects unit (as Matt Beck)
Dustin Blauvelt .... assistant camera
Bokhof .... camera operator
Emmett Brown .... key grip
John Englert .... best boy grip
Bill Fleming .... grip
Michael Franz .... lamp operator
Steven Hiller .... second assistant camera
Greg Langham .... lamp operator
Michael Laws .... lamp operator
Brian Lee .... video engineer: Electronic Cinema
Larry Lydia .... dolly grip
George Mooradian .... assistant camera: effects unit
Robert Primes .... director of photography: effects unit
Alex Skvorzov .... best boy electric
Louis Tobin .... gaffer (as Lou Tobin)
Ken Wheeland .... grip: effects unit
James Zenk .... still photographer
Steve Crain .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Rick Fee .... assistant camera (uncredited)
J. Randolph Harrison .... assistant camera (uncredited)
David A. Smith .... video assist operator (uncredited)
Buddy Wilson .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
John Robert Askew .... extras casting
Jeff Block .... extras casting
Janet Hirshenson .... casting: Zoetrope studio
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kathleen Gore-Misko .... costume supervisor: women (as Kathleen L. Gore)
Ernest Misko .... costume supervisor
 
Editorial Department
John David Coles .... apprentice editor
Dorian Harris .... first assistant editor
Louise Rubacky .... apprentice editor
Isabella Wood .... apprentice editor
J. Kathleen Gibson .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Robert Randles .... music editor
 
Transportation Department
Joseph W. Hunt .... transportation coordinator
William Jakubecy .... transportation captain
 
Other crew
Mitchell Amundsen .... technician: Electronic Cinema (as C. Mitchell Amundsen)
Jean A. Autrey .... production auditor
Aleta Chappelle .... production aide (as Aleta Wood-Chappelle)
Corky Coble .... projectionist
Linda Coyle .... first aid
Loolee DeLeon .... secretary: Mr. Coppola
Tony Dingman .... talent liaison
Teri Fettis-D'Ovidio .... production coordinator (as Teri Fettis)
Richard Fitzgerald .... craft service
Frank Gardner .... location caterer
Cathy Mickel Gibson .... assistant to auditors (as Cathy Gibson)
Jean Gonzales .... teacher
Bill Groves .... production aide
Nancy Haigh .... production aide
Valerie Hoffman .... press liaison
Maureen Hogan .... production aide
Mark Johnson .... physical advisor
Sandy King .... script supervisor
Michelle Komriz .... location caterer
Murdo Laird .... systems engineer: Electronic Cinema
Douglas T. Madison .... production aide (as Doug Madison Jr.)
Lillian Michelson .... researcher
Anahid Nazarian .... systems librarian
Ed Sienkaniec .... location catering
David A. Smith .... technician: electronic cinema
Michael Smuin .... special choreography
Dana Spiotta .... student observer
Sara Ström .... secretary to Mr. Coppola
Daniel R. Suhart .... dialogue coach (as Dan Suhart)
Judy Thomason .... office coordinator: Los Angeles
Paul Tompkins .... location manager (as Paul Tompkins)
Charles Ursitti .... pool advisor
Beverly Walker .... public relations consultant
Laurel Walter .... assistant to producers
Ralph S. Winger .... effects man
Kurt Woolner .... film finance representative
Jill Simpson .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Thanks
August Coppola .... dedicatee
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
94 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Tom Cruise had told Francis Ford Coppola that he wanted to work for him and take any role, so Coppola invited him to workshops and rehearsals for this movie which starred Matt Dillon but left after he was offered the lead in Risky Business (1983).See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the arcade, Rusty James is playing the video game "Pole Position", but the sound effects are from the game, "Pac Man".See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Midget:Biff Wilcox is looking for you, Rusty James. He's gonna kill you, Rusty James.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Don't Box Me InSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Why is this film in black and white?
See more »
27 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
An effective, well-acted and visually stimulating art-house movie - the forgotten masterpiece of Francis Ford Coppola, 26 October 2005
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK

They say art films died out in the '80s, and they also say Francis Ford Coppola sold out after "Apocalypse Now," but this is truthfully his last visionary film. It may not be a flawless masterpiece on the same level as the aforementioned movie or "The Godfather," or even "The Conversation" (one of his absolute best), but it's still very good - beautiful to look at, poetic, and visually stimulating.

It was the second film he released in 1983 adapted from an S.E. Hinton book. His first ("The Outsiders") was cleaner than this. "Rumble Fish" has a lot of violence, a lot of swearing, and a decent amount of sex/nudity. It is the flip side to "The Outsiders"; and in my opinion, the more mature work of the two (although both are very good).

Matt Dillon gives his best performance as Rusty James, a 1950s street punk whose alcoholic father has all but walked out on him, and whose older brother (an enigmatic figure known only as The Motorcycle Boy) has left and moved to California some time ago.

We are led to infer that The Motorcycle Boy was a sort of rebel hero - a type of Robin Hood, as Rusty James says - and the entire town loves him. As a result, Rusty James "can't live up to his brother's reputation...and his brother can't live it down," to quote the film's tagline.

But The Motorcycle Boy returns one day in the form of Mickey Rourke. He rescues his kid brother from a violent underground fight with a group of thugs and takes him back to the safety of their home.

The Motorcycle Boy has come back in order to make amends, one supposes; or at least because he feels as if he has an obligation to see his father and brother again.

Meanwhile, Rusty James - in a desperate intent to match his brother's reputation - continues his downward spiral of street fights and violence, resulting in more than a few bloody brawls.

"Rumble Fish" is displayed in grainy black-and-white, and the soundtrack itself is surreal, often featuring fragments of distorted audio matched with hazy visuals. At first it doesn't seem to make sense, but then it is revealed that The Motorcycle Boy has a hearing problem that comes and goes at random (typically when he is under stress) - and is colorblind, which explains the b&w photography.

This is a great decision by Coppola because it gives the film an authentic feeling; at first, we feel as if we are following Rusty James' plight, but then once we pull back it becomes obvious we are watching through the eyes of The Motorcycle Boy himself. Coppola's experimentation with color in a few shots is something we're only now seeing take form again in movies like "Sin City" (which also featured Rourke). "Schindler's List" had a few moments of color and b&w, too, but it wasn't as frequent.

The performances are excellent. An all-star cast includes not only Dillon and Rourke but also Diane Lane (who was also in "The Outsiders" with Dillon), Dennis Hopper, Diana Scywid, Vincent Spano and Nicolas Cage.

Dillon's performance is key to the film because essentially this is his story, but it's being narrated to a certain effect by The Motorcycle Boy (at least insofar that it's his problems taking form in the narrative) - and Rourke gives a terrific performance. His moody, quiet embodiment of The Motorycle Boy leaves a lasting impression; his character comes across as a somber, reflective and ultimately regretful man who made bad decisions in his past and now wants to protect his brother from the same thing. It is implied that he may even have become a mail hustler on the streets of CA; his persistence to not tell any details of his adventure, and the fact that he sees a photo of himself posing in front of a bike ("taken by a guy in California," he tells his brother) in a magazine, and then asks Rusty James not to tell anyone, could be perceived as such. Or maybe not. It all depends on how far you want to look into it.

"Rumble Fish" may not be Francis Ford Coppola's best film, but it is one of his most sadly underrated movies and is probably worth mentioning in a list of the best films of the 1980s. In a decade where American art-house seemed to be a lost thought, "Rumble Fish" stands out as one of the few.

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To the 101 people who voted this a 1 Choudder_Boy
The song playing at the bar? jsisgod
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coppola's most beautifully shot film? teejay6682
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