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Raging Bull (1980)

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The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Jake LaMotta (based on the book by) (as Jake La Motta), Joseph Carter (with) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
691 ( 171)
Top Rated Movies #142 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Jake La Motta
Cathy Moriarty ... Vickie La Motta
Joe Pesci ... Joey
Frank Vincent ... Salvy
Nicholas Colasanto ... Tommy Como
Theresa Saldana ... Lenore
Mario Gallo ... Mario
Frank Adonis ... Patsy
Joseph Bono Joseph Bono ... Guido
Frank Topham Frank Topham ... Toppy
Lori Anne Flax Lori Anne Flax ... Irma
Charles Scorsese ... Charlie - Man with Como
Don Dunphy Don Dunphy ... Himself - Radio Announcer for Dauthuille Fight
Bill Hanrahan Bill Hanrahan ... Eddie Eagan
Rita Bennett Rita Bennett ... Emma - Miss 48's
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Raging Bull See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$128,590, 16 November 1980

Gross USA:

$23,383,987

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,402,117
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Black and White | Color (some scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Martin Scorsese on the DVD, when first screening some test 8mm footage of Robert De Niro sparring in a ring, he felt that something was off about the image. Michael Powell, who at that time had become something of a mentor and good friend to Scorsese, suggested that it was the color of the gloves that was throwing them off. Realizing this was true, Scorsese then decided the movie had to be filmed in black and white. See more »

Goofs

Tommy Como's hand position changes between shots when he has his arm around Jake when sitting at Tommy's table at the night club. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Crazy Credits

The film is in black and white, but during the opening credits, the title is in red letters. See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 8 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Featured in Raging Bull: Outside the Ring (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

That's My Desire
(1947)
Music by Helmy Kresa (uncredited)
Lyrics by Carroll Loveday (uncredited)
Sung by Frankie Laine
Courtesy of Phonogram Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Impressive From A Filmmaking Standpoint But Lacking Flavour In Narration
29 September 2018 | by CinemaClownSee all my reviews

Bringing the life story of one of the roughest brawlers to ever step into the boxing ring, Raging Bull finds director Martin Scorsese & actor Robert De Niro teaming up once again to deliver yet another quality work but just like their other collaborations, it left me cold & indifferent to whatever it had in store and while I respect the legacy of this sports drama, I'm no fan of it.

Raging Bull chronicles the life of Jake LaMotta, a middleweight boxer whose rage, jealously & bouts of violent outbursts helps propel him to the top of the division but his inability to keep those vicious tendencies in check outside the arena leads him on a path of self-destruction, as he destroys his relationships with his wife & family over the years and wounds up all alone in his later life.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film is incredibly faithful to its source material and recreates the events with accuracy. Shot in black & white, which gives the picture a timeless quality, it illustrates the good, bad & ugly side of LaMotta with finesse and his arc is undeniably compelling. But he also comes off as an insufferable persona whose problems are of his own making which makes his downward journey all the more deserving.

What also affects the experience is that the story remains a monotonous ride for the entirety of its runtime. There is no escalation whatsoever whether we are witnessing LaMotta's boxing bouts or personal life. It's just a similar set of events repeated time n again for 125 minutes and that's not enough to keep the interest alive. It's brutal & violent in the ring but it fails to deliver the desired emotional impact because we are just not invested in his journey.

However, from a filmmaking standpoint, Raging Bull is an outstanding piece of work. The staging of events, the era-appropriate set pieces, the boxing choreography, the controlled camerawork, all of it exhibit an exactness that's quite commendable. And as for the performances, Robert De Niro leads the show from the front and delivers a smashing showcase as Jake LaMotta, and he is brilliantly supported by Joe Pesci & Cathy Moriarty who play his brother & wife respectively.

On an overall scale, Raging Bull is impressive in its craftsmanship but the narration is lacking in flavour and becomes repetitive after a while. Scorsese's direction & De Niro's commitment to his role certainly stand out but the longer it goes on, the more wearisome it becomes. Painting a faithful portrait of a character with no redeeming characteristics, Raging Bull is significant from a filmmaking viewpoint but there isn't much to gain by investing in someone who refuses to learn from his own mistakes.


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