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Rumble Fish (1983)

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2:20 | Trailer
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:

S.E. Hinton (novel), S.E. Hinton (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,355 ( 85)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 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:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rumble Fish See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,985, 10 October 1983

Gross USA:

$2,494,480

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,494,480
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Black and White | Color (some shots)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Alternate Versions

Some TV versions include a scene where the gym teacher offers to pay Rusty-James if he beats up a kid. See more »

Connections

References Pole Position (1982) 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 »

User Reviews

One of the best films to re-watch!
19 May 2008 | by busterlarrySee all my reviews

Yes, this was an effective, well-acted and visually stimulating art-house movie - the forgotten masterpiece of Francis Ford Coppola. I just recently watched this again and fell in love with it. I was a big fan of S.E. Hinton's writings growing up and this film did it justice. It's interesting that 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. How technology has changed nowadays with Final Draft. 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. Dig this one up again. It's a classic.


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