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Plot: 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. Runtime: 129 mins Release Date: 18 Dec 1980
Essential masterpiece; powerful De Niro; simply one of the best films of all time. (by MovieAddict2016)
"Raging Bull" isn't the average, stereotypical underdog boxing movie, because it isn't really about boxing at all. Like most great movies, its focus is much deeper. It came out in 1980, earned Robert De Niro a Best Actor Academy Award, and was marked down as another solid triumph by director Martin Scorsese, whose previous 1976 outing with De Niro earned them both critical acclaim and for De Niro, an Oscar nomination, although he would actually earn an Oscar for "Raging Bull" four years later .It dwindled in production hell for quite some time, with Scorsese's <more>
drug use halting production and only the duo's strong willpower that kept the project moving ahead. It was after De Niro read boxer Jake LaMotta's memoirs that he knew he wanted to make the film, so Scorsese and De Niro turned to Paul Schrader for a script. Schrader, who had previously written "Taxi Driver" 1976 , agreed, and wrote the screenplay for them. The rest is history."Raging Bull" has often been regarded as the greatest film of the 80s. To be honest, I'm not so sure about that, since various genres offer different feelings and emotions comparing this to a comedy might seem rather silly . But to say it is one of the most powerful films of all time would be no gross overstatement -- it is superb film-making at its finest.De Niro gained 60 pounds to play LaMotta, which was an all-time record at the time later beaten by Vincent D'Onofrio, who gained 70 pounds for Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" . His physical transformation is on-par with any great screen makeover, especially the most recent, ranging from Willem Dafoe in "Shadow of the Vampire" to Charlize Theron in "Monster." In addition, co-star Joe Pesci also lost weight for his role of Joey, LaMotta's short, eccentric brother. The greatest scene in the film is when LaMotta accuses his brother of having an affair with his wife. The tension is raw, the dialogue amazing, and the overall intensity electrifying.The film is most often compared to "Rocky," more than any other, apparently because they both concern a certain level of boxing. As much as I absolutely adore "Rocky," "Raging Bull" is a deeper, more realistic film. But whereas "Raging Bull" is raw, "Rocky" is inspiring, and that is one of the reasons I do not think these two very different motion pictures deserve comparison, for the simple fact that they are entirely separate from one another. The only connecting thread is the apparently central theme of boxing, which is used as a theme in "Rocky," and a backdrop in "Raging Bull." They're entirely different motion pictures -- one uplifting, the other somewhat depressing -- and the people who try to decide which is better need to seriously re-evaluate their reasons for doing so. They both succeed splendidly well at what they are trying to do, and that's all I have to say about their so-called connection.De Niro, who could justifiably be called the greatest actor of all time, is at the top of his game here. In "Taxi Driver" he displayed a top-notch performance. He wasn't just playing Travis Bickle -- he was Travis Bickle. And here he is Jake LaMotta, the infamous boxer known for his abusive life style and somewhat paranoid delusions during his reign as world middleweight boxing champion, 1949 - 1951. Throughout the film, he beats his wife played expertly and convincingly by the 19-year-old Cathy Moriarty , convinced that she is cheating on him, and that is more or less what the film is truly about. The boxing is just what he does for a living, and could be considered as a way to release some of his deeper, harbored anger.LaMotta has a close relationship with Joey, his brother, and their interaction is often what elevates the film above others of its genre. The dialogue is great, close to the perfection of Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," rich in that rapid-fire filthy language and brutal insults. Pesci, who was on the verge of quitting showbiz at the time of pre-production, was spotted by De Niro in a cheap B-movie named "The Death Collector" 1975 , a.k.a. "Family Business," a truly horrid film that nevertheless showcased an early sign of things to come for Pesci. De Niro wanted him for the movie and his premonition was either very lucky or very wise -- this is one of the best performances of Pesci's entire career.Scorsese shot the film in muted black and white, portraying a certain era of depression and misery. To make the blood show up on screen during the occasional fight scenes, Scorsese used Hershey's Syrup -- which is an interesting tidbit of trivia for any aspiring film-making planning on filming a violent movie in black and white. But how often does that happen?This is certainly one of the most intense films Scorsese has directed, and one of the most important of his career. Along with "Taxi Driver," it is an iconic motion picture that will stand the test of time for years and years to come. Scorsese and De Niro's partnership over the years has resulted in some of the most influential and utterly amazing motion pictures of all time: "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "The King of Comedy," "Goodfellas" and "Casino" come to mind almost instantly. But perhaps the one single title that will be remembered as their most daring effort is "Raging Bull," a motion picture so utterly exhilarating that it defies description. It is simply a masterpiece for the mind and senses, leaving you knocked out cold after its brutal one-two punch. If I had to assemble a list of required viewing, this would be up there towards the top.
It doesn't get much better than this (by waltergl)
Easily one of the most powerful films I have ever seen. I have watched it at least ten times, and it only gets better and better with each viewing. Martin Scorsese is absolutely the greatest filmmaker of the last quarter century, and this film is his best. The story of how boxer Jake LaMotta watched his career and marriage crumble under the weight of his violent temper and deep-rooted misogyny is told with no punches pulled excuse the bad pun , as Deniro in what may be his best performance and Scorsese unflinchingly explore what drove this man over the edge, and what ultimately may have <more>
pulled him back. The boxing scenes easily rank with the most brutal and violent moments ever put on film, shot in stark, unadorned black and white and utilizing unlikely sounds including shattering windows and animal cries to great effect. Thelma Schoonmaker's jarring, discordant editing in these scenes also deserves special mention. The scenes of domestic violence are not for the faint of heart, but there is really no other way to tell this story. If there is a more perfect exploration of why as men we act the way we do, then I'd love to see it, because this movie made me re-evaluate my life. 10/10
Raging bull is my favorite film. Robert de Niro's performance in this film is truly amazing and the direction from Scorsese and the script from Paul Schrader are flawless. The fight scenes are the most brutal that I have ever seen on film even though theres only like 12 minutes of them and the editing is simply brilliant. It should have earned Scorsese a best director oscar but at least they had enough sense to award de Niro the best actor oscar.I'll come back to this film forever.
It really is harder to Stay At the Top than to Reach the Top; just because Life has No Justice. (by CihanVercan)
Whoever is dissatisfied by Raging Bull, I'm sure they watched it with expectations of watching a sports movie, like Rocky. Despite the AFI chose Raging Bull as the #1 sports movie of all time, you can't expect to see the most breathtaking boxing match nor to witness the best crochet of boxing history. Raging Bull can only be classified as a drama/biography. Director Scorsese chose to go with black&white cinematography only to keep the young viewers away from this masterpiece of art. It's not fair to compare Rocky with Raging Bull. Rocky was a populist movie mostly for young <more>
viewers, and Raging Bull is a cinematic masterpiece. From a wide point of view, for instance, if you look at one of the Michelangelo's paintings; at first you see a nude woman, if you look longer and deeper you realize that her nudity expresses some thought, if you look continuously and give a life to it in your imagination you discover that the women are not just their bodies. Accordingly, like it is not enough looking once to a painting to understand what opinion does it defend; it is not reasonable and not fair to watch Raging Bull so as to see a sports movie. Also it is not reasonable to see Raging Bull only once. Raging Bull is one movie that, every time you watch it you get a better taste, every time you watch it you discover something new. Raging Bull taught us that even if you are the best at some skill, even if you are the best of all; you need to create witnesses, admirers and supporters of your skill. It's the only way to reach the top. Moreover, it is harder to stay at the top than to reach the top. Not because someone better than you can defeat you, it's just because of the need to be accepted on every authority; like the Council of Judges, the Media and the Admiration of People. Director Scorsese draws benefit from the hypocrisy of fame. He empowers Raging Bull to make people ask to their conscience if the popular values that people choose can really cherish their values. In Raging Bull, Jake La Motta was the best boxer of all, but people didn't like him. He was disrespectful, he was uncivilized, he was very ugly, he was arrogant, he was irritable and he didn't care; 'cause he believed himself. Despite the fact that he is the best, everybody disliked him. Soon, he was left alone; and in a very short time he lost everything he possessed. When he opened his eyes back to life, he found himself in prison. The scene that he is punching and butting the wall facing him is one of the most heart rending memorable scenes of the whole cinema history. At the end, he finally throws in the towel of believing himself, he loses his faith and becomes to learn what he never wanted to learn: The Fame. He starts running his own business at a night club under his name, working as a stand-up comedian at the stage. People laugh at him for the jokes he made out of his memories, the jokes paraphrasing the bitter facts of life; including the very famous joke of the British King Richard-III which he said in the year 1485 just before dying: "A horse, a horse... My kingdom for a horse!". There we understand truly: For every joke there lies a share of a fact underneath.
Like a train wreck you just can't stop watching... (by MartinHafer)
Wow. This is an incredibly unpleasant film about a particularly unpleasant man. However, as the main character boxer Jake LaMotta is SO unpleasant and awful, the film is hard to stop watching--like some sort of train wreck that lasts 129 minutes! Now I am NOT saying the film isn't well made--it's very well crafted and there a lot of things to admire about it....but the characters particularly Jake are so awful that you just marvel at them.The film is the life story of Jake LaMotta and it covers from his early days as a professional boxer in 1941 through his early post-boxing <more>
years. However, there are many things that make it quite different from films like "Somebody Up There Likes Me" and "Rocky"--and not just the bubbling hostility of Jake outside the ring. In addition, those around him are incredibly harsh and unpleasant. It's funny, but the mobsters around him are NICER than the LaMottas Jake and his almost as vicious brother, Joey and you see them as the gentlemen in the film! Also, unlike these other boxer films, this one shows the brutality in the ring to a degree only approximated in one other film--Kirk Douglas' "Champion"--though "Raging Bull" manages to go a few steps further in the brutality department. A few of the boxing scenes, in particular, are amazingly graphic--with broken noses and squirting blood galore. Now I know I might sound crazy saying this, but this Martin Scorsese film is probably one of the best indictments AGAINST boxing because it IS so bloody and brutal. I'd place it among films like "Requium For a Heavyweight" and "The Harder They Fall" as the best in anti-boxing films! So let's talk about the technical aspects of the film. When it comes to the boxing sequences, this is an amazing film. As I said above, the brutality of the scenes is stomach-turning. And, instead of quickly filming the matches, the director chose to choreograph them so maximize the emotional impact--with loud thuds, great lighting and amazing effects to simulate the gallons of blood spilled in the fights. My only complaint about the fights is that the boxers simply threw too many punches. No boxing match even the lightweight ones has THAT much punching in rapid succession. If they did, they'd never go more than three rounds, as the fighters would collapse from exhaustion! But, this exaggeration did make the scenes more intense, so I saw it as a case of artistic license. As for making the film in black & white, I think this also worked well.The acting was pretty amazing. A lot has been said about Robert DiNero's commitment to the role--and how he deliberately ballooned up 60 pounds to play the retired LaMotta. In addition, the intense physical training he underwent to become the character was amazing. You have to admire his willingness to give his all for the part! When I looked for pictures of Jake, Joey and Mrs. LaMotta, I was also amazed that the actors DiNero, Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty really did look a lot like the actual people they portrayed--a nice touch. Overall, an exceptional film in most every way, though it's NOT a film for everyone. The unpleasantness of the film make it something that many simply don't want to endure--and I can certainly understand this--it is bloody and vicious throughout.
This is the true story based on his own novel, the story of boxer Jake La Motta from Oscar and Golden Globe nominated director Martin Scorsese. The film starts with La Motta Oscar and Golden Globe winning, and BAFTA nominated Robert De Niro as he is in the present of the film, and the rest of the film continues to his past. As a boxer he was virtually unstoppable with his rage, violence, and eventually self-destruction. His brother Joey BAFTA winning, and Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Joe Pesci used to support him as much as possible, but it is Jake's paranoia that led him to leave <more>
and not want to see him. Jake's wife Vickie Thailer Oscar, BAFTA and twice Golden Globe nominated Cathy Moriarty is in no different trouble with his weight gain almost out of control, and his discovery of her affair with his brother. The fight scenes are superb, Joey hitting Jake's face is unusual, and De Niro in the cell beating himself is uncomfortable, he deserved the Oscar. It won the Oscar for Best Film Editing, and it was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Picture, it won the BAFTA for Best Editing, and it was nominated Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Screenplay. Robert De Niro was number 2 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, he was number 50 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, and he was number 5 with Al Pacino on The World's Greatest Actor, the film was number 51 on 100 Years, 100 Thrills, it was number 24 on 100 Years, 100 Movies, and it was number 20 on The 100 Greatest Films. Very good!
Scorsese's RAGING BULL is rightly up held as a wonderful piece of film making . Robert DeNiro takes method acting to new heights . Yeah we've all heard the story about how he built his physique up by going to the gym and then after these scenes were filmed he did nothing but sit on his butt and gorge himself on junk food so he'd physically resemble the bloated and overweight Jake La Motta in later life , but this story is worth repeating again and again . Look at the scene where DeNiro uses the public phone box , he raises his arm to speak into the receiver and you can subtly see <more>
DeNiro's pot belly bulging out from his shirt . All the performances are good but DeNiro totally dominates the movie It's not just an acting masterclass we see . RAGING BULL is very much an art house movie brought to mainstream cinema by Scorsese . Look at the scenes inside the ring . I doubt if a boxer would recognise these scenes as being realistic as such since everything about them are highly stylised . It's not a film that shows the gritty realism of being inside a boxing ring where two modern day gladiators fight one another , it's a film that paints the pain , poetry and ugly beauty of boxing . On a technical front this is absolutely superlative where editing , cinematography , make up and sound mix all come together " Hey Theo , if it's such a great movie why have you only given this eight out of ten ? " True it's a great movie and you didn't need me to point that out and when I say it's a very honest movie this is not meant as a criticism , in fact I do wish more movies would be far more honest when it comes to biopics , it's just that the problem with RAGING BULL can be summed up with the scene that starts with Jake and his brother banging on the TV set wondering why they can't get a picture . It's a scene that's wonderfully structured and built upon by the screenwriters , it's absolutely brilliantly acted by all the cast and superbly directed by Scorsese. It's just that it culminates with some extreme domestic violence and finishes with a haunting , nay heartbreaking scene of two children standing there as members of their family are brutally assaulted by La Motta . Don't be confused by what I'm saying , I don't want want biopics to be revisionist sycophants charters , it's just that for a movie to work perfectly the main protagonist must achieve some sort of empathetic connection with the audience and this is where RAGING BULL fails somewhat
Boxing B picture gets a big budget makeover. (by Pedro_H)
Bio pic of controversial and troubled boxer Jake La Motta.Hard to say quite why a La Motta bio-pic should be the "pet" project of Martin Scorsese director and Robert De Niro lead , but clearly it was, so a great deal of time and effort was spent over a character the world had not only forgotten about, but only the most ardent sports fans knew about in the first place!While La Motta was clearly a world class boxer even middleweight World Champion for a short while , he was hardly one of the all-time greats and had a fighting style that involved more bravery than skill. His habit <more>
A recurring theme in Martin Scorsese's filmography is the clash between professional and private life. In both Goodfellas and Casino, the protagonist's family is eroded by the same criminal connections which initially helped forming it. In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle's psychosis is fueled by his nocturnal contact with the city's seedy underbelly. The paramedic in Bringing Out the Dead experiences burn-out. In The Departed, the main characters are both undercover, mirroring each other in their daily deception. Shutter Island features a neat subversion, which I won't spoil as <more>
it's the movie's main twist.This biopic of boxer Jake La Motta De Niro may be Scorsese's best execution of this theme. La Motta's ferocity propels him to championship, but takes a toll on his life ruining his relationships with his brother Pesci and wives - domestic and professional violence appear to feed each other in a terrifying, self-destructive spiral.Raging Bull is technically exceptional, with stylish black and white cinematography, perfect editing, masterful use of sound. De Niro burns the screen with an incandescent performance - one of the two-three turns which made him a legend as opposed to just a great actor - making his loutish, unsavory character an unsettling, pitiable, tragic figure.8,5/10