Rumble Fish 1983 (1983) Other movies recommended for you
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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. Runtime: 94 mins Release Date: 21 Oct 1983
I thought I was the only one who loved this movie (by thelonelyroadoffaith)
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 <more>
beauty.It's groundbreaking and a masterpiece in film making.
I realize that's not saying it's the best ever made, but it certainly marked me so much as to regard it as my all-time fave. The movie reminisces of Elia Kazan's Dean movies, and "The Wild One" starring Marlon Brando. Just as those movies and much better done, IMHO , Rumble Fish is about violence as a consequence of uncomprehension; loneliness; and family relations in a sordid, black and white environment. Not even this choice is random, as its B&W filming and somewhat deficient sound quality is yet another commentary on life as seen through the eyes of its <more>
characters - and author. Every scene in this movie brings a realization, though some of the dialogues are indeed a bit naive when seen after its time. And here I could engage in a debate on "naiveté" vs. "savvy", and whether an innocent view of life really means less message depth or whether a jaded outlook really guarantees understanding , but I digress. The point is, I'm a 27-year old man and I still cry every time I see this movie. The first time I saw Rumble Fish, I thought I identified with the Motorcycle boy and his alienation from the world he was put in. After a few more times, I realized more and more that I "was" Rusty-James - That, to an extent, EVERY man is a little Rusty-James; trying to live up to a hero image, and helplessly watching as your ideal slips past your reach and lets himself be killed, without you ever understanding anything until it's too late... or is it? Where Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis speak to the hero we WANT to be, Matt Dillon speaks to the MEN who want to be that hero, and leads the way out. *sigh* The astounding soundtrack, exquisite photography and perfect takes don't hurt any, either. Buy it, rent it, whatever. See the goddamn movie. It is worth a try and a much, much better score than 6.7 .
one of Coppola's very best; delivers a plethora of sharp visuals and terrific cinematography/performances (by Quinoa1984)
I saw Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish in a film class, and it was interesting to see how certain scenes were made seeing transitions and shots in slow motion, stopping to point out things , among the plot. From S.E. Hinton's novel, he assembles a breakthrough cast a lot of teens who show they can get into the characters quite effectively. And for those who love the technical side of a film- how it was made and what went into the shots and the meanings of shots- will have a feast that will turn them off or have them asking for more or the rumored 8-hour cut, perhaps .The story <more>
deals with characters who are struggling through life, stuck in a town where the environment seems nostalgically black and white, and only glimpses of color arise. We are given the story of two brothers- the one who takes a chunk of the story is Rusty James an excellent, young Matt Dillon , a tough, sometimes ignorant teen who has all the strengths and weaknesses of the high-school 'rebel', taking after his AWOL older brother. The other is Motorcycle Boy Mickey Rourke, perfect in his quiet and touching presence , who left his town and his reputation behind to go to California. He returns to find Rusty James getting in over his head, and all his best efforts to keep him cool are mired by old wounds some wounds involving their parents, others by the effect the atmosphere left on him . There's also keen supporting work by fresh faces- Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, and Laurence Fishburne as friends and sometimes followers of Rusty; Diane Lane wonderful even in her youth as a sweet/sour love interest; and Dennis Hopper as the father of Rusty James, who appears just enough to get the psychological points across to the viewer.Coppola tends to use his symbols rather thickly, and it's arguable if he may show things too much, or maybe if he shows them just enough i.e. skies darkening, clocks . Yet it doesn't stop him from creating indelible images- practically all the shots in the film could be put on a wall and look as great as any other by a professional photographer. With Stephen Barum and Dean Tavoularis photographer and designer, respectively scene after scene experiments with techniques the fish is just a taste of this , and it's rather authentic in its respectfulness of the material. For example, in the gang fight, the style with which Coppola introduces characters controls the mis en scene, the editing and the use of shadows, all of this in this one sequence displays the tremendous directorial vision Coppola can have on a film. It's not really a joyful film, and the downward spiral motif of the story may make some depressed with what they're seeing. But, if you want to see a very well-crafted film, the kind that gets better on repeat viewings as with the Godfather films and Apocalypse Now , check it out- at least a viewer will get the sense of concise, complex film acting by young stars.
Like most who saw this film, I would guess, I was exposed to it in college, and I have to admit much of it went past me at the time. I liked the stark and unusual visuals, and I liked most of the story, but I'd be lying if I said I understood everything that was going on. Not that 'Rumble Fish' is particularly deep, just that in college I wasn't. Viewing the movie with a more mature mind now, I appreciated it much more than I did when I was nineteen.Based on the S.E. Hinton novel Coppola also translated 'The Outsiders', which remains remarkable even today for its <more>
amazing cast , 'Rumble Fish' follows the story of one Rusty James Matt Dillon, in full bad-boy mode stuck in the middle of nowhere Tulsa, actually , dissatisfied with his life but not really bright enough to know why. His older brother, the Motorcycle Boy Mickey Rourke, long before he became a punchline , wheels back into town from a long sojourn, and what there is of a plot begins.Much of this movie is atmosphere, which normally irritates me but for some reason works incredibly well here. The black and white film is actually part of the story, which is in itself unusual, but it complements the storytelling and actually adds depth to the film. Though we see eighties-era cars, some of the movie has an almost fifties-feel to it, and like Rusty James, the viewer is never sure when, or where, he is. The bleak setting of Tulsa only reinforces the sense of both isolation and containment, which is the central theme of the film. Dillon is very strong here. His seething anger can never really find a way to express itself adequately, and Dillon spends the whole film out of sorts in his own skin, giving a remarkable performance. Diane Lane, whom I suspect was hired for her stunningly good looks, has a smaller role but is very effective as the put-upon Patty. Most of the rest of the young cast unknowns or relatives or friends of the director at that point in time Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, Lawrence Fishburne, Tom Waits, even a very-young Sophia Coppola are all very, very good. Waits and Fishburne have tiny roles but large presences on screen, and they stick in the viewer's mind even when they aren't there. Dennis Hopper is unusually relaxed and natural as Rusty James' dad called only Father ; sometimes Hopper can get gimmicky or artificial with his acting, but here he is subtle and wholly effective as a drunken shell of a man. But the standout performance is really Mickey Rourke, reminding us that before he pissed his career away on crappy low-budget films with the likes of Don Johnson, he was actually a decent actor. Rourke imbues the Motorcycle Boy with a wholly different restlessness than Dillon's Rusty, and makes him both compelling and sympathetic. Honestly it helps that Rourke has some of the best lines in the film, most notably one of my favorite quotes from any film: 'You want to lead people, you have to have some place to take 'em.' Motorcycle Boy is also something of a transitional hero, knowing he is damned to live, and die, in this hellish world but making sure the path to redemption and escape is secured for his follower he even says of Rusty, 'His only vice is loyalty.' 'Rumble Fish' is mostly an artsy character piece, the type of film that normally does not appeal to me, but Coppola displays such skill with the material and is so willing to subvert the very conventions of his film so that they further serve the characters and their development that the movie works, and works very well. Though the color tricks betray themselves rather badly on DVD we were never meant to see this movie this clearly , the film still carries an enormous punch on the small screen as it did on the large. A bleak film that nonetheless carries within a message of hope, that one can escape the cages of one's surroundings if one tries hard enough.
An effective, well-acted and visually stimulating art-house movie - the forgotten masterpiece of Francis Ford Coppola (by MovieAddict2016)
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 <more>
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.
"Rumble Fish" 1983 Rated "R" by the MPAA for Adult Situations, Profanity, Brief Nudity, Some Violence, Minor Gore, Brief Drug Use & Underage Alcohol Use. Running Time 1hr&34mn. My Take: ***1/2 Out of **** "Rumble Fish" just might be Francis Ford Coppola's most overlooked film. This movie, based on the Susan E. Hinton novel, tells about young street tough Rusty-James Matt Dillion who idolizes his older brother known only as 'The Motorcycle Boy' Mickey Rourke . Rusty-James longs for the days of rumbles and being a part of a gang. His <more>
friends are somewhat reluctant to feel the same way. His girlfriend Patty Diane Lane goes to an all-girl prep school. She's supportive of Rusty-James' need for acceptance and wanting to be cool like his estranged brother. "You're better than cool", she reminds him. "You're warm!" That's also a warning. Will Rusty-James heed?Subtly, this is a film about the failure of the 'American Dream' and making choices, whether right or wrong. After all, Rusty-James' family fell product of the socialization process. They live in the slums, but that may not always have been the case. The boys' alcoholic father, memorably played by Dennis Hopper, was once a well-to-do lawyer earlier in life. What about the enigmatic Motorcycle Boy? Is he truly crazy? Or does he have 'an acute perception' that drives him crazy?Brilliantly shot in black & white, Stephen H. Burum's cinema-photography makes "Rumble Fish" feel like something out of a chaotic dream. Everything is surreal, yet relative to each other. Clouds stream by overhead symbolizing the passage of time. Clocks appear throughout the movie suggesting time-is-a-burnin'. The suggestion here is: don't waste the time you do have while you still can. Stewart Copeland's almost all percussion and highly rhythmic score adds to that effect. In "Rumble Fish", Coppola skillfully addresses the need to belong, to lead, to have goals, to have vision and warns not to fall deeper into an urban trap. Will Rusty-James discover what it means to step out and become his own identity before it's too late? As The Motorcycle Boy points out, "If you're going to lead people, you need to have somewhere to go."That's good advice.
Television rarely provides film certificates as a guide, and so I must confess to having first seen Rumble Fish when I was considerably younger than its "18" certificate. Crowbarred into the middle of a season of 50s biker movies, I mistakenly BELIEVED this black and white film to have been made during that era. Innate stupidity and unfamiliarity with cinema at that time meant I failed to recognise such contemporary actors as Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke and Nicolas Cage. To this end I came to the conclusion that with its earthy language, slight sexual content and violence, Rumble <more>
Fish was a movie way ahead of its time. Its parting rhetoric, really just a flimsy song by an ex-member of The Police, seemed to wrap the whole thing up and imbue it with meaning.Around eight years later it received a video release in England, and I bought it the first day it came out. Maybe it was the feeling of idiocy on my part that made me hate it second time around. The film showed the divide between BEING a 50s gang movie and pretentiously PRETENDING to be a 50s gang movie. Worst still, the philosophical musings over time and the nature of insanity made it wholly indulgent, while the authentically retro dialogue sounded self-conscious coming from 1983. This might be directed by the same man that gave us The Godfather, but that is also the same man who gave us Bram Stoker's Dracula.So to consolidate these two vastly differing viewpoints I decided to give Rumble Fish a third viewing. While it still contains more naivety than meaningful insight, it is outstanding in the field of cinematography. Direction, while showy, is virtually flawless, each scene taken from the point of view of distant shadows, causing an air of unsettled menace throughout. Writing is generally high, though a little clumsy, while acting backed up by Dennis Hopper cannot be faulted. Rourke is every inch the cool, ubiquitously-admired Motorcyle Boy, while the rolling clouds and clockface imagery leave a perfect spin on the film.Of course, on the latest viewing, further elements come to light; it is never stated, nor even particularly implied, that the film is set in the fifties. Its noir leanings are an echo of The Motorcycle Boy's colour blindness, as is presumably the awful sound quality supposed to represent his slight deafness. Or maybe I just bought a bad tape. These may seem like fairly self-explanatory observations, and go without saying, but locked within the mindset of a pubescent youth were all these misconceptions. All of which goes to prove how a film can be many things and of many merits, depending on the circumstances of viewing, and who is watching it... even if that "who" turns out to be the same person.
Francis Ford Coppola's "Rumble Fish" is ultra-moody, visually dazzling and criminally under-appreciated. Its story of gang fights, teenage delinquency and pointless violence reflects on some of the factors that contribute to a young gang leader's deviant behaviour and illustrates how it eventually leads to disillusion, despondency and hopelessness. The events depicted on-screen are presented in a way that avoids being preachy or providing simplistic solutions and in so doing makes a strong impact.Rusty James Matt Dillon is a tough, teenage gang leader who feels he has <more>
something to prove because his older brother, who's known only as "The Motorcycle Boy" Mickey Rourke , is a local legend who also used to lead his followers into neighbourhood "rumbles". Rusty James is anxious to achieve the same status as his brother but is also saddened by the passing of his town's gang culture which declined due to the rising popularity of heroin. When he's told that a rival gang leader has challenged him to a fight, he enthusiastically accepts even though doing so means breaking an agreement previously made by his brother to ban any further fights between local gangs.Rusty James spends part of the evening with his girlfriend Patty Diane Lane before going with his other gang members to the abandoned garage lot where he takes on and beats his opponent just as "The Motorcycle Boy" who'd returned from a two month absence in California arrives on the scene. When he's temporarily distracted by the arrival of his brother, Rusty James is attacked and badly injured by his opponent who gashes him with a shard of glass. "The Motorcycle Boy" who is the epitome of cool responds by bringing the conflict to an end with devastating speed and efficiency.Things continue to go downhill for Rusty James as he gets expelled from school, dumped by Patty and disappointed that his brother is no longer interested in taking part in any gang activity and then to make matters worse, it's made abundantly clear to him that his gang members don't have any confidence in him as their leader.The visual style of this film contributes strongly to its offbeat atmosphere with high-angle shots, good use of fog and smoke and some magnificent expressionistic cinematography being particularly effective. Additionally, there are numerous visual compositions which feature figures or objects in the very near foreground that also work extremely well.Rusty James is the product of a dysfunctional home with an absentee mother and an alcoholic father but his own failure at everything he's involved in is also attributable to the fact that he's simply not as bright as his brother. Similarly, his flawed judgement leads him to hero-worship his brother and nostalgically believe that the town's old gang culture represented something noble and meaningful. His brother, however, is also consumed by the hopelessness of his existence as he tries desperately to distance himself from his past and like Rusty James sees nothing meaningful in his future.The influence of the past, the loss of hope and the relentless passing of time represented visually by high-speed clouds and clocks etc. are all important themes of this movie and the metaphor of the tropical fish in a pet shop that fight with their own reflection is also particularly strong.Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke are both perfect in their roles and the supporting cast which includes Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Waits and Diane Lane is also excellent.
After Apocalypse Now 1979 , many of the films by the once great Francis Ford Coppola can only be described as patchy. Rumble Fish 1983 is the only post Apocalypse film that contains any of the magic of his early work. The film is a biker homage, taking it's lead from such films as `The Wild One' and `Rebel without a Cause', and gives Mickey Rourke the chance to put his mumblings to good use, as the ultra cool Motorcycle Boy. The film deals with Rust James Matt Dillon a young man who idolizes his older brothers charisma, and the respect he seems to gain from everyone in the <more>
small Kansas town where the plot takes place. It sounds like a simple enough story, and one of the main arguments with the film was that Coppola had blow it up to disastrous proportions, but personally I find it quite fascinating. Yes all right, so it is a very cold film, most of the characters seem detached and un-involved, but this is a style film, a film about a certain mood, and style of filmmaking that no longer exists. It also could be described a surreal, what with it's time lapse photography and odd use of colour within black and white quite revolutionary for it's time - it now seems a bit like a gimmick . And the sound design, the muted dialog and Stuart Copeland's post Police music score add up to an interesting texture, as if Coppola is trying to put us into the head of the Motorcycle Boy...I think this is a film that every Coppola fan should see, because it's further proof that he was one of the most talented and interesting directors of his generation. Plus there's a fun Dennis Hopper supporting role as the boy's drunken father.8/10