Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical, black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martinfrom Jake LaMotta's memoir Raging Bull: My Story. It stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, an Italian American middleweight-boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroyed his relationship with his wife and family.
The story of a middleweight boxer as he rises through ranks to earn his first shot at the middleweight crown. He falls in love with a gorgeous girl from the Bronx. The inability to express his feelings enters into the ring and eventually takes over his life. He eventually is sent into a downward spiral that costs him everything.
Why It Rocks
- Raging Bull is the story of former boxing middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, and his penchant for self-destruction. LaMotta is not in the least a nice guy. He is well, a jerk, who eventually drives any and everyone who has ever cared about him out of his life. He evolved from a lean, trim boxer to an overweight loser who owns a night club. It's like Rocky from 4 years back, but in reverse.
- Martin Scorsese (arguably America's greatest filmmaker) was reluctant to make the film, nearly about to call it quits until his good friend (arguably America's greatest film actor) Robert De Niro, approached him with a book he had read titled "Raging Bull" which the film is based on.
- Naturally, Scorsese's direction is flawless, and Thelma Schoonmaker's editing will pretty much speak for itself.
- The film deals with controversial topics of self-destruction, obsessive rage, and sex in the most mature ways possible.
- On top of that, the movie holds absolutely nothing back in terms of realism in the boxing scenes with just how realistic, visceral, bloody, and brutal the fighting could be.
- The black-and-white (or tinted monochrome) was an ingenious touch, creating a visually pleasing and distinct aesthetic that holds up for ages.
- Joe Pesci is excellent as Jake's brother Joey as is Cathy Moriarty as Jake's long-suffering wife.
- The film often considered Scorsese's magnum opus and one of the greatest films ever made.
- The film 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 to come.
- It is very relatable to many people who have similar personalities and problems to LaMotta.
- At the ending of the film, there's a dedication to Martin Scorsese's New York University film professor, Haig P. Manoogian, who died the same year the movie was released.