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Raging Bull

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Raging Bull

In the last years of the 70’s, Scorsese was courting a death wish with his dangerous, coke-addled lifestyle, hitting rock bottom repeatedly. He sincerely thought he wouldn’t live to see forty and that Raging Bull would be his last film. Of course, he’d be fitfully drawn to the tragic self-destruction of the unstable, macho Jake La Motta, even if Scorsese’s own neuroses, self-loathing, and bad habits kept him from getting to work on it. Thank God Robert De Niro, screenwriter Paul Schrader and producer Irwin Winkler persisted with this story that Scorsese would later call his “cinematic re-birth.” No one needs to be reminded of De Niro’s titanic, Oscar-winning lead performance, as wrathful as it is charismatic, but let’s not forget this is Joe Pesci’s film too, holding his own against his brother’s full-blown brass.

“Scorsese might never again find a subject as ideal as Jake LaMotta, the Bronx-based boxer whose public bouts and private demons Raging Bull chronicles with such bruising acuity. ” – Matthew Connolly, Slant

Raging Bull is the most painful and heartrending portrait of jealousy in the cinema – an Othello for our times. It’s the best film I’ve seen about the low self-esteem, sexual inadequacy and fear that lead some men to abuse women. Boxing is the arena, not the subject.” – Roger Ebert

Director
Martin Scorsese
Starring
Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana
Year
1980
Rated
R
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
129 minutes

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