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Raging Bull Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Martin Scorsese's brutal character study incisively portrays the true rise and fall and redemption of middleweight boxer Jake La Motta, a violent man in and out of the ring who thrives on his ability (and desire) to take a beating. Opening with the spectacle of the over-the-hill La Motta (Robert De Niro) practicing his 1960s night-club act, the film flashes back to 1940s New York, when Jake's career is on the rise. Despite pressure from the local mobsters, Jake trusts his brother Joey (Joe Pesci) to help him make it to a title bout against Sugar Ray Robinson the honest way; the Mob, however, will not cave in. Jake gets the title bout, and blonde teenage second wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), but success does nothing to exorcise his demons, even as he channels his rage into boxing. Alienating Vickie and Joey, and disastrously gaining weight, Jake has destroyed his personal and professional lives by the 1950s. After he hits bottom, however, Jake emerges with a gleam of self-awareness, as he sits rehearsing Marlon Brando's On the Waterfront speech in his dressing room mirror: "I coulda been a contender, I coulda been somebody." Working with a script adapted by Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader from La Motta's memoirs, Scorsese and De Niro sought to make an uncompromising portrait of an unlikable man and his ruthless profession. Eschewing uplifting Rocky-like boxing movie conventions, their Jake is relentlessly cruel and self-destructive; the only peace he can make is with himself. Michael Chapman's stark black-and-white photography creates a documentary/tabloid realism; the production famously shut down so that De Niro could gain 50-plus pounds. Raging Bull opened in late 1980 to raves for its artistry and revulsion for its protagonist; despite eight Oscar nominations, it underperformed at the box office, as audiences increasingly turned away from "difficult" films in the late '70s and early '80s. The Academy concurred, passing over Scorsese's work for Best Director and Picture in favor of Robert Redford and Ordinary People, although De Niro won a much-deserved Oscar, as did the film's editor, Thelma Schoonmaker. Oscar or no Oscar, Raging Bull has often been cited as the best American film of the 1980s. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:January 1, 1980

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Les Lazarowitz Best Sound 1980 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Mardik Martin Best Screenplay 1980 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Irwin Winkler Best Picture 1980 Nominee
National Board of Review Joe Pesci Best Supporting Actor 1980 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Joe Pesci Best Supporting Actor 1980 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Joe Pesci Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1980 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Joe Pesci Best Supporting Actor 1980 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Joe Pesci Most Promising Newcomer 1981 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Martin Scorsese Best Director 1980 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Martin Scorsese Best Director 1980 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Martin Scorsese Best Director 1980 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Chapman Best Cinematography 1980 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Robert De Niro Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1980 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Robert De Niro Best Actor 1980 Winner
National Board of Review Robert De Niro Best Actor 1980 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert De Niro Best Actor 1980 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Robert De Niro Best Actor 1980 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Paul Schrader Best Screenplay 1980 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Thelma Schoonmaker Best Editing 1980 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Thelma Schoonmaker Best Editing 1981 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Chartoff Best Picture 1980 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Cathy Moriarty Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1980 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Cathy Moriarty New Star of the Year - Female 1980 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cathy Moriarty Best Supporting Actress 1980 Nominee

Cast

Robert De Niro
as Jake LaMotta
Cathy Moriarty
as Vickie LaMotta
Joe Pesci
as Joey LaMotta
Frank Vincent
as Salvy
Theresa Saldana
as Lenore
Frank Adonis
as Patsy
Frank Topham
as Toppy/Handler
Johnny Barnes
as Sugar Ray Robinson
Kevin Mahon
as Tony Janiro
Louis Raftis
as Marcel Cerdan
Johnny Turner
as Laurent Dauthuille
Lou Tiano
as Ricky
Ted Husing
as Himself (TV Announcer 3rd Robinson Fight)
Richard McMurray
as J.R.
Peter Savage
as Jackie Curtie
Vic Magnotta
as Fighting Soldier
Jack Lotz
as Referee (Fox Fight)
Charles Scorsese
as Charlie - Man with Como
Noah Young
as Musician #3
Marty Denkin
as Referee (Janiro Fight)
Kevin Breslin
as Heckler
Martin Scorsese
as Barbizon Stagehand
John Turturro
as Man at Table
Peter Petrella
as Johnny
Coley Wallace
as Joe Louis
Allan Malamud
as Reporter at Jake's House
Candy Moore
as Linda
Cis Corman
Mardik Martin
as Copa Waiter
Mary Albee
as Underage I.D. Girl
Bill Hanrahan
as Eddie Eagan
Robert Uricola
as Man outside Cab
Bill Mazer
as Reporter
Joseph Bono
as Guido
John Arceri
as Maitre d'
Michael Badalucco
as Soda Fountain Clerk
Shay Duffin
as Ring Announcer (Janiro Fight)
Paul Forrest
as Monsignor
Don Dunphy
as Himself/Radio Announcer (Dauthuille Fight)
Peter Fain
as Dauthuille Corner Man
Bernie Allen
as Comedian
Bob Aaron
as Prison Guard #1

Crew

Martin Scorsese
Director
Robert Chartoff
Producer
Irwin Winkler
Producer
Peter Savage
Book Author
Paul Schrader
Screenwriter
Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter
Jake LaMotta
Book Author
Mardik Martin
Screenwriter
Michael Chapman
Cinematographer
Robbie Robertson
Composer (Music Score)
Thelma Schoonmaker
Editor
Gene Rudolf
Production Designer
Alan Manzer
Art Director
Sheldon Haber
Art Director
Hal W. Polaire
Associate Producer
Peter Savage
Associate Producer
Richard Bruno
Costume Designer
John Boxer
Costume Designer
Les Lazarowitz
Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Evje
Sound/Sound Designer
Jerry Grandey
First Assistant Director
Allan Wertheim
First Assistant Director
Al Silvani
Consultant/advisor
Jake LaMotta
Consultant/advisor
Jim Nickerson
Stunts
Cis Corman
Casting
James D. Brubaker
Production Manager
Michael Westmore
Makeup
Frank Topham
Technical Advisor
Jim Nickerson
Stunts Coordinator
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