Archive for September 18th, 2009

Raging Bull (no 13)

r bull 1

(USA 1980 125m) DVD1/2

Once I was blind and now I can see

p  Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff  d  Martin Scorsese  w  Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin  book  Jake la Motta, Joseph Carter, Peter Savage  ph  Michael Chapman  ed  Thelma Schoonmaker  m  Pietro Mascagni  art  Gene Rudolf

Robert DeNiro (Jake la Motta), Cathy Moriarty (Vickie), Joe Pesci (Joey), Frank Vincent (Salvy), Nicholas Colasanto (Tommy Como), Theresa Saldana (Lenore), Frank Adonis (Patsy), Mario Gallo (Mario), Lori Anne Flax (Irma),

Raging Bull is, without a shadow of a doubt, not only the greatest boxing movie of all time, but arguably the greatest sporting movie of all time.  Yet to call it merely that would seem to be grossly disrespectful as, in the end, the boxing is merely the surface.  At its heart, and the heart of a raging bull it truly is, it is a story of macho pride driven to self-destruction.  La Motta was a man of many demons, of the jealous and truly psychotic kind and thus a man of many weaknesses and vulnerabilities, for all his feral viciousness.  That is what makes him a great movie character.  That and Robert DeNiro, of course.

            The film starts in 1964 with La Motta, now heavily overweight, bankrupt and reduced to doing stand up guest invitational spots in seedy night clubs, preparing his routine in a dressing room.  It then goes back to his early fights in 1941 and through the forties (including six with Sugar Ray Robinson), winning the title in 1949 but losing it to Robinson soon afterwards.  Later on, his vicious temper and self-destructive behaviour alienates his friends and family and he is left alone.  (more…)

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