Review: The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, a former middleweight boxing champion who was at the top of the ring but destroyed life outside of it as he had a troubled domestic life, was violent and had a temper. In the end it left him destitute, alone and seeking redemption.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Actors: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, Mario Gallo, Frank Adonis and Charles Scorsese
Genre: Biography, Drama and Sport
This film is actually based on the true story of boxer Jake LaMotta. Robert De Niro gave Martin Scorsese the book Raging Bull in 1974 and encouraged Scorsese to make the film. This is the second time Robert De Niro has worked with the Cinematographer Michael Chapman. The first time was on Taxi Driver (1976). Fantastic performance from Robert De Niro who reportedly had to pile on the pounds to play Jake La Motta. He is really convincing in this role and the brutal fight sequences are spectacularly staged. In one of the boxing scenes Robert De Niro accidentally broke one of Joe Pesci’s ribs in a sparring scene. Also for Robert De Niro to prepare for his role, he went through extensive physical training, then entered in three genuine Brooklyn boxing matches and ended up winning two of them. Apparently Sharon Stone auditioned for the role of Vicki LaMotta. Some of the themes that occur in this are anger, grief, alienation, redemption and distrust. This is on the late Barry Norman’s list of 100 Greatest Films of all time that he produced at the start of 2012 in the Radio Times. At the Academy Awards in 1981 this won 2 Awards. They were for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert De Niro) and also Best Film Editing. At the Golden Globe Awards in 1981 this won 1 award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Robert De Niro). At the Bafta Awards in 1982 this won 2 awards. They were for Best Editing and also Most Outstanding Newcomer to Leading Film Roles (Joe Pesci).