Raging Bull

Rightly acclaimed as one of the finest American films of the ’80s, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull is re-released in a new 35mm print. This extraordinary movie is based on the life and career of former middleweight boxing champion Jake La Motta. Nicknamed the ‘Bronx Bull’, the ferocious fighter battered his way through family, friends and foes in the ’40s, suffered a series of bruising humiliations in the ’50s, and ended up as a celebrity entertainer in the ’60s. The extremes of La Motta’s violent story don’t make for a conventional movie biography or boxing picture, and Scorsese uses the material to explore the very frightening limits of destructive, sado-masochistic aggression. It’s a work of enormous courage and dazzling technical virtuosity in which the language of violence and the violence of language become the binding elements. Robert De Niro’s performance as La Motta is physically and emotionally overwhelming. He deserved his Best Actor Oscar, and Thelma Schoonmaker also won for her brilliant editing of a film which has more important priorities than the niceties of narrative exposition.

U.S.A. 1980.
Black and white.
Dolby stereo.
129 mins.

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