Raging Bull

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Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical film directed by Martin Scorsese, adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin from the Jake La Motta memoir Raging Bull: My Story. It stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, a middleweight boxer whose sadomasochistic rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite exceeded the boundaries of the prizefight ring, and destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, La Motta's well intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons, and Cathy Moriarty as his abused wife. The film features supporting roles from Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, and Frank Vincent.

Scorsese was partially convinced by De Niro to develop the project, though he eventually came to relate to La Motta's story. Schrader re-wrote Martin's first screenplay, and Scorsese and De Niro together made uncredited contributions thereafter. Pesci was an unknown actor prior to the film, as was Moriarty, who was suggested for her role by Pesci. During principal photography, each of the boxing scenes were choreographed for a specific visual style and De Niro gained approximately 60 pounds (27 kg) to portray La Motta in his early post-boxing years. Scorsese was exacting in the process of editing and mixing the film, expecting it to be his last major feature.

After receiving mixed initial reviews (and criticism due to its violent content), it went on to garner a high critical reputation and is now widely regarded among the greatest films ever made, including Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, renowned British motion picture historian Leslie Halliwell, the American Film Institute, Time magazine, The New York Times, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Empire magazine, Total Film, Film 4, BFI's Sight and Sound and AMC's FilmSite. It was listed in the National Film Registry in 1990, its first year of eligibility.


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