If you win, you win. If you lose, you still win
The film is based on the true story of middleweight boxing champ Jake LaMotta (Robert de Niro) from relatively early in his career to about a decade after his retirement. This covers the years 1941 through 1964. In 1941 is La Motta, an up-and-coming fighter, battling his way into the upper echelon of the Middleweight Class. Joey (Joe Pesci) is his brother, who also handles his management and training.
La Motta leaves his hostile first wife for blond beauty Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), but his own insecurity is so great that he cannot accept that a woman as beautiful as Vicki could be faithful to him. This obsessive jealousy towards her threatens their marriage as well as his relationship with his brother. Eventually, La Motta's career fails due to age and corpulence. He becomes a night club entertainer, falls on hard times, but he is no quitter.
Release date: November 14, 1980
Best Actor -> Robert de Niro
Film Editing -> Thelma Schoonmaker
Academy award nominations:
Best Supporting Actor -> Joe Pesci:
Actress -> Cathy Moriarty
Director -> Martin Scorsese
Cinematography -> Michael Chapman
Scorsese, while filming, thought that Raging Bull would be the end of his career in America.Source / More (Book)
Robert De Niro accidentally broke Joe Pesci's rib in a sparring scene. This shot appears in the film: De Niro hits Pesci in the side, Pesci groans, and there is a quick cut to another angle.
Robert De Niro met with La Motta and became very well acquainted with him. They spent the entire shoot together so De Niro could portray his character accurately.
De Niro gained over 50 pounds to play the older La Motta, and Pesci lost weight for the same scene
Michael Mann, director of Heat and Ali on Raging bull: The humanity of the picture is as extraordinary as Marty's execution, with its near-perfection in the economy, staging, blocking and compositions.Source / More (Web)
For years, De Niro had nagged Scorsese about making a movie based on LaMotta’s autobiography. While Scorsese was in the hospital recovering from a period of excess, De Niro told him that he should make the movie because he knew the material: that of a self-destructive personality.Source / More (Book)
The film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.
The movie enabled LaMotta to earn a living through autograph signings and personal appearances. The veteran of six marriages now lives in Manhattan.
Giacobe (Jake) LaMotta compiled a record of 82 wins, 19 losses and 4 draws with 30 wins by way of knockout.Source / More (Web)
This week 22 years ago Backdraft premiered (May 24, 1991)
August 17, 1943
Robert De Niro was born and grew up in New York City (USA). He was trained for the stage by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg. In the sixties De Niro appeared in several low-budget Brian de Palma movies but first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973).
His incisive performance as a simple minded hood in Scorsese's Mean streets started an ongoing working relationship between the actor and the director. De Niro’s breakthrough role was that of the young Vito Corleone in the flashback sequences of The Godfather II (1974). In 1980, De Niro gained 50 pounds to play boxer Jake LaMotta in Scorsese's Raging Bull.
For the next 10 years, he branched out into a number of different types of films. Robert made his directional debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale. In 2006 he directed the historic epic The Good Shepherd starring Matt Damon. De Niro will work again with Michael Mann. Mann is likely to direct Robert in Frankie Machine, a new mob flick that Martin Scorsese was to direct before dropping out.
1992 Nominated Leading Role for: Cape Fear (1991)
1991 Nominated Leading Role for: Awakenings (1990)
1981 Won Oscar Leading Role for: Raging Bull (1980)
1979 Nominated Leading Role for: The Deer Hunter (1978)
1977 Nominated Leading Role for: Taxi Driver (1976)
1975 Won Oscar Supporting Role for: The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Douglas Brode -> The Films of Robert De Niro (1996)
John Parker -> De Niro (1995)