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Raging Bull

4.4 out of 5 stars 482 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Martin Scorsese's brutal black-and-white biography of self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta was chosen as the best film of the 1980s in a major critics' poll at the end of the decade, and it's a knockout piece of filmmaking. Robert De Niro plays LaMotta (famously putting on 50 pounds for the later scenes), a man tormented by demons he doesn't understand and prone to uncontrollably violent temper tantrums and fits of irrational jealousy. He marries a striking young blond (Cathy Moriarty), his sexual ideal, and then terrorizes her with never-ending accusations of infidelity. Jake is as frightening as he is pathetic, unable to control or comprehend the baser instincts that periodically, and without warning, turn him into the rampaging beast of the title. But as Roman Catholic Scorsese sees it, he works off his sins in the boxing ring, where his greatest athletic talent is his ability to withstand punishment. The fight scenes are astounding; they're like barbaric ritual dance numbers. Images smash into one another--a flashbulb, a spray of sweat, a fist, a geyser of blood--until you feel dazed from the pummeling. Nominated for a handful of Academy Awards (including best picture and director), Raging Bull won only two, for De Niro and for editor Thelma Schoonmacher. --Jim Emerson

Special Features

  • 8-page booklet featuring trivia, production notes and revealing look at the making of the movie

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Writers: Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter, Mardik Martin, Paul Schrader, Peter Savage
  • Producers: Hal W. Polaire, Irwin Winkler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (482 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792833236
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,181 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Raging Bull" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2005
Format: DVD
Revised for Blu-ray release:The two disc 30th Anniversary release combo on Blu-ray looks extremely good but is flawed--there's a noticeable translucent strip in the corner of the image that is slightly brighter than the rest of the image. It's a bit distracting at first but once you get into the film, you'll find it less noticeable. This flaw was also visible in the DVD edition of the film. The transfer is very good but not flawless.

There are some new special features for this edition including: "Marty & Bobby" featuring director and actor interviewed about how they ended up working on the film together (DeNiro brought the project to Scorsese). "Raging Bull-Reflections of a Classic" features four directors Neil LeBute, Richard Kelly and Kimberly Pierce discussing the influence and impact of the film. "Remembering Jake" allows us to listen in as the Veteran Boxer's Association of New York do their monthly get together and discuss Jake LaMotta. "Marty on Film" allows Scorsese to discuss his career as a director. All of the new material presented on this disc is in HD.

We get the previous special features carried over from the previous DVD edition. The set also includes a DVD with no special features included as well. The packaging is problematic--the Blu-ray packging is about as flimsy as it comes with the "green" packaging that isn't solid with plastic "bands" supporting the disc. The only problem is that if something pokes the packaging it'll rip the paper (and in my case it also caused the Blu-ray to be badly scratched. It also means that it's MORE likely to get knocked loose inside the packaging because it doesn't hold the disc as securely.
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Format: DVD
A mood masterpiece from director Martin Scorsese, Raging Bull is the authority on boxing films as well as cinematic biographies. The life and times of Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro) are as troubled and bumpy as that of any great figure. A furious man from the backstreets of the Bronx, La Motta rises from the ravages of poverty to become one of the most unbeatable contenders in boxing history. Set amid the backdrop of the 1940's and 50's, this film is the modern pinnacle of the always-arresting theme of Rise and Fall. A man who had everything he wanted, La Motta was forever haunted by personal demons that were expressed through forceful paranoia and the obsessive need for reassurance. Driven by anger rather than passion, he was able to defeat any opponent with sheer grit and thirst for blood. Among his Achilles heels were his young wife, Vikki, whom he met when she was only fifteen. Moving at a steady and always involving beat, La Motta is shown taking more beatings, winning more titles and self-destructing. As through a looking glass, there is always a feeling of not knowing what this fighting man will do next. And in the great tradition of Scorsese's Italian American fables, this film forges a somber and exciting attitude all the way through. Intensifying the film's dismal and violent beauty is the soundtrack, which mainly consists of the Intermezzo, from Cavalleria Rusticana, an Italian opera by Pietro Mascagni. This choice of scores not only furthers the feel of darkness, but it immediately foreshadows La Motta's downfall, while at the same time bestowing Italian artistry on the picture. Always worried that his wife is cheating on him, and thinking that his counterparts are working against him, Jake La Motta ventures beyond the point of no return.Read more ›
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By A Customer on February 11, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Robert De Niro the finest actor in the world at the peak of his powers giving an astounding performance as the self destructive, suspicious, stubborn and angry Jake Le Motta would be reason enough to behold this film. Yet, Raging Bull contains so much more, the crisp black and white photography inturrupted by brief projector images of coulor that are extremely poignant , as we watch La Motta's seemingly happy home movies while knowing all along the path his life is taking. In another great performance in the movie, Joe Pesci hits the right notes as Jake's brother who is too weak to stand up to him. He takes his frustrations out on his wife and his friends, and eventually abandons his abusive brother in the film final harsh,fair and heartbreaking third. This director Martin Scorsese's masterpiece which criminally lost the best piture oscar to the much lesser Oridinary People. To all of you who haven't seen this film, do yourself a favour and see it.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a blu-ray for film lovers. The film grain has been reproduced beautifully. There is some minor ringing on a few high contrast edges, but other than that nit-pick, this looks just like watching it at the movie theater, but with a pristine print. Looks just as Scorcese intended in gorgeous black and white. One of the greatest films has been given a great restoration and now looks its very best on blu-ray!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Raging Bull is #24 in the 100 Best American movies ever, and it is among the 1000 Best Movies on DVD by Peter Travers. Later on was named the best movie of the decade (80's), which I think is true. I rate this movie 5 stars or 9.5/10. It was nominated for eight 1980 Oscars, but won only two: De Niro for Best Actor, and Thelma Schoonmaker for her editing (the Academy seems to have a problem with Scorsese). Schoonmaker appears on one of the audio commentaries of the movie, along with Martin Scorsese, producer, the real LaMotta and others. This DVD is exactly what we collectors like about special edition DVDs. The package is beautifully done (Yes! The package matters a lot), containing a small booklet with some short essays and pictures of the movie. Then, this special edition comes with a second DVD full of special features, such as 4 behind-the-scenes featurettes, a making of documentary, trailers, and some other very interesting stuff.

This movie is a masterpiece. The acting is perfect, and I don't only mean De Niro, who got the Oscar for this role and is in my opinion one of the best actors ever, but Joe Pesci, who is as always sensational, and Cathy Moriarty in the role of Vickie. The shooting in black and white is a very wise decision, the photography by Michael Chapman, the music (Cavalleria Rusticana fits perfectly), the editing that got an Oscar is also a great job well done, the story, the screenplay, and even the fight scenes are just absolutely amazing (and I just hate violence ...). As The New York Times put it "Though it's a movie full of anger and nonstop physical violence, the effect or Raging Bull is lyrical".

I recommend this movie to absolutely everybody. You will like it for sure.
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