In common with other Scorsese protagonists, La Motta is an obsessive, fanatically jealous of the wife (Cathy Moriarty) he met when she was only fifteen. The other key relationship is with his brother, Joey (Joe Pesci), his friend and adversary.
The screenplay, by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin, is based on the boxer’s ghost-written autobiography, and pulls no punches – literally – in its depiction of a flawed man. Michael Chapman’s black and white cinematography is outstanding. Thelma Schoonmaker’s brilliant editing of the boxing sequences won her the film’s second Oscar. Quite simply, this is the greatest film ever made about the sport of boxing, and one of the director’s finest achievements.
Presented in association with the Sydney Film Festival and National Film and Sound Archive
29 May - 6 Jun
“A guy attaining something and losing everything, and then redeeming himself” – Scorsese’s one-line description of Raging Bull is deliberately simplistic, but it’s an indication of how he subverts the usual Hollywood clichés of this kind of inspirational biopic. Robert De Niro deservedly won a Best Actor Oscar for portraying Middleweight boxer Jake La Motta in this riveting biography that spans 25 years in the life of a deeply conflicted man.