RAGING BULL (1980) B/W widescreen 129m dir: Martin Scorsese
W/Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, Frank Adonis, Mario Gallo, Frank Topham, Lori Anne Flax
From The Movie Guide: "RAGING BULL is an uncompromisingly brutal and emotionally devastating movie based on the life of middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta. The film chronicles the life of the fighter from 1941 until the mid-1960s and is chiefly concerned with the irrational and violent LaMotta's struggle to find peace within himself. Loosely based on LaMotta's autobiography and filmed in gorgeous black and white, the story begins in 1941 and follows LaMotta (Robert De Niro), who is managed by his brother, Joey (Joe Pesci), as he pursues the middleweight championship. ...
"Fueled by Martin Scorsese's brilliant direction and a magnificent Oscar-winning performance by De Niro --- who gained nearly 50 pounds to play the older, fatter LaMotta --- RAGING BULL is one of the most powerful boxing films ever made. Often unpleasant and painful to watch, the film is a no-holds-barred look at a violent man in a brutal sport, in which, amazingly, the wholly unsympathetic LaMotta attains a state of grace at the end that is inspiring. As usual, the director is examining maleness in this film, and RAGING BULL has a way of zeroing in on masculine values and codes, and how they weigh men down. The film's senseless feel for violence forces you to consider its place in the male identity --- it's easier for most men to retreat into [violence] than [to deal with] honest emotion. Many people feel BULL was the best movie of the 80s; like the decade, it leaves a sour taste that lingers long after."
RAGING BULL won two Oscars: Best Actor (De Niro) and Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker). It was also nominated for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Pesci), Supporting Actress (Moriarty), Cinematography (Michael Chapman), and Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Bill Nicholson, David J. Kimball, Les Lazarowitz).