Huh, So you’re a fan of old-school movies? You love sports, and you are a diehard fan of boxing, to the extent that you try out boxing moves on your little brother, in the name of teaching him but taking revenge? ( I know this secret of millions of people) Nevermind! We are getting away from our point. Chances are you must have heard about Jake LaMotta, one of the prominent boxing stars during the 1940s-50s era. He was not only a boxer but also was a good stand-up comedian. He was popularly known by his nickname “Raging Bull”.
LaMotta wrote his autobiography and named the book “Raging Bull”. When DeNiro read his autobiography, he didn’t like his writing style much but developed an intense fascination with Jake’s character. Thus released the film “The Raging Bull” in 1980. It has a solid rating of 8.5/10 IMDb and 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite being this old of a movie, the rating says it all is a great masterpiece to watch. Let’s take a look at Jake’s life.
Let's see what is in there: Plot of Raging Bull
In 1964, an overweight Jake practised a stand-up routine. Cut to 1941, a boxing match with Revees, where he suffered his first major loss. Jake meets a 15-year-old girl, Vickie, and starts a relationship with her despite being married. 1943, a rematch with Robinson, although Jake overpowered Robinson, the Judge ruled in favor of Robinson. 1945, Jake marries Vickie but is scared because he thinks Vickie has feelings for other men.
Jake wins a fight against Janeiro; Joey, Jake’s brother, discusses the win with the media. However, he becomes sidetracked when he sees Vickie approaching a table with Salvy, and his crew informs him that she has given up on his brother. Blaming Slavy, he viciously attacks him and his crew. Jake isn’t allowed to fight, but he is soon reinstated and, in 1949, wins the middleweight championship.
A year passed by; Jake asks Joey if he put up the fight because of Vickie and asks him if they both are having an affair. Joey insults Jake and leaves away. Jake now directly confronts Vickie, who, after hearing this runway to the bathroom, breaks the bathroom gate and asks her in a fierce and sarcastic voice if she has slept with every other man in the neighborhood, including his brother.
I would not dare to tell you further about the movie, because I leave it to you. To know what happened next, you will have to watch the movie.
The Story behind the Casting of Ragging Bull
Scorsese was known for casting a lot of new actors and actresses in his films. De Niro, who was already cast in the role of Jake LaMotta, began assisting Scorsese in the casting of his on-screen brother, Joey, and wife, Vikki. The part of Joey LaMotta was the first to be cast.
De Niro was watching a low-budget television picture called The Death Collector when he spotted Joe Pesci (then an unknown and struggling actor) in the role of a young career criminal as a perfect candidate.
Did you know Pesci had not worked in cinema for four years and was working at an Italian restaurant in New Jersey when he received a call from De Niro and Scorsese with the offer to star in the film?
Yes, you read that, right?
The part of Vikki (renamed Vickie in the final film), Jake's second wife, drew a lot of attention, but it was Pesci who suggested actress Cathy Moriarty based on a photo he spotted in a New Jersey nightclub.
Result of Raging Bull on Box Office
The film's lukewarm box office receipts of only $23 million, compared to its $18 million budget, were due to a brew of violence and fury, as well as a lack of a good advertising strategy.
It barely made $10.1 million in theatrical rentals by the time it left cinemas (equivalent to $26.84 million in 2019). Scorsese grew anxious about his future career, fearing that studios and producers might refuse to fund his films.
The picture grossed $23,383,987 in American cinemas, according to Box Office Mojo (equivalent to $62,152,613 in 2019).
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This film is a great example that you will certainly become successful if you work hard for it. But maintaining success along with the pride that comes with it is the main task. It also really explains to us that life is a circle, from rags to riches to rags. You have to control yourself; the person who doesn’t have control over oneself, who thinks of himself as a raging bull, will be tied down by nature and will be shot if he doesn’t accept his defat before nature.
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