Life and times of boxing champ Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro, pictured).
Reviewed by Chris Tookey
A poll of American critics voted Raging Bull (1980) the best film of the Eighties. Robert De Niro certainly gives one of the decade's outstanding performances as boxing champ Jake LaMotta; Martin Scorsese's direction of the boxing sequences remains a tour de force; and the film represents British editor Thelma Schoonmaker's very best work. Yet there are important ingredients missing. There's very little story or character development. There is no one to cheer for, or even empathise with. LaMotta is a study in brutish, uncomprehending rage and masculinity. He (and we) are never allowed any kind of release. The result is an impressive but uninvolving film: a success according to most critics, yet never a hit.