Raging Bull

Synopsis: Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin from Jake LaMotta's memoir Raging Bull: My Story. It stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, an Italian American middleweight boxer whose self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalistic appetite destroyed his relationship with his wife and family. Also featured in the film are Joe Pesci as Joey, LaMotta's well-intentioned brother and manager who tries to help Jake battle his inner demons, and Cathy Moriarty as his wife. The film features supporting roles from Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana and Frank Vincent.
Production: United Artists
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 26 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.2
Metacritic:
89
Rotten Tomatoes:
95%
R
Year:
1980
129 min
1,238 Views


MUSIC IN:
"Stone Cold Dead in the Market" by Louis Jordon

THE TITLES appear on black. They are intercut with

CLOSE-UPS of a fighter's body.

EXAMPLES:

Feet move.

Credit over black.

Body lunges.

Credit over black.

Fists swing and punch at the air.

Credit over black.

WE CATCH A GLIMPSE of young JAKE LAMOTTA.

THEN CUT:

TO:

INT. BARBIZON PLAZA THEATRE - DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT

(1964)

JAKE LAMOTTA, wearing a tux, is shadow-boxing.

We are unsure of where he is -- he moves in and out

of the shadows. At 42, he's overweight and out of

shape, but the balls of his feet still pop up and

down like they were on canvas and his tiny fists

still jerk forward with short bursts of light. He

is rehearsing a nightclub monologue.

JAKE:

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

It's a thrill to be standing here

talking to you wonderful people. In

fact, it's a thrill to be standing!

I haven't seen so many people since

my last fight at Madison Square

Garden. After that fight, a

reporter asked me, 'Jake, where do

you go from here?' I said, 'To a

hospital!' I fought one hundred and

six professional fights and still

none of them bums figured out how

to fight me -- they kept hitting me

in the head! And that's why I'm

here tonight...

(starts to sing)

'When the fighter's not engaged in

his employment, his employment,

although he was Champ and quite the

rage, he must go somewhere else to

seek employment, seek employment.

But a fighter's life is not a bowl

of cherries, still I'd rather have

an egg than a fist upon my face...

That's Entertainment!'

INT. CLEVELAND ARENA - NIGHT (1941)

Bam! JIMMY REEVES, a fast, black middleweight, jabs

LAMOTTA, 19 years old, in the face. JAKE staggers

forward. No matter how hard LAMOTTA is hit, no

matter how often, he always staggers forward --

like a bull. The bell sounds.

Battered, JAKE slumps on the stool in his corner.

It's September, 1941. Europe and Asia are already

at war. Young SOLDIERS, freshly recruited, dot the

hostile audience -- each screaming at the FIGHTERS

in the ring.

Suddenly, words are exchanged, a GIRL screams, and

a SOLDIER and a CIVILIAN stand and start swinging.

AND IN THE RING:
JAKE LAMOTTA takes a swig of water

and spits blood into the bucket his younger

brother, JOEY, holds for him. TONY, his trainer,

works the cuts.

JOEY:

You didn't have to come to

Cleveland to get beat by a "moulan

yan," Jake!

TONY:

He's got you, Jake! You're

outpointed! You're coming up for

the tenth. You gotta knock him out!

The bell sounds for the tenth. JAKE pulls himself

up and charges at REEVES.

REEVES slides away, jabbing, punching, piling up

points.

In JAKE's corner, JOEY stands and yells at JAKE:

JOEY:

A grand apiece! We got a grand

apiece on this, Jake! A f***ing

grand!

JAKE suddenly corners REEVES and unleashes a

desperate, wild alley-fighting attack. One

ferocious punch after another.

The SPECTATORS go wild; everyone's up for the kill.

REEVES staggers, then falls to the canvas.

The REFEREE counts:

REFEREE:

One, two, three, four...

The GAMBLERS call out new odds; ten to one for

REEVES, the underdog. JOEY, excited, sees that time

is running out and steps in front of the bell. He

swings his arms, pretending not to realize he

literally holds back the TIMER's arm for a few

seconds. This gives JAKE more time for a knockout --

but not enough. JOEY is pushed back and the bell

rings at the count of nine, ending the match.

Boos and cheers. The BETTORS scramble back to the

BOOKIE to get their money.

JAKE dances around the ring, kissing his gloves and

thrusting them toward the CROWD. JOEY rushes out

and hugs him.

The ANNOUNCER steps into the ring with the mike:

ANNOUNCER:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner,

under the rules of the Cleveland

Boxing Commission, after ten

rounds, by a decision -- Jimmy

Reeves.

The ANNOUNCER holds up REEVES' arm as his corner

tries to lift him off the canvas -- still out cold.

TWO ATTENDANTS bring in a stretcher.

JAKE is stunned. He still prances around, now

trying to figure out what happened. He raises his

arms in victory, and the FANS go crazy, cheering,

ripping chairs out, fighting with the COPS,

throwing bottles and junk into the ring. PEOPLE go

into the ring.

JOEY:

(to Jake)

Don't get out of the ring. You won

the fight -- let him go out first.

CUT TO:

REEVES being placed on the stretcher.

A ringside OFFICIAL signals the ORGANIST and she

starts to play the "Star Spangled Banner." REEVES

is carried out.

Only then do JOEY and TONY escort JAKE out of the

ring.

EXT. WEBSTER AVENUE AND 169TH ST., THE BRONX - NEXT

DAY:

It's a rough neighborhood, inhabited primarily by

welfare cases and street kids.

In the street, two young PUNKS, 13 or 14 years old,

exchange words and start to fight. Their FRIENDS

cheer them on. SALVY and JOEY turn the corner.

JOEY:

Salvy, would I steer you wrong?

Let's say that's the truck; it's

full of cigarettes, right? Now, two

o'clock this morning we move the

truck from here to there,

(he points; the CAMERA

PANS)

take the cigarettes out, sell 'em,

make some cash.

SALVY:

Hey but Joey, you're thinking

nickels and dimes. The money's with

your brother.

JOEY:

What do you want from my life,

Salvy? He's my brother.

SALVY:

He ain't doin' the right thing.

He's makin' beans compared to what

he should be makin'. Can't you make

him understand that?

A COP goes over and starts to break up the fight.

JOEY:

(to cop)

Hey, leave the kids alone.

SALVY:

Get lost.

(joking, he knows the Cop)

Hey kids, "A cop is a rat."

Remember that, "A rat."

The KIDS yell.

JOEY:

(to Cop)

Hey Jimmy, here's a dollar for your

trouble. There's some bums around

the corner -- they need your help.

COP:

Keep the dollar, Joey. Get yourself

a new suit.

JOEY:

(laughs)

Here's my new suit.

(grabs his crotch)

Right here.

COP:

Hey, don't get wise!

JOEY:

Just kidding, take it easy.

(to himself)

No f***in' sense of humor.

SALVY and JOEY continue to walk a little faster,

giggling.

INT. JAKE AND IRMA'S KITCHEN - DAY

JAKE, bandaged from the REEVES fight the night

before, sits at the kitchen table (he's had a few

glasses of wine) while his wife, IRMA, 19, cooks at

the stove.

JAKE gets up and pokes at the frying steak with a

fork.

JAKE:

This looks done.

IRMA:

It's not done.

JAKE:

It looks done. I'll take it the way

it is.

IRMA:

Here's your steak. You can't wait

for it to be done. Here.

She slams the steak onto his plate, and reaches

back to the stove.

IRMA (CONT'D)

Here's your carrots. You're in such

a hurry. You can't wait.

JAKE:

No, I can't wait. You know when I

wait? When it's important to wait.

It's not important to wait for no

steak. It's important to wait for

Reeves to leave the ring. It ain't

important to wait for no steak! I

won that fight. So, I stayed in the

ring, and that way I made sure

everybody knew it. I shoulda

knocked him out earlier,

sonofabitch.

He starts to eat the steak. He takes a drink of

wine.

JAKE (CONT'D)

Wait! I'll wait. But let me tell

you, if this steak was the

middleweight championship, I'd show

you how I'd wait. I'd eat it raw.

I'd drink the blood. I'd eat it

before it came out of the cow --

that's how I'd wait.

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Paul Schrader

Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead. more…

All Paul Schrader scripts | Paul Schrader Scripts

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