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Raging Bull (Wide Screen) [DVD] [1981]

Robert De Niro , Cathy Moriarty , Martin Scorsese    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
Price: £2.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Writers: Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter, Mardik Martin, Paul Schrader, Peter Savage
  • Producers: Hal W. Polaire, Irwin Winkler
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Feb 2000
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CXAC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,985 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Martin Scorsese's acclaimed biopic of Jake La Motta, the boxing world champion who rose rapidly to fame but swiftly fell from grace. On the road to success, La Motta (Robert De Niro) marries the beautiful young Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), but the pressures of success soon make him paranoid and he ends up alienating both his wife and his brother, Joey (Joe Pesci). Shot entirely in black and white, the film features brutal fight scenes and sees an Oscar-winning performance by De Niro, who famously tailored his physical appearance to suit the role, putting on 50 pounds to portray the portly, middle-aged La Motta.

From Amazon.co.uk

The high-point in the long fruitful partnership of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, and widely reckoned one of the finest films of the 1980s, Raging Bull still looks like a contender. Based on the ghosted autobiography of 1940s boxing champion Jake La Motta, it's the most searing, intense and often painful to watch of Scorsese's explorations into the nature of masculinity and macho values. The rise of La Motta, the taut, cocky young fighting machine from the Bronx, is bookended by the scenes in which, as a paunchy, bloated has-been 20 years later, he's reduced to acting out self-pitying monologues in a tawdry Manhattan nightclub. The film is shot in crystalline black-and-white, masterfully framed and lit by Michael Chapman, partly as passionate movie-buff Scorsese's response to the way in which classic colour films were at this time being allowed to deteriorate into pinky-mauve travesties of their original rich tones.

Making their starring debuts, Joe Pesci as La Motta's long-suffering brother and manager, and Cathy Moriarty as his delicate-featured, abused child-wife, both grab their opportunities with both hands. But the film's dominated from the outset by De Niro's tour de force performance as the brutal, hair-triggered La Motta, viciously lashing out at the world in self-destructive fury. De Niro, who had first suggested the project to Scorsese back in 1973, threw himself into the role with near-demented dedication, submitting to a full year's punishing training programme to gain a boxer's physique and fighting skills--then taking two months off in Europe to stuff himself relentlessly till he had gained 60 lbs to play the slobbish, washed-up ex-champ. It's a performance of scary believability that makes you realise how casually, these days, the actor is coasting through his later career. Raging Bull was nominated for eight Oscars and picked up two, one for De Niro, and one for Thelma Schoonmaker's editing.

On the DVD: not much, just the original trailer, and a brief promo for some of MGM's other DVD releases. There's some useful production info in the printed booklet enclosed in the box, but couldn't they have got Marty to say a few words? The images look stunning in their original widescreen (1.85:1) ratio, but neither the Dolby Digital sound nor the print seems to have been remastered. Such a major re-release deserved a little more effort. --Philip Kemp


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's Entertainment. A Raging Blu review. 23 Aug 2011
By DeeJay
Format:Blu-ray
Can I assume that you are all familiar with this film? An iconic classic that features one of the finest ever performances from Robert Deniro as Jake LaMotta, chronicling the rise and fall of the ill-tempered, insecure, flawed man but brilliant boxer. You are? Good, ill move onto the Bluray itself then. If you aren't familiar with this movie though, you owe it to yourself to see it. Fantastic acting performances from literally everyone involved, beautifully shot in black and white with a mesmerising soundtrack and moments in the boxing ring that look, at times, impossibly authentic.

This 30th Anniversary edition of Raging Bull uses the same transfer as the 2009 Bluray release, although that is no bad thing to be honest. The picture quality is excellent and one of the finest Bluay transfers from a 1980's film ive seen. Blacks are solid, whites are nice and crisp, the greys are varied which considering it was shot in black and white means a lot. Fine detail is very good and no DNR has been applied. There is a layer of grain over the picture, but not only is this a natural by product of the film used, it also adds to the gritty realism of the movie. Inside the boxing ring you can see the swirls of smoke passing across the ring lights, the beads of sweat on the boxers, and the blood appears thick and dark. The increased detail also allows you to really appreciate the shape Deniro got himself in to play this role. Which makes the transformation to washed up LaMotta all the more impressive.

The DTS-HD audio track is also very good, standing out in particular during the boxing scenes. You really get the feeling that you are in their with LaMotta.

Extras: Some quality extras here, most of them will have been seen before though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films of American cinema 23 Mar 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Scorsese fully utilized the cinematic medium to create Raging Bull into a work of staggering brilliance and an emotionally powerful, gritty experience. The outstanding black and white cinematography crafts a haunting visual tone while Scorsese's distinctive style of direction flawlessly embodies LaMotta's psychological and violent dilemmas.

Truly magnificent in every aspect - with absolutely exceptional performances, a superbly constructed perceptive narrative and stunningly remarkable technical work, Raging Bull is simply a phenomenal cinematic achievement. It is an unparalleled piece of work that evocatively tackles the harsh realities of the Bronx boxer and transcends to be a character study of human nature. Raging Bull is arguably the finest film from one of the greatest American auteurs and a breathtakingly striking masterpiece.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De Niro at his Best 9 Sep 2003
Format:DVD
This is by far De Niro's best performance, and that is saying something. The performance is raw and he depicts the boxer La Motta perfectly. The film shows the highs and lows of the boxer Jake La Motta, and the film is a real roller-coaster ride, De Niro takes you through all the emotions, and put together with Scorsese's brilliant direction, this film is well worth its title of 'Best film of the 80s'.
Raging Bull is the best sports film ever made, the sheer emotion it puts you through, the detailed fights scenes, the first-class sound, this has never been repeated on big screen. Rocky may be fans favourite, but this is the best.
It is hard to believe that De Niro trained for the part for over a year, fought in three fights, then shot the film, take a few months out of filming to put on 50 pounds and then finished filming. Not only the best actor, but also this shows commitment to the part.
I loved Raging Bull from the first time I saw it, I am sure I am not the only one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars raging bull 16 Feb 2012
By m
Format:Blu-ray
this looks amazing on blu ray the picture and sound are so perfect im glad i purchased this film. robert deniro and joe pesci are brilliant in this film
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
While Raging Bull is the best boxing film ever put to celluloid, it is not really a film about boxing. Instead, we get a biopic of the man, a chance for Scorese to examine his own issues of Catholic guilt -- a recurring issue in his films. Having been seriously addicted to cocaine prior to making this movie, it is also a chance for Scorsese to look at the self destruction he caused to himself by examining the rise and fall story of Jake La Motta.

Consdiering Scorsese thought this could be his last film, he put his all into making it, and it shows. Creatively this is his zenith, with his mesmerising black-and-white style and the brutal yet almost grandiose fight scenes.

If Scorsese is at his best in this movie, it can be argued that so too is De Niro. Famously pilling on pounds to play the overweight La Motta, he took his Method acting genuis to spectacular heights. Joe Pesci is superb also, another actor on top of his game in probably his best role, with Moriaty also superb as La Motta's long-suffering wife.

While De Niro got an Oscar, Scorsese was criminally ignored for the film he most deserved one. This is him at his best, though, producing a raw, brutal, visceral tale of a pugilist at war with himself that is difficult to watch yet hugely rewarding. But, alas, as with alot of film classics, they are not recognised upon release for what they are. Raging Bull is no different, widely regarded now as a modern classic, yet upon its release it lost out on the Best Picture Oscar to Ordinary People. Criminal.
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