Robert De Niro
It’s amazing how scary good Robert De Niro is in this. Having no previous knowledge of Jake LaMotta’s personal life, De Niro portrays the boxer in such a way that it rivals his Frankenstein role. In a lot of ways, LaMotta is a monster, but De Niro also brings a very human element to the tough boxer. His anger is very real, but also his vulnerability is very real and palpable. Joe Pesci as Joey LaMotta has got quite a task in this. Not only does he have to act alongside De Niro, who’s so dedicated to the role that during a sparring session he really breaks Pesci’s rib, but he’s also got to stand toe to toe with De Niro and exhibit as much intensity as he does in certain scenes. That can’t be an easy task to have. The charisma between these two is so thick that you’re amazed that they’re acting, and that they’re not really brothers. There isn’t a single wasted frame of film in Raging Bull, and each and every actor in it makes it so.
I grew up watching this movie, never really understanding it. My pop worked in a video store and as a result, he had a lot of movie posters that he framed and he hung in his house. One of the posters was Raging Bull. De Niro’s beaten mug, sweaty and puffy, looking directly at you. A man on a mission of destruction. The face haunted me for years. I didn’t understand why someone so brutally violent, especially towards those closest to him, had his own movie. Every few years I would take out the flick and revisit it. It wasn’t until the last ten years that I truly understood the nature of the Jake LaMotta character. That he was driven by insecurity and fear. That for as much talent and potential that he possessed as a fighter, you can’t always beat your own demons out of you. At least, that’s what I take away from Jake LaMotta’s character.
- Director Martin Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker
- Cast & Crew Commentary: Irwin Winkler, Robbie Robertson, Robert Chartoff, Theresa Saldana, John Turturro, Frank Warner, Michael Chapman and Cis Corman
- Storytellers Commentary: with Mardik Martin, Paul Schrader, Jason Lustin and Jake LaMottaCast and crew
- Raging Bull: Before the Fight
- Raging Bull: Inside the Ring
- Raging Bull: Outside the Ring
- Raging Bull: After the Fight
- The Bronx Bull (Making-of)
- DeNiro vs. LaMotta (Shot–by–shot comparison)
- LaMotta Defends Title (Newsreel footage)