[[caption-width-right:300:Original theatrical poster by Tom Jung]]

->'''Jake [=LaMotta=]''': Come on, hit me. Harder. Harder.\\
'''Joey [=LaMotta=]''': What the fuck do you want? That's hard. What are you trying to prove?

''Raging Bull'' is a 1980 film, directed by Creator/MartinScorsese and starring Creator/RobertDeNiro. It revolves around middleweight boxer Jake [=LaMotta=], a man who is consumed by his anger, paranoia, and shame.

The film begins in 1964, as we see an overweight, aging [=LaMotta=], now a comedian, practicing his routine. The scene changes. It is now 1941, as [=LaMotta=] boxes and throws his fights at the behest of {{the mafia}}. His brother and manager, Joey [=LaMotta=], does his best to support Jake and get him a chance at success. Jake seduces Vicky, [[{{Ephebophile}} a 15-year-old girl]] he met at a Bronx public pool. While he catches a break and wins a string of victories, he becomes increasingly paranoid that Vicky is cheating on him, and becomes more and more abusive. Eventually, he accuses his brother of sleeping with his wife and attacks them. The rest of the film details the aftermath in the following years after [=LaMotta=] has retired, as he spirals downward ever further.

The boxing fights themselves are notable for their cinematography. Run entirely on the RuleOfDrama, they look nothing like actual bouts. One FightUnscene consists of two still frames: Jake [=LaMotta=] with his fist drawn back, and another, him standing triumphant over his downed opponent. Additionally, sponges filled with fake blood were inserted into the boxing gloves, [[CoveredInGunge spraying the fighters and the ropes with amounts of fluid previously unseen in a sports movie]].

While critical reception was mixed at the time of its release, [[AwardSnub and it was passed up for Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars in favor of]] ''Literature/OrdinaryPeople'' ''Raging Bull'' has since become a critical favorite, and is viewed as one of the best movies of all time. It won De Niro his second Oscar, this time for Best Actor, following his Best Supporting Actor win for ''Film/TheGodfatherPartII'', and is frequently cited as one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema.

A sequel was long in DevelopmentHell (with [=LaMotta's=] involvement), but eventually under the threat of a lawsuit from MGM, the title was changed from ''Raging Bull II'' to ''The Bronx Bull'' in order to disassociate itself from the original. The film stars William Forsythe as the older Jake [=LaMotta=], Morjean Aria as a young [=LaMotta=], and has a supporting cast including the likes of Joe Mantegna, Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Alicia Witt, Ray Wise, and James Russo.

!!This work contains the following tropes:

* ArtisticLicense: The boxing sequences are very stylized. Each sequence is shot differently from the last and since the camera was in the ring with the actors, this meant it was much bigger than an actual boxing ring. The sequences used a lot of distortion effects to provide a psychological sense of "being in the ring". Scorsese said that he was bored with the conventional approach of shooting boxing from outside the ring as seen in newsreel and sports broadcasts which is why he went in the opposite direction.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: Right before the end credits, the film displays a quotation from ''The Gospel of John''.
--> ''So, for the second time, [the Pharisees] summoned the man who had been blind and said:\\
"Speak the truth before God. We know this fellow is a sinner."\\
"Whether or not he is a sinner, I do not know," the man replied.\\
"All I know is this: Once I was blind and now I can see."
--->-- '''[[Literature/TheFourGospels John IX. 2426]]''', ''The New English Bible''
* BigBrotherBully: Jake to Joey.
* {{Bittersweet Ending}}: Jake at the end is shown to have a promising stand-up comedian career, but in the end he's completely ostracized from his wife, kids, and brother, and he pawned off the title he worked so hard to get in order to bail himself out of prison.
** EarnYourHappyEnding : [[spoiler: As [[WordOfGod stated]] by Creator/MartinScorsese, Jake at the end has genuinely accepted who he is and is a changed man at the end,]] and so is, paradoxically, happier [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen having lost everything]] than when he had it all. The Bible quotation doesn't hurt.
* BookEnds: It starts and ends with Jake preparing for a routine after his retirement.
* BreakTheHaughty: The premise of this film, showing the repercussions incurred on Jake [=LaMotta=] because of his insecurity and anger, ultimately changing him as a human being.
* ByronicHero: Jake.
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: The opening shot, the scene where Jake is training in a steam room, other scenes.
* ClassicalAntiHero: Jake
* ClusterFBomb: To say that it was one of the earliest films to have at least 100 usage of the f-words, such as during Joey's YourMom discussion on the phone, doesn't even begin to describe it.
* CrazyJealousGuy: Again, Jake. His jealousy fits often (if not always) came out of nowhere and from the slightest persuasions. In the words of his brother, he's "crackin' up."
** How crazy is he? His wife mentions off hand that one of his future opponents is "pretty good looking." Jake's response? Give him a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown and specifically breaking his nose so he won't be so pretty anymore.
* CreatorCameo: Creator/MartinScorsese is the usher in the last scene telling [=LaMotta=] it's time to come out.
* CompositeCharacter: Joey [=LaMotta=] is a combination of the real Joey [=LaMotta=] and Jake's friend, Pete Petrella.
* {{Deconstruction}}:
** Of the conventional Hollywood {{Biopic}} (by showing the character WartsAndAll, avoiding HistoricalHeroUpgrade and refusing to sanitize the ugliness) and the sports movie genre (no, "success" in the boxing ring doesn't solve your personal problems or win you the love of your life) and the concept of redemption (it can sometimes take years for people to [[HeelRealization accept that they've done]] something wrong and even then they can't count on other people accepting that they have changed).
** More specifically, the movie shows the physical and psychological toll a career in sports involves, especially one like boxing. All of those punches on different parts of your body [[RealityEnsues will take a toll on you]], the effort it takes to maintain physique is such that on retirement, Jake [[FormerlyFit really lets himself go]]. Likewise, on retirement, [[AndThenWhat boxers have to rest on their winnings]] and income or find another means of income because the sporting career only lasts until you approach 40.
** It also shows that as much skill as boxing involves, sportsmen are nothing without the managers, coaches and institutions that will get them their big goal, advise them on how to protect their money and generally prevent them from making fools of themselves. Jake [=LaMotta=] learns far too late about this at which point he has alienated all of his friends and family.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The movie is in black and white, except for a sequence of home movies shot in color.
** Scorsese has stated that he decided to film it this way at least in part because fellow director Creator/MichaelPowell, who happened to be viewing the initial (color) footage of De Niro as [=LaMotta=] with him, pointed out that the gloves De Niro was wearing were the wrong color for the period.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Jake and Joey are just as racist and homophobic as you'd expect the average Italian-American from 1940's New York to be. Joey calls an African-American fighter a "moulie," while Jake chides Joey by telling him he punches like he "takes it up the ass."
* TheDeterminator: "I didn't go down Ray!"
* DomesticAbuser: Jake. Once he knocked his wife out with one hit, in his brother's residence, just moments after attacking his brother in front of his family.
* FallenOnHardTimesJob: The movie's FramingDevice.
* {{Fanservice}}: Vicki's introduction, especially the [[ShesGotLegs shot of her legs kicking in the pool.]]
* FatalFlaw: Just as in Greek tragedy, the same trait that brings Jake initial success (his skill in physical violence) is the same one which brings about his downfall (as his impulsive violence against his friends, family and loved ones ultimately results in driving them all away from him).
* GoodNewsBadNews: What Tommy Como told Joey about the mafia's support for Jake. [[spoiler:He'll get the title shot, but he needs to take a dive first.]]
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Before Jake's jealousy begins to rear its ugly head, he and Vicki are quite hot for each other, to the point that Jake gets quite close to breaking the "no sex before a fight" guideline.
* HairTriggerTemper: Jake [=LaMotta=].
* HeelRealization: It takes several decades, and some prison time, [[spoiler:a lot of wall punching before Jake confronts that he's been a jerk. It is this quality that makes him among the most sympathetic Scorsese anti-heros]].
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Averted in general but Creator/PaulSchrader who wrote the screenplay felt that the very act of making this film gives [=LaMotta=] this, noting that the film implies that he was a more significant figure in boxing and sports than his career otherwise supports. He feels that the film ultimately elevated a mediocrity to a level of fame he otherwise wouldn't deserve.
* HistoricalVillainDowngrade: When he watched the film with one of his ex-wives, Jake [=LaMotta=] he asked her: "was I really that bad?" She replied "you were worse!" The movie supposedly omits [=LaMotta=]'s worst excesses. In his autobiography, ghost-written by Peter Savage, he admits to raping a woman and hitting a man with a lead pipe whilst mugging him. [=LaMotta=] believed he had killed the man, only to discover years later that his victim survived. In any case, the source for this, the "autobiography" was mostly written by Peter Savage, Jake's friend (and a model for Joey, a composite of Jake's brother, Savage and one other friend) and it was written largely to gain a movie deal and was filled with deliberately sensationalist, over-the-top material.
* HitMeDammit: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Eo8snaeDJs In an earlier scene between Jake and Joey]].
* {{Homage}}: The ICouldaBeenAContender monologue from ''Film/OnTheWaterfront''.
* HomoeroticSubtext: All over the place.
* HowWeGotHere: See BookEnds.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Jake's CrazyJealousGuy antics over Vicki are made worst when you remember that Jake both cheated on and later left his wife for her. Near the end of the movie he starts making out with various women in his club.
* {{Jerkass}}: Only for about 10-20% of the whole film does Jake not act like a jerk in some way. [=LaMotta=] ''himself'' has said he never realized what a terrible person he was until he saw the movie. When he asked his ex-wife if he was really that bad, she told him that he was even ''worse''.
* MadeOfIron: Jake beats his fists and head against concrete and doesn't come out worse for wear.
** Possibly justified, as the real life Jake may have had the hardest head in boxing history. The fact that LightningBruiser Sugar Ray Robinson couldn't knock him down in real life despite administering a vicious NoHoldsBarredBeatdown, (in a fight that was later dubbed "The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre", no less) says ''a lot''. He also ended up living to age 95 despite all the damage he took.
** He does cry out "My hand!" after he's done punching the concrete.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The boxing matches, particularly his final match with Sugar Ray Robinson.
** Joey gives Salvy a pretty good one too.
* OffTheShelfFX: Hershey's chocolate sauce was used for blood.
* PlayingTheHeartStrings: The soundtrack.
* RedemptionQuest: [[spoiler:The very end of the film implies that Jake having learnt and accepted that he was a jerk decides to become a better person]].
* RedOniBlueOni: Jake is a hothead, Joey is restrained.
** A very big switch from [[Film/{{Goodfellas}} later]] [[Film/{{Casino}} films]].
* SexlessMarriage: Jake is an incredibly jealous husband who regularly beats his wife because he ''suspects'' she might be interested in other men. He also apparently has no desire to actually have sex with her (which she shows subtle frustration with in one scene). This has, of course, fuelled the HomoeroticSubtext interpretation of his character.
* ShirtlessScene: It's about a boxer.
* SplashOfColor: [=LaMotta=]'s home movies.
** And the title of the film itself in the credit sequence.
* StatingTheSimpleSolution: Desperate for money, Jake bursts into the house and smashes up his championship belt so he can sell the jewels from it. The jeweller points out if he'd just brought along the intact belt he could have sold it for a lot more money.
* TitleDrop: "The middleweight champion. The big dog. The ''raging bull''..."
* VertigoEffect: On Ray Robinson before Robinson finishes destroying [=LaMotta=] in Jake's last fight.
* YourMom: Joey gets like this when he is (presumably) talking to Sal on the phone, unaware that Jake is on the line instead:
-->'''Joey''': You listening? Your mother sucks [[ClusterFBomb fucking, big, fucking elephant dicks!]] You got that?
** Early on, when replying to his neighbor Larry's complaints, Jake delivers this little gem:
-->'''Jake''': Who's an animal? Your mother's an animal! You son of a bitch!