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

-> '''Jake La Motta''': Come on, hit me. Harder. Harder.
-> '''Joey La Motta''': 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 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 ''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. The film has been completed, but currently remains on TheShelfOfMovieLangushment.

!!This work contains the following tropes:

* AmericanDream: It's [[{{Applicability}} possible to read the film]] as a critical examination or even [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruction]] of this. Jake achieves the American Dream, he becomes a success, becomes rich, has a beautiful wife and kids and retires to a suburban home and gets out of the ghetto and yet, he still hasn't changed one bit.
* 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.
* ByronicHero: Jake.
* {{Chiaroscuro}}: The opening shot, the scene where Jake is training in a steam room, other scenes.
* 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.
* 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 Jakes 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.
* 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=].
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Jake [=LaMotta=], as unbelievable as that may sound. When he watched the film with one of his ex-wives he asked her: "was I really that bad?" She replied "you were worse!" The movie actually omits [=LaMotta=]'s worse excesses. In his autobiography, 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.
** It's important to note that 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 ''{{On The Waterfront}}''.
* 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''.
* LonelyAtTheTop
* 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 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.
* PlayingTheHeartStrings: The soundtrack.
* RedemptionQuest
* 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.
* 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!