Genre Guesstimation – Raging Bull (1980)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Vinnie of Vinnie H. and it is Historical True Story Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of February by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Vinnie!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Historical True Story Movies.

“If you win, you win. If you lose, you still win. ” – Joey LaMotta

Number of Times Seen – At least 5 times (cable in the 80’s and 90’s, 22 Apr 2008 and 19 Feb 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A aging, out of shape form boxer reflects on his life and the path he chose over the years.

My Take on it – This is a film that is not easy to watch.

It is quite brutal and dark in everything that it does, yet the viewer still feels compelled to keep watching because it is such a fascinating perspective on life.

Robert De Niro plays the lead and won an Oscar for Best Actor because he easily transforms himself (In more ways than one) into this flawed man who had a gift for pugilism yet never knew where to draw the line.

We get to see how sometimes life imitates art and someone who is so forceful in the ring, can’t always reign himself in when he s outside of the ring.

The boxing scenes are choreographed amazingly and quite often it feels as if we are right there in the ring with them as it’s all happening.

This is not a film that I would choose to watch over and over but it is a perfect example of a biopic about someone that can be so informative despite its brutal truth of personal self destruction.

Bottom Line – This is a great movie largely due to the amazing transformative performance by De Niro. The story itself is quite brutal and dark and shows sometimes how life can imitate art depending on the personalities involved.  The boxing scenes are well choreographed and you quite often feel as if you are in the ring right there with them.  There are many scenes are feel like roadside accident but despite the blood, we all can’t stop trying to catch a glimpse of what happens. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When the real Jake LaMotta saw the movie, he said it made him realize for the first time what a terrible person he had been. He asked the real Vicki LaMotta “Was I really like that?”. Vicki replied “You were worse.” (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Most definitely! Despite the fact that this is a dark and brutal film, De Niro’s performance makes it one that you have trouble looking away from.

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)


Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z


7 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Raging Bull (1980)

  1. Pingback: Oscar Best Acting Winners |

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