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The 50 Greatest Sports Movies
We rank the very best sports films

Back Page 50 of 50  

Raging Bull (1980)

DIRECTOR Martin Scorsese
STARS Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Frank Vincent

Martin Scorsese famously said that the only person who had the right idea about boxing in the movies was Buster Keaton. There is a lovely irony that Scorsese, a sickly asthmatic child, has made one of the greatest ever sports movies. Researching the fight game, he only went to three bouts but saw sights he turned into indelible images; blood dripping from the top rope, a blood-filled sponge squeezed over a boxer's back. Rather than a TV spectator's view, he put the camera in the ring, bobbing and weaving, and used every trick in the book — slow motion, dolly zooms, razor sharp editing, smashing melons and tomatoes to replicate punching noises — to make you feel the experience of a round with Jake La Motta (De Niro). There are only 12 minutes of boxing in the picture, but few sports films replicate the experience of their sport with such unflinching veracity as this.
Read Empire's review

QUICK POLL Should Raging Bull be at #1 on our list?
Yes! The perfect choice.

The Stats
Middleweight boxing
Jake La Motta, Sugar Ray Robinson
In the 13th round against Sugar Ray Robinson, La Motta lets Robinson beat him to a pulp, buckling at the knees, holding onto the rope with all his might. As the Ref stops the fight, La Motta stumbles over to the victor and taunts him: "You never got me down Ray. You hear me? You never got me down."
La Motta lets himself get orally turned on by his teenage girlfriend Vickie (Moriarty) but then stops her. "I gotta fight Robinson," he tells her. "I can't fool around." He then retreats to the bathroom to pour ice-cold water on his genitals. It's a form of of warm up exercise but not for everyone.
Back Page 50 of 50  


Have your say Agree with the list? Which sports movie would you add to the list? Register or login now to have your say.

Your Comments

1 Underdog film
Dodgeball certainly remains one of the classic underdog films, not just for its inspirational value, but its usual comedy, too. And perhaps some of the others could make this list too: ranker-film Read More

Posted on Wednesday June 18, 2014, 18:51 by Imperion

2 See Also
Karate Kid, The Waterboy, The foot fist way, Hot rod, Caddy Shack, The mighty ducks, coach carter, blades of glory, mean machine, leatherheads, the ringer, nacho libre, kicking and screaming, baseketball, remember the titans, brians song, don king: only in america, cinderella man, million dollar baby, somebody up there likes me, the boxer, knuckle, bend it like beckham, fever pitch, zidane Read More

Posted on Saturday September 15, 2012, 18:42 by bnicholson50

3 RE: What the Hell!?
l largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers. ow exactly does Chaplin, in 1915, skewer films that are very very far from being made and poking fun at sports clichés that do not yet exist? Read More

Posted on Wednesday July 25, 2012, 00:42 by Evil_Bob

4 RE: Rocky - third place
BASEketball should totally be in here. Okay it's not a real sport, but it is a sport movie. And it's funny as shit wise a pretty damn solid list. (Rocky 2-4 should be included as well, but maybe that's being a bit greedy...) Read More

Posted on Tuesday July 24, 2012, 13:55 by Whistler

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