Robert DeNiro received an Oscar for his stark portrayal of LaMotta in the film directed by Martin Scorsese. To portray LaMotta, DeNiro learned the sport from the champ. The film was true in its depiction of LaMotta's ruthlessness, and DeNiro was applauded for his performance. The black and white film received seven other nominations, and it is considered by many to be the best film of the 1980s. It showed how LaMotta's jealousy and passions fueled his intensity in the ring. He once beat an opponent to a pulp because his teenaged wife Vicki (Cathy Moriarity) called him "good looking."
Nominations went to Joe Pesci, who plays LaMotta's brother, for supporting actor, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. The brutality of the fight scenes is emphasized by the sound and visual effects. Tubes containing simulated sweat and blood were hidden in the boxers' hair, realistically releasing the fluids when blows were landed. Scorsese slowed the speed in filming scenes in which LaMotta became angry or paranoid, and the scene most remembered is when DeNiro/LaMotta, sitting before a dressing room mirror, repeats Marlon Brando's line from On the Waterfront, "I coulda been a contender." LaMotta's autobiography was adapted for film by Mardik Martin and Paul Schrader.
- Jake LaMotta - Further Information
- Jake LaMotta - Personal Tragedy And The Later Years
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