Paul (Joseph) Schrader Colin L. Westerbeck, Jr. - Essay

Colin L. Westerbeck, Jr.

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The end of] Raging Bull is a continuation of the scene with which the film begins, one where the aging Jake La Motta … rehearses a nightclub act he does after retiring from the ring. The scene is like a variation on that old cliché of having the fighter's life pass before his eyes in flashback between the counts of nine and ten, and this isn't the only instance in which the film seems to rely on fight-film conventions. Scorsese and at least one of his scriptwriters, Paul Schrader …, always work very much in the shadow of movie history. They're aware of the many ways that La Motta's story follows the standard plot line of boxing classics like Body and Soul. Like John Garfield in Robert Rossen's...

(The entire section is 927 words.)