On This Day: Robert De Niro’s Iconic ‘Raging Bull’ Hits Theaters in 1980

by Madison Miller

“Go get ’em, champ. I’m da boss, I’m da boss, I’m da boss.”

Robert De Niro’s character, Jake LaMotta, chants the phrase as he is told that the auditorium is completely full of people ready to watch him fight.

He chants the ego-driven phrase while shadowboxing. It is a powerful, well-rounded moment near the end of the ’80s film “Raging Bull.”

40 Years Later for Hit De Niro Film

The film “Raging Bull” is one of the best films, according to critics. This sports movie creates a dynamic look at both drama and real-life events. Directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese, the film even helped Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty get discovered on the big screen.

Additionally, as one of the best sports movies ever made, it is one of De Niro’s strongest roles. The film is turning 40 today and fans are rejoicing in the epic boxing hit-film.

In the movie, De Niro stars as Jake LaMotta, who is a boxing middleweight champion. Besides telling his epic story in the ring, it explores his personality, his relationships, and his growth as a person. The Italian-American boxer lived with self-destructive tendencies that led to a jealous rage that destroyed his relationship with friends and his wife and family.

Fans and Critics Love ‘Raging Bull’

The film earned De Niro an Academy Award in 1981. The film also earned eight Oscar nominations. It won Best Actor for De Niro and Best Editing. Now, it is Scorsese’s magnus opus. It was the first film to be preserved in the National Film Registry.


Legendary film critic Roger Ebert has said in the past that he considers it one of the best films made.

The list he came up with included films like “Raging Bull,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Vertigo,” and “Tokyo Story.”

“Many would choose ‘Taxi Driver’ as Scorsese’s greatest film, but I believe ‘Raging Bull’ is his best and most personal, a film he says in some ways saved his life. It is the greatest cinematic expression of the torture of jealousy–his ‘Othello,'” Ebert wrote.

Now, fans are rejoicing in the classic ’80s film that celebrates a huge anniversary.