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Rumble Fish
     

Rumble Fish

4.6 5
Director: Francis Ford Coppola, Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane

Cast: Francis Ford Coppola, Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane

 

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One of two S.E. Hinton novels Francis Ford Coppola directed in 1983, Rumble Fish is a stylized black-and-white film about the death of gang culture in a rough-and-tumble town full of stunted youths. The central character is the strutting Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a foul-mouthed lunkhead clad in sweaty tank tops, who passes his time at the billiards hall

Overview

One of two S.E. Hinton novels Francis Ford Coppola directed in 1983, Rumble Fish is a stylized black-and-white film about the death of gang culture in a rough-and-tumble town full of stunted youths. The central character is the strutting Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a foul-mouthed lunkhead clad in sweaty tank tops, who passes his time at the billiards hall waiting for "something" to happen in his life. That something might be the return of his brother, known only as the Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), from exile in California. Charismatic and intelligent, the Motorcycle Boy once led numerous wide-eyed followers into battle, into the "rumbles" once commonplace in town. Rusty James wants to take over that role, but lacks the smarts necessary for leadership, nearly getting himself killed in an opening fight. The Motorcycle Boy stops the fight with equal parts efficiency and cool, and Rusty James seems delighted by his brother's return. But it quickly becomes clear that a local cop (William Smith) is still gunning for the Motorcycle Boy, waiting for him to slip up, even though the mysterious youth has developed a weary philosophy of life and a skeptical view of his former power. As the Motorcycle Boy seems more and more distant, lost in deaf and color-blind fugues, Rusty James gets into greater trouble, running afoul of his girlfriend (Diane Lane) and friends (Nicolas Cage, Christopher Penn, Vincent Spano), and seeming on the path to destruction. ~ Derek Armstrong

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Rumble Fish is one of a number of projects Francis Ford Coppola has agreed to direct during his long career either to help finance a future project or cover for the excesses of a past one. But that doesn't mean it was just tossed off; in fact, Coppola comes across as downright ambitious, shooting in black-and-white with all manner of camera angles, close-ups, and extreme depths of field. The result is a stylized fairy tale about wasted youth, rebelliousness, and the desire to exude cool, which received critical attention for its original production design. Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke are excellent choices to portray the central hothead delinquent and the detached brother he idolizes, both archetypes in a nowhere town that recalls the small Texas hamlet of Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show. Coppola was of course able to command a first-rate supporting cast that included some of his past collaborators (including Laurence Fishburne, then known as "Larry", and Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now) as well as early appearances from several future Hollywood mainstays (Nicolas Cage and Chris Penn). But the acting is hardly the focus in this film, as Coppola is far more interested in creating a fantasy world involving shadow play, time-lapse photography, and thematic bursts of color breaking up the chiaroscuro design. While occasionally pretentious, Rumble Fish is a visually interesting slice of dead-end America life, featuring a cast that will forever register it as a curiosity worth seeking out.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2017
UPC:
0715515196314
Original Release:
1983
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Time:
1:35:00
Sales rank:
7,738

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matt Dillon Rusty James
Mickey Rourke Motorcycle Boy
Diane Lane Patty
Dennis Hopper Father
Diana Scarwid Cassandra
Herb Rice Pool Player
Vincent Spano Steve
William Smith Patterson
Sofia Coppola Actor
Dominot Patty's Sister
Lance William Guecia Actor
Michael Higgins Harrigan
S.E. Hinton Prostitute in Street
Bob Maras Actor
Kristi Somers Actor
Tracey Walter Actor
Glenn Withrow Bitt
Emmett Brown Actor
Nicolas Cage Smokey
Laurence Fishburne Midget
Tom Waits Benny
Chris Penn B.J. Jackson

Technical Credits
Francis Ford Coppola Director,Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Marjorie Bowers Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephen H. Burum Cinematographer
Doug Claybourne Producer
Stewart Copeland Score Composer
Gian-Carlo Coppola Associate Producer
S.E. Hinton Original Story,Screenwriter
Barry Malkin Editor
Fred Roos Producer
Michael Smuin Choreography
Dean Tavoularis Production Designer
David Valdes Asst. Director

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