A Comparison of Violence in “Rocky I” and “Raging Bull”
The films “Rocky I” (1976) and “Raging Bull” (1980) are both about boxing heroes. However, their treatment of violence is very distinct. While “Rocky I” is a classic underdog story in which the hero eventually defeats his opponent through determination and hard work, “Raging Bull” is a much more dark and brutal film that explores the destructive nature of violence, both in and out of the ring.
2. Comparison of violence in “Rocky I” and “Raging Bull”
2.1. Depiction of violence
The violence in “Rocky I” is mainly seen during the boxing matches themselves, and is therefore mostly limited to punches being thrown and people getting hit. This is in contrast to “Raging Bull”, which features a number of scenes of brutal violence outside of the ring, such as when Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) brutally beats up his brother Joey (Joe Pesci) or when he threatens to kill his wife Theresa (Cathy Moriarty).
The violence in “Rocky I” is also generally less graphic than in “Raging Bull”. For example, when Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) first fights Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), we see blood spurting from Apollo’s mouth after he gets hit, but this is about as bad as it gets. In “Raging Bull”, on the other hand, we see numerous close-ups of De Niro’s swollen and bruised face, as well as scenes where he is visibly bleeding from cuts.
2. 2. Different approaches to violence
The two films also have different approaches to violence in general. “Rocky I” mainly uses violence as a way to create suspense and excitement, as well as to show how determined Rocky is to win. In contrast, the violence in “Raging Bull” serves a more symbolic purpose; it is often shown in slow motion or with music playing over it, which gives it a more dreamlike quality and makes it feel more like an internal struggle than an external one. This is particularly evident in the scene where Jake imagines himself killing Joey, which is shown entirely from Jake’s point of view and set to the song “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry.
In conclusion, while “Rocky I” and “Raging Bull” are both about boxing heroes, their treatment of violence is very distinct. “Rocky I” is a classic underdog story in which the hero eventually defeats his opponent through determination and hard work, while “Raging Bull” is a much more dark and brutal film that explores the destructive nature of violence, both in and out of the ring.
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