INTRODUCTION: Robert De Niro's film portrayal of the former world middleweight boxing champion Jake La Motta in "Raging Bull" has made him favourite for the best actor award in this year's Hollywood Oscars.
(MONO THROUGHOUT) GV (MUTE) La Motta and Dauthuille exchanging blows
GV La Motta knocks Dauthuille to canvas (MUTE)
GV La Motta celebrates (MUTE)
CU and GV La Motta hit. Fight with caption (2 shots)
CU AND GV La Motta receives punishment (2 shots)
SV AND GV La Motta fights back (8 shots)
CU's La Motta knocks out Dauthuille
GV's Dauthuille fails to get up (2 shots)
SV La Motta celebrates victory
LIBRARY FILM AND TELERECORDING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Robert De Niro's film portrayal of the former world middleweight boxing champion Jake La Motta in "Raging Bull" has made him favourite for the best actor award in this year's Hollywood Oscars. The film directed by Martin Scorsese, has been nominated for a host of Oscars including best film and best director. In real life, La Motta held the title for nearly 20 months from June 1949 until February 1951 when he lost his crown to the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson. One of his most bruising, and, some would say typical, fights was against challenger Laurent Dauthuille from France in Detroit in 1950.
SYNOPSIS: La Motta was at the height of his powers when he met the Frenchman. It was something of a revenge match for the aptly named "Bronx Bull". In 1949, Dauthuille had defeated the rising La Motta in the tenth round in a bruising encounter in Montreal. But La Motta now had the world title behind him and was determined to prove he was champion. Even so, he went into the last round needing a knock-out to save the title, according to ring experts. And he proceeded to do just that. It was a win which took him to the pinnacle of world boxing.
But as Martin Scorsese's film show the triumphs in the ring took a heavy toll on his personal life. La Motta received heavy punishment in pursuit of his title and also had to live under a stigma. In 1947 it was widely accepted that he accepted a bribe to lose a fight with Billy Fox another up and coming prospect.
The film "Raging Bull" explores La Motta's complex personality. It shows how his nature inside the ring affected those who had to live with him outside. It is also an attempt to show the motivating forces behind a fighter and suggests that the brutality in the ring continued behind the glamourous facade in the domestic life of the successful champion.
For La Motta, whose crowning achievement came some 30 years ago, the film will be a second chance of fame. For Scorsese and all those connected with the film it will probably mean a host of Oscars and a place in Hollywood history.