Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray; nay, when it strikes on a kindred heart, like the converged light on a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness. It is not perfected till it is shared.Jane Porter
- Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Jake LaMotta (book), Joseph Carter (book), Peter Savage (book), Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin
- I remember those cheers
They still ring in my ears
And for years they'll remain in my thoughts.
Cuz one night I took off my robe
And what'd I do?
I forgot to wear shorts.
I recall every fall, every hook, every jab;
The worst way a guy could get rid of his flab.
As you know, my life was a jab...
Though I'd rather hear you cheer,
When I delve into Shakespeare.
"A Horse, a Horse, my Kingdom for a Horse,"
I haven't had a winner in six months.
I know I'm no Olivier
But if he fought Sugar Ray,
He would say
That the thing ain't the ring,
It's the play.
So gimme a stage
Where this bull here can rage.
And though I can fight,
I'd much rather recite
- Friends. They're in a huddle. Big business meeting. By the pool, they sit around and talk. Big deals. They make sure she can hear. Big Man. Get the fuck outta here. Big shot. Get 'em all in a back room, smack 'em around, no more big shot, without his gun. They're tough guys. They're all tough guys....Big Shot.
- [to Vickie] You know how beautiful you are? Anybody ever tell you how beautiful? Yeah, tell you all the time.
- [to Vickie] You ever think of anyone else when we're in bed?...You know, like when we made love?
- Who's an animal? Your mother's an animal, ya son of a bitch.
- I'm gonna win. There's no way I'm goin' down. I don't go down for nobody.
- I take the dive. What more do they want?...They want me to go down too? Well, I ain't goin' down, no, not for nobody.
- [After being beaten half to death by Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake is still standing.] Hey, Ray, I never went down, man! You never got me down, Ray! You hear me, you never got me down.
- It's over for me. Boxing's over for me. I'm through. I'm tired of worryin' about weight all the time. That's all I used to think about was weight, weight, weight. After a while, you know, you realize other things in life. I mean, I'm very grateful. Boxing's been good to me: I've got a nice house, I've got three great kids, I've got a wonderful, beautiful wife - what more could I ask for?
- That's the kind of girl that you want to bring home to your father - especially if he's a degenerate. Ah, seriously folks, it's a thrill to be standing here before you wonderful people tonight. Well, in fact, it's a thrill to be standing.
- That reminds me of two friends of mines. One was married, one was single. The married guy tells the single guy: 'Oh, what's the matter with you? What's the matter with you? Look at me. And look at you. And look at me. And look at you. Let me get on with it. When I come home at night, my wife's at the door with a tall drink in her hand. And she gives me a nice hot bath. Then she gives me a nice rub-down. Then she makes passionate love to me. Then she makes me a nice dinner. What more could you ask for? You oughta try that.' The other friend says: 'Hey, that sounds great. When does your wife get home?'
- Why? Why? Why?...Why'd you do it? Why? You're so stupid...I'm not an animal. Why do you treat me like this? I'm not so bad.
- Guy comes home, finds his wife in bed with another guy. The wife says, 'Look who's here. Big mouth. Now the whole neighborhood'll know.'
- [Last lines, to himself] Go get 'em, champ. I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss... I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss, I'm da boss.
- What are ya thinkin' about? Ya keep lookin'. Where the fuck you going? You're dead! You're married! You're a married man, it's all over. Leave the young girls for me.
- [on the phone, not realizing it's his brother Jake who's called him] Salvy, this ain't funny anymore. Is it you? I know somebody's there. I can hear you breathin'. You listenin'? Your mother sucks fuckin' big fuckin' elephant dicks. You got that?
- He gave you the old good news/bad news routine. The good news is - you're gonna get the shot at the title. And the bad news is - they want ya to do the old flip-flop for 'em.
- Irma: I'm not gonna be here when you get back, you fuckin' bunch of guineas, you're always hangin' out together. Why don't you fuckin' stop? You're not goin' on business. You're gonna suck each other off, right? Suck 'em, suck 'em baby. You fuckin' queer. Faggot.
- Tommy Como: [After Janiro fight] He ain't pretty no more.
- Vickie: [to Jake] I fucked all of them! What do you want me to say?...I fucked all of them - Tommy, Salvy, your brother! All of them! I sucked your brother's cock, what do you want me to say?...I sucked his cock and everybody else on the fucking street, too. What do you want? You're nothin' but a fat pig, selfish fool! [Jake viciously slaps her again] His fucking cock is bigger than yours, too!
- Salvy: That shit would've never happened if Tommy was over there takin' care of him. You know he's gotta be with Tommy to fight in New York to get a title shot. I mean, he's gonna wind up fuckin' punch-drunk, your brother.
- Joey: I know.
- Salvy: You know. You gotta make him understand that it's the best thing for everybody involved.
- Joey: I said, I know.
- Salvy: You know, but you gotta make him know. You gotta tell him and make him understand.
- Jake: Is it done?
- Irma: No, it's not done.
- Jake: Don't overcook it. You overcook it, it's no good. It defeats its own purpose.
- [Irma gives Jake a look.]
- Jake: What are you doin'? I just said don't overcook it. You're overcookin' it, bring it over.
- Irma: You want your steak?
- Jake: Bring it over. Bring it over! It's like a piece of charcoal! Bring it over here!
- Irma: You want your steak!?
- Jake: YEAH, RIGHT NOW!!
- [Irma stabs the steak and slams it on his plate.]
- Irma: Okay. There's your stupid steak. Can't wait for it to be done?
- Jake: No, I can't wait.
- Irma: Good! Okay? Happy? Happy!?
- Jake: That's all I want. That's all I want!
- Irma: That's...there! No, more! There!
- [Jake violently upends the table.]
- Jake: Botherin' me about a steak, huh?
- Irma: That's GREAT!!
- Jake: You're botherin' me about the steak!?
- Irma: YEAH!!
- Jake: What's wrong with me? My hands.
- Joey: Your hands? What about 'em?
- Jake: I got these small hands. I got a little girl's hands.
- Joey: I got 'em too. What's the difference?
- Jake: You know what that means? No matter how big I get, no matter who I fight, no matter what I do, I ain't never gonna fight Joe Louis.
- Joey: Yeah, that's right. He's a heavy-weight. You're a middle-weight. What of it?
- Jake: I ain't ever gonna get a chance to fight the best there is. And you know somethin'. I'm better than him. I ain't never gonna get a chance. You're askin' what's wrong.
- Joey: But you're crazy to even think about somethin' like that...
- Jake: Come on, hit me. Harder. Harder. Come on, don't be a little faggot. Come on. Hit me. You throw a punch like you take it up the ass. Come on. Harder.
- Joey: What the fuck do you want? That's hard. What are you trying to prove?
- Joey: They only came up here because Tommy told 'em to come up and try to help us.
- Jake: Whatsa matter with you? Help who? Whatsa matter with you?...Help me by takin' my money? Is that what you're talkin' about - takin' my money? I'm here breakin' my ass, not them. Don't ever bring 'em up here again, ya hear me?
- Joey: She ain't the kind of girl you just fuck and forget about, this girl.
- Jake: Joey, how many times I gotta tell ya? Why're you always cursin' when I'm talkin' to you? Don't do it around me. Do it around your friends...
- Joey: She's a, the kind of girl you bang and forget about - she's not like that. You gotta spend time with her, get involved, you know...
- Jake: Did you bang her?
- Joey: No.
- Jake: Tell me the truth.
- Joey: I just told you the truth. I tell you the truth the first time. You don't have to ask me again. I never do that. I always tell you the truth. If I did it, you would know. [Joey pauses.] ...I took her out a couple of times.
- Jake: You went with her and you didn't try to fuck her?
- Joey: I try to fuck anything.
- Vickie: You sure we should be doin' this?
- Jake: Come here.
- Vickie: You said never to touch ya before a fight.
- Jake: Come here, before I give ya a beatin'.
- Vickie: You said I couldn't. You've been good for two weeks.
- Jake: Come here.
- Joey: They only gave him that fuckin' decision because he's goin' in the Army next week. That's the only reason.
- Jake: I knocked him down. I don't know what else I gotta do. I don't know what I gotta do...
- Joey: You won and they robbed ya. They're miserable because their mothers take it up the fuckin' ass, that's why.
- Jake: I've done a lot of bad things, Joey. Maybe it's comin' back to me. Who knows? I'm a jinx maybe...
- Joey: Do you want a title shot?
- Jake: What am I - what am I, a circus over here?...What are ya doin'?
- Joey: You're killin' yourself for three years now, right? There's nobody left for you to fight. Everybody's afraid to fight you. OK. Along comes this kid Janiro. He don't know any better. He's a young kid, up and coming, he'll fight anybody. Good! You fight him...Let's say you lose because of your weight. Are they gonna think you're not as tough as you are - you're not the same fighter? Good! They'll match you with all those guys that were afraid of matchin' with you before. What happens? You'll kill 'em. And they gotta give you a title shot.
- Joey: Now let's say you win, you beat Janiro. Which is, definitely, you should beat him. Right?...Right?...They still gotta give you a shot at the title. You know why?
- Jake: Why?
- Joey: Because the same thing as before - there's nobody left. There ain't nobody around. They gotta give you the shot. You understand? If you win, you win. If you lose, you still win. There's no way you can lose. And you do it on your own, just the way you wanted to do, without any help from anybody. Do ya understand? Just get down to 155 pounds - you fat bastard. You stop eatin'!
- Jake: [about Salvy] Are you interested in him?
- Vickie: No, why would I be interested in him?
- Jake: You're sure you're not interested in him?
- Vickie: Yeah.
- Jake: In other words, you're not interested in him, but you could be interested in somebody?
- Vickie: Jake, don't start, huh?
- Jake: Hey, shut up, or I'm gonna smack your face.
- Jake: ...I'm gonna open his hole like this. Please excuse my French. I'm gonna make him suffer. I'm gonna make his mother wish she never had him - make him into dog meat...He's a nice, a nice kid. He's a pretty kid, too. I mean I don't know, I gotta problem if I should fuck him or fight him.
- Tommy: Fuck him or fight him.
- Salvy: If you're really in love with that fucker, just watch out.
- Jake: By who?
- Salvy: Janiro.
- Jake: You mean, you want me to get him to fuck you?
- Salvy: Me?
- Jake: Yeah.
- Salvy: No, I don't want him to fuck me.
- Jake: I could do that easily.
- Salvy: How ya gonna do that?
- Jake: Because I'll get yuz both in a ring, I'll give yuz both a f--kin' beatin', ya both can fuck each other.
- Salvy: Ah, I'll get all full of blood.
- Jake: You're used to that.
- Jake: She said he's pretty.
- Joey: Yeah, well, you make him ugly.
- Vickie: I feel like I'm a prisoner. I can't walk, I look at somebody the wrong way I get smacked...I'm tired of havin' to turn around and havin' both of yuz up my ass all the time...I'm twenty years old, I gotta go home and sleep by myself every night?
- Joey: What the fuck did you marry him for?
- Vickie: 'Cause I love him.
- Joey: You do?
- Vickie: Yeah, I love him. Well, what am I supposed to do? This guy - he don't even wanna fuck me.
- Joey: He's just been a contender too long. He'll be all right as soon as he gets his shot and then everything will be OK...
- Vickie: Jake's never gonna be champ. Too many people hate him.
- Joey: You're makin' an asshole out of my brother.
- Tommy: Listen to me. Now, Jake - the guy's become an embarrassment. He's embarrassin' me with certain people. And I'm lookin' very bad. I can't deliver a kid from my own god-damned neighborhood. What is it with him? Why does he have to make it so hard on himself, for Christ's sake? He comes to me - I'll make it easier for him. The man's got a head of rock.
- Joey: You know, it's hard to explain, Tommy. Jack respects you. I mean, he don't even say hello to anybody. You know, you he talks to, he likes you. It's just that, uh, when he gets somethin' on his mind, you know, he's got a hard head, he likes to do things his own way. I mean, Jesus Christ he'd come off the cross sometimes and he don't give a fuck. He's gonna do what he wants to do. He wants to make it on his own, you know. Thinks he can make it on his own.
- Tommy: Make it on his own. He thinks he's gonna walk in there and become champion on his own. Huh?...he's got no respect for nobody. He doesn't listen to nobody...He doesn't respect anybody. Now you do this for me, you understand? You tell him, I don't care how colorful he is or great he is. He could beat all the Sugar Ray Robinsons and the Tony Janiros in the world, but he ain't gonna get a shot at that title - not without us he ain't. Now you're a smart kid, you go to him...
- Jake: I know she's doin' somethin'. I just wanna catch her once. Just once.
- Joey: Hey Jack, you wanna do yourself a favor? Bust her fuckin' hole, throw her out, either that or live with her and let her ruin your life, 'cause that's what's happenin'.
- Jake: I heard some things...Did Salvy fuck Vickie?
- Joey: What?
- Jake: Did Salvy fuck Vickie?
- Joey: Now Jack, don't start your shit...
- Jake: Joey I asked ya, didn't I ask ya to keep an eye on her?
- Joey: And I did keep an eye on her, yes I did.
- Jake: How come you give him a beatin'?
- Joey: I told you that. I told you what that was all about. That it had nothin' to do with you. He, he thinks he's a wise guy now.
- Jake: Joey, don't lie to me.
- Joey: I'm not lying.
- Jake: What do I look like to you, huh?
- Joey: Hey, I'm your brother. You're supposed to believe me. Don't you trust me?
- Jake: No I don't.
- Joey: Oh you don't? That's nice.
- Jake: I don't trust you when it comes to her. I don't trust nobody. Now tell me what happened.
- Joey: I told you exactly what happened. He got out of line, I slapped him around. Tommy straightened it all out, and it's all over.
- Jake: Don't you give me that look, Joey. I gotta accept your answer, you know. But I'm tellin' you now, if I hear anything, I swear on mother, I'm gonna kill somebody. I'm gonna kill somebody Joey.
- Joey: Well, go ahead and kill everybody. You're the tough guy. Go kill people. Kill Vickie. Kill Salvy. Kill Tommy Como. Kill me while you're at it, what do I care? You're killin' yourself the way you eat. You're a fat fuck. Look at ya.
- Jake: What d'ya mean? I don't understand. What d'ya mean, kill you? You?
- Joey: Me. Kill me. Start here. Kill me first. Do me a fuckin' favor, 'cause you're drivin' me crazy...
- Jake: Excuse me, what d'ya mean by 'you,' though?
- Joey: So? What does that mean? It don't mean nothin'.
- Jake: You don't even know what you meant by 'you.'
- Joey: Don't mean nothin'.
- Jake: Joey, that meant somethin'. You mentioned Tommy, you mentioned Salvy, you mentioned you. You included 'you' with them. You could have said anybody but you said 'you' and them.
- Joey: You really let this girl ruin your life. Look at ya. She really did some job on ya. You know how fuckin' nuts you are? Look what she did to you.
- Jake: You fucked my wife?
- Joey: What?!
- Jake: You fucked my wife?
- Joey: How could you ask me a question like that? How could you ask me? I'm your brother. You ask me that? Where do you get your balls big enough to ask me that?
- Jake: Just tell me.
- Joey: I'm not answerin' ya. I'm not gonna answer that. It's stupid.
- Jake: You're very smart Joey. You give me all these answers, but you ain't givin' me the right answer. I'm askin' ya again. Did you or did you not?
- Joey: I'm not gonna answer. That's a sick question, you're a sick fuck, and I'm not that sick that I'm gonna answer it. I'm not tellin' ya anything. I'm going to leave. If Lenore calls, tell her I went home. I'm not stayin' in this nuthouse with ya. You're a sick bastard. I feel sorry for you, I really do. You know what you should do - try a little more fuckin' and a little less eatin'. You won't have troubles upstairs in your bedroom and you won't take it out on me and everybody else. Do you understand, you fuckin' wacko? You're crackin' up! Fuckin' screwball, ya.
- Robert De Niro — Jake LaMotta
- Joe Pesci — Joey LaMotta
- Cathy Moriarty - Vickie Thailer
- Lori Anne Flax — Irma
- Nicholas Colasanto — Tommy Como
- Frank Vincent - Salvy Batts