Raging Bull (1980)
The premise: The fourth collaboration between 79-year-old director Martin Scorsese and his 79-year-old muse, Robert De Niro, was named the best sports movie in history by the American Film Institute, and the fourth best sports movie in history. Any gender. De Niro gained 60 pounds to play Italian-American middleweight Jake LaMotta, whose life is marred by intense jealousy, rage and insecurity, all of which torpedo his relationship with his wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty, 61) and his brother Joey ( a then relatively unknown Joe Pesci, 79).
The Technical Knockout: Paul Schrader, 76, and Mardik Martin’s screenplay is running at full steam, but what really makes the film stand out is Michael Chapman’s stark black-and-white photography; Esquire’s Dom Nero writes that “every boxing match [devasta] the senses like a somber Renaissance painting come to life”.