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Jake LaMotta is the main protagonist of the 1980 film Raging Bull, directed by Martin Scorsese.
He was played by Robert De Niro, who also portrayed Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, David "Noodles" Aaronson in Once Upon a Time in America, Al Capone in The Untouchables, Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, Max Cady in Cape Fear, Frankenstein's Monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Dwight Hansen in This Boy's Life, Ace in Casino, Neil McCauley in Heat, Gil Renard in The Fan, Louis Gara in Jackie Brown, Fearless Leader in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinikle, Don Lino in Shark Tale, and Senator John McLaughlin in Machete.
and based on the real life boxer of the same name.
Between 1941 and 1951, Jake LaMotta was a successful boxer, coached by his brother, Joey. Early on in the film, Jake is shown to be abusive towards his wife for not cooking his steak fast enough. He would regularly cheat on his wife and one time when he went out against her wishes, he met a young girl named Vicki. As Jake broke up with his wife, he started to date Vicki and they later married. Despite his new marriage, Jake was not satisfied as he feared that Vicki fancied other men. In the ring, Jake's boxing style was aggressive. An example of this is when he fought Tony Janiro and Jake was said to have "punched [Janiro's] nose to the other side of his face". This was out of sexual jealousy since Vicki commented that the Janiro looked cute.
It turned out that Joey was in contact with mob boss Tommy Como, who told Joey that Jake would have to take a dive if he wanted a shot at the championship title. Jake did not bother to put up a fight in his next match with Billy Fox, causing him to be suspended on suspicion of throwing the fight. Despite his suspension, Jake finally wins the middleweight championship against Marcel Cerdan in 1949.
While he was successful in the boxing ring, his animalistic behaviour destroyed his life outside. By 1950, Jake was extremely jealous and paranoid of his wife having sexual relationships with other men, including Joey. As such, Jake was abusive towards Vicki and regularly beat her up. One day, Jake interrogated Vicki as to whether she had sex with Joey. Vicki hid from Jake in the bathroom and Jake forced his way in. Jake beat Vicki some more, and she sarcastically admitted the affair and screamed that she had sex with the whole neighbourhood. This caused Jake to fly into a rage and gave Joey a brutal beating in his own house and in front of his family. After this incident, Jake managed to convince Vicki to stay with him, but Jake and Joey stopped speaking to each other and this took a toll of Jake's boxing career. Jake lost his final match in 1951 and retired soon after. Vicki still stayed with Jake only for the money. In 1956, Vicki had enough of Jake and left him, taking their kids with her.
Following his retirement, Jake became a nightclub owner and started a comedy career. His comedy was unpopular, and he was often heckled. By 1957, things started to go wrong for Jake when he unwittingly allowed 14 year old girls into his club. He was arrested and jailed for this. During is prison sentence, Jake started to realise he was being punished for his bad actions and pounded the walls of his cell in sorrow. In 1958, Jake met his enstranged brother Joey. Following an awkward meeting, the two finally forgive each other and they hugged. The film ends with Jake preparing for a comedy routine.