Rusty James is an up-and-coming street hoodlum, lamenting the salad days of the gangs when his older brother, The Motorcycle Boy, ran things as President of the Packers. Before disappearing two months earlier, Motorcycle Boy outlawed gang wars, or “rumbles,” by a treaty. When Rusty James breaks the treaty in a fight with Biff Wilcox, and gets seriously hurt, his brother suddenly appears. Distracted, delusional and enigmatic, his brother seems haunted and disinterested in his past as a “neighborhood novelty.” Over the next few days, James’ dead end life of posturing seems to fall apart; he loses his girlfriend, his friends, his own sense of confidence. The future looms like a dark, unknown wall locking James in. Through Motorcycle Boy’s example, he finally learns to break free from others’ expectations, and his own inner demons.
He was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father was a composer and musician Carmine Coppola. His mother had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as soundman, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola’s first feature film. During the next four years, Coppola was involved in a variety of script collaborations, including writing an adaptation of This Property is Condemned, by Tennessee Williams (with Fred Coe and Edith Sommer), and screenplays for Is Paris Burning?, and Patton, the film for which Coppola won a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. In 1966, Coppola’s 2nd film brought him critical acclaim and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1969, Coppola and George… read more
One of Coppola's most unfairly underrated films. I remember him saying that he "wanted to make an art film for kids." I was in my late teens when "Rumble Fish" was released and thought it poetically captured the sense of fleeting youth and the perils of living life aimlessly. Superb performances across the board, and some of the best B/W cinematography of the 1980s (along with "The Elephant Man" and "Raging Bull.")
A propulsive survey of scores focusing on the thriller: procedurals, bank heists, neo-noirs, spy films, giallos, and sci-fi mind-games.