Rumble Fish [VHS]
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Product Description

The second of Francis Ford Coppola's films based on the popular juvenile novels of S.E. Hinton (the first being The Outsiders), Rumble Fish split critics into opposite camps: those who admired the film for its heavily stylized indulgence, and those who hated it for the very same reason. Whatever the response, it's clearly the work of a maverick director who isn't afraid to push the limits of his innovative talent. Filmed almost entirely in black and white with an occasional dash of color for symbolic effect, this tale of alienated youth centers on gang leader Rusty James (Matt Dillon) and his band of punk pals. Rusty's got a girlfriend (Diane Lane), an older brother named Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), and a drunken father (Dennis Hopper) who've all given up trying to straighten him out. He's best at making trouble, and he pursues that skill with an enthusiastic flair that eventually catches up with him. But it's not the whacked-out story here that matters--it's the uninhibited verve of Coppola's visual approach, which includes everything from time-lapse clouds to the kind of smoky streets and alleyways that could only exist in the movies. The supporting cast includes a host of fresh faces who went on to thriving careers, including Nicolas Cage, Christopher Penn, Vincent Spano, Laurence Fishburne, and musician Tom Waits. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Brilliantly Delivered!
    One of my favorite movies! A very passionate and emotional betrayal of white gangs and friendships of the modern age. A real kick butt movie! A must see!...more info
  • UNFORGETABLE!!! - 20 YEARS LATER
    I am in my early forties and when I look back at all of the movies I have seen in my life, a few stand out as unforgetable. Rumble Fish is one of them. It was a perfect role for Dillon who works with Rourke and Hopper in an amazingly trippy mood-fest!! The way Coppola filmed this one is rather unique and amazing - far from reality. But if you've been where the characters have been in real life, the method makes sense. You don't have to live it to feel it - because I know of straight, white-collar folks who have appreciated the complexity - BUT it helps to have been there. Congratulations to Coppola for creating a stylish, timeless treasure that movie fans are only now beginning to appreciate. For those who love to critique movies based on the norm and logic: pick this one up, sit back and let go for awhile....more info
  • Complex video which deepens understanding of the book
    This video was good but very deep. I think Matt Dillon was cast too old for the part but was good neverthe less....more info
  • Good Story
    the movie was good. it was done by the same author and director of the outsiders, so it has that kind of feel. there were parts that were kind of lame, but seeing an early movie for these actores starting out was fun, so it helped carry the movie....more info
  • Rumble Fish
    The book was excellent and so was the movie. I wish I could just watch it over and over again....more info
  • An underrated masterpiece(yes, been said already)
    This film was a complete surprise for me. I didn't expect it to be THAT good. I just bought it because of the soundtrack by Stewart Copeland(I'm a fan).

    I heard that the film itself isn't worth it. I heard it was a mistake. Well, I was surprised when found out how awesome it is!

    This should have been declared a classic. It has so much wisdom in it, so much things to tell you, that you'll have to view it multiple times to understand it fully. Also, the artistic style is unique and beautiful.

    Great job, Francis!...more info
  • Excellent casting !
    Dennis Hopper, Mickey Rourke and Matt Dillon are well cast as an alcoholic father and his two misfit sons down and out in an urban setting. Story centers around the frustrations of feeling trapped in a city with little hope of a better life. Matt Dillon's character, "Rusty James", idealizes the days when gangs battled often and his older brother, "Motorcycle Boy" (Mickey Rourke), was a gang leader and was considered the main problem by the police. "Motorcycle Boy" is an uninspired genius whose sanity is slipping away. He is fascinated by the Siamese fighting fish. They apparently symbolize inner city youth who fight for little or no reason at all. He believes the fish would not fight if they were in the river. Maybe the gangs wouldn't fight if they were out in the country? Nicholas Cage, Lawrence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Christopher Penn and Vincent Spano are an excellent supporting cast. Tom Waits has a small part and S.E. Hinton, who wrote the novel the film is based on, appears briefly....more info
  • Fish Out of Water
    I'm a Matt Dillon Fan. Coppola uses the beauty of Dillon's youthful face to explore adolescent rebellion. S.E. Hinton's story is again, greasers of a vague time period, maybe the late 60's, but her screenplay is anytime, Oklahoma City, which is amusing. This isn't Chicago or NYC, no; we're talking about mid-western kids in a city with maybe two hundred thousand. The well dressed, middle-class to upper class kids rumble with the low class greaser kids of the bad side of town. This is similar to Hinton and Coppola's The Outsiders. Hinton was a young teen when she wrote Outsiders and not much older when she wrote Rumble Fish. They are similar in the sense that all the drugs, booze, and sex are moralized over by a straight character, Steve, in Rumble Fish, the retard recorder of rumbles. Dillion and Mickey Rourke basically play themselves being so cool, they are a parody of juvenile delinquents, of a 1950's James Dean era. However, the cinematography, the indulgence in experimental film, the stylization of big city-every-town,in a way, it's all true, the hedonism of youth, but on the other hand, it could only happen on film with an unbelievable musical score by Stewart Copeland of The Police....more info
  • Experimental masterpiece
    Made back to back with the Outsiders, this film helped explain the complex story and emotions contained in S. E Hinton's novel Rumble Fish. The actors and actresses portrayed the characters admirably. However, I think 15 would have been a more suitable rating for this film....more info
  • give me a break...
    im sure ill here alot from this review but everyone giving this movie 5 stars i dont see how or why.have you people just been introduced to the movie world?this movie is awful between the bad acting and the annoying music playing during talking scenes its flat out frustrating.rusty james brother in this movie acts like a mental case for you peole that havent seen this he dies in the end (i just saved you an hour and a half of your life cause now you wont have to waste it on this crappy movie).between the bad music the bad acting and the plot/storyline going all over the place in this movie its seriously like being on a bad acid trip.what a waste of money and time on this one.ill donate mine to goodwill or the garbage can..not worthy of my movie collection....more info
  • The delusional Rusty James and his nameless brother.
    This movie isn't like most movies. It's not like "The Outsiders", even though it also stars Matt Dillon, is based on a book by S.E. Hinton, and directed is by Francis Ford Coppola. This movie stands by itself.

    Rumble Fish is the story of Rusty James (everyone calls him by his entire name, all the time) and his brother, "the Motorcycle Boy", who is Rusty James's idol. But they are two entirely different people. Nevermind that, Rusty James tries, and he never gets it right.

    Rumble Fish is shot entirely in black and white, and the special effects, camera angles, and scenes are surrealistic. Buy it. You'll love it. Even if it IS a bit wierd....more info

  • STRANGE MOVIE
    This was the response to the man at the movie store. I guess if you hadn't read the book you would think it was strange. Coppola uses a unique mixture of sound. You can tell how each character hears & interpets things. He also made the whole movie in black and white to symbolise the motorcycle boy's beeing color blind, and not being able to see any colors. I think the movie would be just fine with less swears, but I can see how that sets a mood. Coppola adds color to the RUMBLE FISH (other wise known as siemise fighting fish) These fish are shown throughout the movie in red, yellow, blue, purple, and other colors.This movie teaches you that just because everyone belives something it doesn't make it true. In this movie Everyone idolises The Motorcycle Boy. Even though Patterson(the cop) says they think he is something he isn't. Everyone wants to be like The Motorcycle Boy, even his brother, Rusty-James. In the end Patterson is write, no one really knew The Motorcycle Boy. He was alone. "In a bubble looking out at the world. Not belonging anywhere, and not haveing the desire to. The Motorcycle Boy was born with the ability to do anything, but not finding anything he wants to do. He would have made a good knight. He was born it the wrong era, and on the wrong side of the river." This ends up being what ends his life. Just like Rusty-James wanted he became just like him , only the Motorcycle boy no one knew came with it....more info
  • I really don't know what to say.
    I watched this movie today, and I really don't know what to say about it. The acting was pretty good and the beginning was really great but, I dunno. This movie ends up going nowhere, and as much as I'd like to say that I liked this movie, I just can't. I was very bored watching this movie, but I kept watching hoping it would get better. At the end I thought, well, it was ok and it could have been better. But I must say that the camerawork in this movie was amazing. A lot of closeups and a lot of the views were just breathtaking. If you're into good camerawork, check this one out....more info
  • An admirable movie!
    Pitifully certain mental maps tend to assign into steel patterns to certain directors . The innovativeness and unmeasured ambition are definitively seen with disdain. The case of Coppola in this sense (as Spielberg with The color Purple for instance) is emblematic. Coppola lived his own golden decade in the seventies with two sagas of the Godfather, Apocalypse now and The conversation. And then this superb filmmaker decides to undertake a personal vision absolutely inscribed inside the "author Cinema" .

    Rumble fish is the name of an aggressive fish from Indic ocean that, in captivity just can live isolated from its similar ones and does not even tolerate its own reflected image in a mirror. So taking into account, Coppola elaborates an essential metaphor with the accurate transposition of paradigms. All the archetypes are ambivalent and so the human nature too.

    Since that premise, Coppola will impress his own stylistic treatment. The reflected image in the mirror can be noticed through the claustrophobic universe of Rusty James (Matt Dillon); in this micro cosmos where the gangs, territorial strumpet , crime and punishment, fugue from the reality, Eros and Thanatos will become the main factors that will support this drama

    Of course we are talking a film deeply enriched by autobiographical memories. And again, the sequence of the stopped watches suggest us the frozen time; those youth dreams, the obsessive of narcissist leaderships, the tragedy of disconcert have remained isolated and covered by the time `s patina.

    That' s why this film must be watched with extreme attention and analyzed with expert nippers, because otherwise the fixed idea around what we wish to get from Coppola has nothing to do with his own intentions; so this frustration may induce us as the Rumble Fish to see a distorted image of our own hopes.


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  • young actors and actress

    THE APPEAL THAT THIS MOVIE HAS IS TO SEE THESE PEOPLE WHEN THEY WERE VERY YOUNG....more info
  • The Sixth Sense
    Intriguing review of inner fears in childhood and its surprising consequence in adult world. What seems to be a damned boy will finally be a sensitive heart: he really deserves an Oscar! Bruce Willis is, also, better here than in previous films. Unexpected end gives the story a plus. Excellent!...more info
  • Rumble Fish: A Classic Brawler
    I highly recommend this film. FFC has a rep as a great filmmaker, and his skills are apparent in this picture. If you've ever wondered what makes a great director, see this movie. The acting is so good you don't really notice it. The soundtrack will make you dance. If you haven't seen "The Outsiders," I recommend that film and this as a double feature. If you have seen "The Outsiders," you'll love this movie. It's arty, sad, and powerful. Hope you enjoy it! The soundtrack by Stewart Copeland works wonders on its own....more info
  • Smith and Dillon...Rough, Tough and Natural
    Bill Smith performs his role as a local cop with a bad attitude, and teamed with Rourke and Dillon, this movie brought tears to my eyes. Watching this movie seemed very realistic for me, the emotions portrayed by the actors seemed so real I almost forgot I was watching a movie....more info
  • Cornwall,NY Sixth Grader
    I am a sixth grader. The book the outsiders is a very good book. It is good if like fighting and some action. It is about a kid named rusty James trying to live up to his brothers' reputation. His brother the motorcycle boy would always get out of trouble. But as read rusty James gets in some much trouble his brother can't get him out of it....more info
  • "He's like royalty in exile..."
    Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish was booed by its audience when it debuted at the New York Film Festival and in turn was viciously crucified by North American critics upon general release. They resisted the allure of such a dreamy, atmospheric film that works on so many levels. It is also Coppola's most personal and experimental project--on par with the likes of Apocalypse Now. Rumble Fish curiously remains one of Coppola's often overlooked films. This may be due to the fact that it refuses to conform to mainstream tastes and stubbornly challenges the Hollywood system with its moody black and white cinematography and non-narrative approach.

    Rumble Fish curiously remains one of Coppola's often overlooked films. It refuses to conform to mainstream tastes and stubbornly challenges the Hollywood system with its moody black and white cinematography and non-narrative approach.

    It was a movie clearly ahead of its time: a stylish masterpiece that is obsessed with the notion of time, loyalty, and family. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Coppola's film is that it presents a world that refers to the past, present, and future while remaining timeless in nature.

    Right from the first image, Rumble Fish is a film that exudes style and ambience. It opens on a beautiful shot of wispy clouds rushing overhead, captured via time lapse photography to the experimental, percussive soundtrack that envelopes the whole film. This creates the feeling of not only time running out, but also a sense of timelessness.

    As always, Coppola assembled an impressive ensemble cast for his film. From The Outsiders, he kept Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Glenn Withrow, William Smith and Tom Waits, while casting actors like Mickey Rourke and Vincent Spano, who were overlooked for roles in the film for one reason or another. They all fill out their roles admirably, but Mickey Rourke in particular is mesmerizing as the Motorcycle Boy. He portrays the character as a calm, low key figure that seems to be constantly distracted as if he is in another world or reality.

    Every scene is filled with dreamy imagery that never gets too abstract but, instead, draws the viewer into this strange world. Coppola uses colour to emphasize certain images, like the Siamese fighting fish in the pet store--some of the only colour in the film--to create additional layers in this complex, detailed world....more info

  • Gobsmacking!
    Rumble fish is one of those films that made me want to become a filmmaker. I used to put the film on in my room at college, and turn the sound off. It was like having a moving piece of art in my room. The VHS copy is fantastic, admitedly I have never seen it in wide screen. Buy this movie! If you like Bladerunner, or any strongly visual film, get this. The story is great, the acting is strong. Francis, If you are reading this... what has happened to your films? Make more like this one. Better than 'The outsiders', you may enjoy watching the Karate Kid himself before he became... ''Daniel-san''....more info
  • Stylized Reality
    This is a powerful video. It draws the viewer into a surreal world with no opportunity for escape. While the scenes and the music add to the unusual landscape, the premise is masterful. The relationships of boy and brother, father and son, celtic and supervisor are as well developed as your own. Pain and suffering support the artistry as the foreboding helplessness builds. One of the most involving movies of the past decade - a must "feel"....more info
  • Rumble Fish
    I really enjoyed the book Rumble Fish. One of the reasons i enjoyed Rumble Fish was because it was action packed. I like gang stories and Fights and stuff. If you like to be into books then Rumble Fish is the book for you. It shows the life of a thug bad and good sides. I'm not much of a book reader myself but Rumble Fish made me read this book form beginning to end. I recommend this book to all people.

    -KF...more info
  • Fast shipping and a great movie. Thank you for great service.
    Rumble Fish is a great book that I read when I was 13 or 14 and the movie is spot on....more info
  • ONE OF THE BEST!!!!!!!!!
    Rumble Fish followed S.E. Hinton's novel very well. Also, the symbolism used in the movie was very good. Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke did outsanding performances playing Rusty-James and The Motorcycle Boy....more info
  • RED FISH AND BLACK BLOOD / A MASTERPIECE
    RUMBLE FISH is a real pearl. The kind of movie you are proud to have in your DVD collection and to present to your friends.

    Just think of this : Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper and Tom Waits reunited in one film ! And at the best moment of their mutual career, when they still were unknown actors (OK ! skip Dennis Hopper ) trying to conquer Hollywood.

    Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, ruined by the economic disaster of ONE FROM THE HEART and the fall of Zoetrope studios, RUMBLE FISH is an artistic achievement. Filmed in black and white and haunted by an apocalyptical musical score of Stewart Copeland , it describes three days of Matt Dillon's life , three days to become a man.

    Three days to get rid of his brother, of his father and of the ideal world he created in order to survive.

    The whole cast is superb with a special mention to Mickey Rourke who could have become a new Marlon Brando if...

    A DVD to discover and to cherish....more info

  • Never will there be a movie like this
    I give this movie A++. The black and white effects are really cool. All effects were done by hand, no generic computer special effects. Most importantly, the writing and story was excellent with poetic tones. I feel in love with this movie and it will always be one of my favorites.
    ...more info