The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Rumble Fish
Directed by
Francis Ford Coppola
94
minutes

Return to monochromatic Tulsa, OK as we continue our Francis Ford Coppola retrospective with his 1983 classic Rumble Fish.
 
Shot back-to-back with The Outsiders – also based on a novel by S.E. Hinton – and released just seven months after, Rumble Fish stars Matt Dillon as Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a teenage hoodlum who yearns for an earlier time of neighborhood gangs and rumbles which has all but disappeared after his brother, a revered gang leader known as the Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), abolished gang warfare and disappeared. After Rusty James breaks the treaty and gets into a gang fight, his brother reemerges, setting in motion a life-altering series of events.
 
Shot in black-and-white and with a decidedly avant-garde lens, Rumble Fish finds Coppola exploring similar themes of violence and adolescence as he did in The Outsiders. Graced with a remarkable supporting cast including Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, and Tom Waits, and a powerful percussive score by Stewart Copeland, Rumble Fish is a beguiling exercise in haunting, hallucinatory style.

Rumble Fish was fascinatingly adolescent, at a time when American cinema was embracing adolescence at its most inane ” — Danny Leigh, The Guardian

“I thought “Rumble Fish” was offbeat, daring, and utterly original. Who but Coppola could make this film? And, of course, who but Coppola would want to? “  — Roger Ebert, Chicago-Sun Times

“If Rumble Fish fails as a traditional movie about real people, it is beguiling as an exercise in hallucinatory style.” — Richard Corliss, Time Magazine