“I remember those cheers, They still ring in my ears, And for years they remain in my thoughts. ‘Cause one night I took off my robe, And what’d I do? I forgot to wear shorts. I recall every fall, every hook, every jab, The worst way a guy can get rid of his flab, As you know, my life wasn’t drab. Though I’d rather hear you cheer When I delve into Shakespeare …’A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!’ I haven’t had a winner in six months. And though I’m no Olivier, If he fought Sugar Ray, he would say That the thing ain’t the ring, it’s the play. So give me a stage Where this bull here can rage, And though I can fight, I’d much rather recite. That’s entertainment.”
And for a time, the raging bull was a beautiful thing. He was in his prime and no one, not even Sugar Ray, could knock him down. By the end he’s lost everything, even knocked out the stones in his champion’s belt. His life has come to nothing. Looking at the year Raging Bull was up for Oscar you have to make a choice about what is better, Ordinary People, which is magnificent in its own way, or Raging Bull – an out and out masterpiece, but one that isn’t necessarily about the goodness in people, but rather, the the damage they do.