Sight and Sound - 03/01/1984
"...[The] film achieves the status of monochrome dream-poem almost effortlessly..."
Variety - 10/12/1983
"...Beautifully photographed in black and white....Nicolas Cage is a strong presence..."
USA Today - 06/24/1994
"...It's a kick to watch so many actors who are still with us posturing in a movie this self-consciously stylized..."
Total Film - 10/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] moody monochrome visuals, Police man Stewart Copeland's sparse, percussive score and blatant riffs on THE WILD ONE."
Uncut - 10/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]nformed by the director's upbringing....[The film] played like an homage to a 1950s teen movie."
Empire - 09/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "As an atmospheric expression of existential male anxiety, it's got a lot going for it and leaves quite an impression."
Ultimate DVD - 10/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "[E]njoyable for the young cast. We're talking Matt Dillon, Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke and more. Interesting."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2012
"Already inspired casting has become more iconic with the passage of time, particularly in the case of an achingly young-looking Mickey Rourke as the Motorcycle Boy..."
Francis Ford Coppola directed this beautiful black-and-white version of S.E. Hinton's popular youth novel. RUMBLE FISH explores the relationship between a young street thug, Rusty James (Matt Dillon), and his older brother, the legendary Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke). When Motorcycle Boy comes back to town, he finds Rusty James trying to imitate his former gang leader ways and their father (Dennis Hopper) trying to drink away a troubled past. The only color images in the film are the shots of the Siamese fighting fish that the color-blind Motorcycle Boy admires.
Francis Ford Coppola directs this stunning adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel about coming of age in urban Oklahoma. Rusty James (Matt Dillon) is a troubled juvenile delinquent trying to live up to the legendary reputation of his older brother, Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke). One night, while Rusty James and his friends Smokey (Nicolas Cage), Steve (Vincent Spano), and B.J. (Christopher Penn) are involved in a rumble, Motorcycle Boy returns home from California after a two-month absence. Rusty James gets stabbed and Motorcycle Boy saves him, but their alcoholic father (Dennis Hopper) is oblivious to the brothers' lives and only Rusty James's girlfriend, Patty (Diane Lane), seems to care about him. After Motorcycle Boy reveals some family secrets about their mother, both brothers become determined to escape their lives or die trying. The film is shot in black and white except for the shots of the rumble fish--colorful Siamese fighting fish--that provoke Motorcycle Boy into desperate actions. Drummer Stewart Copeland (formerly of the rock group the Police) composed the film's score.
Family Interaction |
Filmed on location in Tulsa and Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
Sprocket holes can be seen running across the film during the entire scene when Matt Dillon meets Diane Lane unpacking groceries in front of her house. Despite the availability of other takes, Coppola liked the take with the damaged film the best and kept it in the movie.
Sofia Coppola, starring as Diane Lane's young sister, is billed as Domino.
Coppola dedicated the film to his own older brother, August, whom he much admired growing up.