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1983, 20th Century Fox, 91 min, USA, Dir: Michael Chapman

Legendary cinematographer Michael Chapman (TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL) made his directorial debut with this working-class coming-of-age film. Tom Cruise plays a high school athlete who hopes that football can save him from a dead-end life in the mill town where he lives. Craig T. Nelson is the coach with an agenda of his own who comes into conflict with his star player. Chapman places the compelling human drama against a naturalistic, richly detailed backdrop, and Lea Thompson is excellent opposite Cruise in the film’s tender and thoughtful love story.

1962, Sony Repertory, 95 min, USA, Dir: Ralph Nelson

Anthony Quinn is a fighter whose best days are behind him, and Mickey Rooney plays his sympathetic trainer, in this classic piece of humanist filmmaking. Rod Serling’s script powerfully depicts Quinn’s downfall as he descends into corruption at the behest of unscrupulous manager Jackie Gleason.

1980, Park Circus/MGM, 128 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

A stunning B&W portrait of prizefighter Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) and his harrowing, destructive bouts in and out of the ring, beautifully shot by cinematographer Michael Chapman. Winner of Academy Awards for Best Actor (De Niro) and Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker). With Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci.

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