Martin Scorsese‘s longtime collaborator, Thelma Schoonmaker, was upset when the Academy didn’t acknowledge the director’s work in Raging Bull. The 1980 film is based on former middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta’s 1970 memoir Raging Bull: My Story.
Raging Bull is regarded as the best film of the 1980s in many critics’ polls. It is also one of Scorsese’s best works and the greatest American films ever made.
It received eight Oscars nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. And won two: Best Actor for De Niro and Best Editing. Even though Schoonmaker won an Oscar for her work, she wanted Scorsese to win the Best Director.
Martin Scorsese’s Longtime Editor is Upset Over His Oscar Loss For Raging Bull
The movie Raging Bull didn’t win the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. As it went to Marvel star Robert Redford‘s Ordinary People. Although Thelma Schoonmaker received the Best Editing Award, she considers the 1981 Oscars ceremony the “worst night” of her life. She told Esquire UK:
“When we were standing there, those of us who did win, I was waiting for Marty to come with his Oscar. And he didn’t. It was the worst night of my life. It was devastating that he didn’t win.”
The Oscar-winning editor added:
“I think he would have liked to win for ‘Raging Bull.’ A movie like that, that is so brilliantly directed. But it was a tough movie. And ‘Ordinary People,’ I understand it’s a very good movie, I’ve never seen it. But people were maybe a bit put off by the toughness of ‘Raging Bull.’ But look how it’s lasted. It’s a benchmark movie.”
Both Schoonmaker and Scorsese feel they have been unlucky in winning Oscars. Despite this, she believes Martin Scorsese deserves more Academy Awards.
Martin Scorsese’s Longtime Editor Believes They Are Unluky at Oscars
Over their years of working together, Scorsese and Schoonmaker won Oscars for only 2007’s The Departed. Scorsese only has one Academy Award to date. Whereas Schoonmaker has won three Oscars for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed. She said:
“Yeah, we’re not very lucky with the Oscars. I mean, Marty has deserved many. I know, and that’s not fair. Because they’re really his as well as mine.”
The editor also believes the Killers of the Flower Moon director “should have won at least seven.” She also noted that they both are very “unlucky at the Oscars” together “because the films are sometimes very unusual.” She gave a reason for this, too — “people are sometimes not used to it, or they resist it, or [resist] voting for it.”
Watch Raging Bull on Prime Video.