Rumble Fish

1983 R 1h 34m Blu-ray / DVD

Rumble Fish

1983 R 1h 34m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In Francis Ford Coppola's black-and-white adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel, Rusty James (Matt Dillon) is the leader of a small, dying gang once led by his now-absent brother, Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke). When Rusty is injured in a gang fight, his brother returns to their sad, industrial town to help. Despite this, Rusty continues on his path of self-destruction, damaging his relationships with his girlfriend (Diane Lane) and friends.
Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Diana Scarwid, Vincent Spano, Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn
Francis Ford Coppola
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 1.85:1
Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them. R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that the raw moments include a sex-party scene exhibiting female and male nudity (erotic-daydream fantasies about a pretty girl wearing very little in a classroom are slightly less explicit). There's also gang-fighting (arranged like a duel, with all the kids turning out to watch at the appointed time), a mugging and beating with a tire iron, and reckless driving on a motorcycle (no helmets), plus one fatal shooting. There is much drinking/drunkenness and cigarette smoking as well, and heroin use and addiction is discussed (and disparaged). Swearing at R-level emphasizes the f-word, and the lead character speaks glowingly of the street-gang lifestyle, though other characters work to change his mind.

Sexual Content

Topless girls in panties, bare male buttocks in an orgiastic party. Rusty James has an ongoing sexual relationship with girlfriend Patty, though we just see close cuddling. In a series of daydream fantasies he imagines her in skimpy lingerie draped all over his school classrooms.


Brutal beatings and kickings, a stabbing, and an (offscreen) fatal shooting. A motorcycle runs down a child.


The f-word, the s-word, "asshole," "hell," and "bitch."

Social Behavior

Rusty James' hero-worship of his brother Motorcycle Boy is misplaced, and he has to shake off his ideals of street-fighter heroics. There's the question of whether Motorcycle Boy is truly brilliant or just a mentally ill misfit. There's also a suggestion that a broken home (the mother's desertion) has ruined forever both the left-behind husband and the son old enough to comprehend what was happening. A sub-theme: the urban environment breeds gangs and violence, and people in cities are compared to animals in cages, though the only solution -- get outta there! -- is a bit simplistic. (And, for Motorcycle Boy, too little too late.)


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Extensive underage and adult liquor drinking and cigarette smoking. Rusty's father is an alcoholic. A marauding character is said to be on pills. Talk of heroin use, in a negative context -- that it ruined the "fun" of being of being in a gang, among other things -- and a supporting character is described as miserable junkie.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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