Rumble Fish ★★★★

Vacation. Weekend. Day Off: An '80s Autumn

'The Motorcycle Boy Reigns'

Having adapted The Outsiders, Francis Ford Coppola stuck around in Tulsa in '83 to tackle another of SE Hinton's novels, only this time he got experimental. The result was Rumble Fish; a noble attempt at creating American art house or a case of cinema eating itself?

The French New Wave films of the '50s and '60s took the traditional hardboiled American crime story and made it their own with a distinctive existential style. Here, Coppola takes their approach to America to tell an original American story, a move that impressed the critics but found little commercial ground. It's only in later years that the achievements of Rumble Fish have been properly appraised, with Coppola's European influenced skills, Stewart Copeland's impressive, urgent and percussive score and the easy chemistry of stars Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke getting the recognition they all deserve.

It might not necessarily be a film to love, but as an experience Rumble Fish is worth your time.

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