Photographed in black and white with colour sequences, the striking production features a brilliant supporting cast including Dennis Hopper, and boasts a musical score by Stewart Copeland, drummer and co-founder of The Police.
Francis Ford Coppola shot Rumble Fish back-to-back with The Outsiders, in the same location and both with actors Matt Dillon and Diane Lane. Both films are based on novels by S.E. Hinton – who has a small part in the film as a hooker who approaches the protagonist Rusty James. Rusty James was named after Hinton’s cat. Francis Ford Coppola hired Michael Smuin, a choreographer and co-director of the San Francisco Ballet, to stage the fight scene between Rusty James and Biff Wilcox because he liked the way he choreographed violence. Smuin also staged the street dance between Mickey Rourke and Diana Scarwid. Coppola calls Rumble Fish "an art film for teenagers;
Colourful Siamese fighting fish were incorporated into the black and white film by projecting the footage of the actors on a screen behind a tank containing the fish and then filming the two elements together.
The film is dedicated to Coppola’s older brother, August, whom he considered his “first and best teacher.” August’s son is Nicolas Cage, who also has a small role in the film.
Two brothers whose desire to break out of their urban trap eventually leads to the death of one and a new beginning for the other.
the film stars Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Vincent Spano, Diane Lane, Diana Scarwid, Nicolas Cage, and Dennis Hopper.
Extras: Audio commentary with Francis Ford Coppola, On Location in Tulsa: The making of Rumblefish, Rumble Fish: The percussion-based score, Music video ’Don’t Box Me In’, Deleted scenes, Theatrical trailer.