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Battle of the F-bomb: Wolf of Wall Street breaks swear word record

To judge by its mixed reviews, mildly disappointing box-office takings, and a minor controversy over its makers' ambivalent attitude to their subject, The Wolf of Wall Street won't be picking up all that many prizes this awards season - reports The Independent.

"Wolf" pushed the boundaries in more ways than one as the cursing goes hand-in hand with the promiscuity and drug-induced behavior used in the film to portray the culture of Wall Street seen from the eyes of DiCaprio's character, Jordan Belfort.

But Martin Scorsese's new film, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as infamous Wall Street trader Jordan Belfort, can claim one triumph: no non-documentary film has ever dropped quite so many F-bombs. According to a report by Variety, with 506 "f****" in its two-hour, 59-minute running time, Wolf uses the profanity approximately 2.81 times a minute.

The previous record holder was Spike Lee's 1999 serial killer drama Summer of Sam, which contained 435 instances of the word.

Though its overall count may be significantly lower, at 142 minutes Lee's film has a higher rate of utterances of the expletive than Scorsese's, with 3.06 per minute (fpm). Several critics have suggested Wolf would be a better film with a running time closer to two hours, though at its current rate it would then contain no more than 337 instances of the word. Wolf, it should also be noted, contains fewer "f****" than Belfort's memoir, on which it is based – and which boasts more than 700 such outbursts over its 500 or so pages.

As connoisseurs of his work will be aware, Scorsese has rarely shied away from the F-word in his four-decade career. In an anecdotal ranking compiled by Wikipedia, of films with 150 or more instances of the word, the 71-year-old director's Casino (1995) and GoodFellas (1990) are also in the top 20, with 422 and 300 respectively. Notable by its absence, however, is Scorsese's 1980 film Raging Bull, which contains perhaps the Oscar-winner's best-known use of the word: when Robert De Niro – as boxer Jake La Motta – asks his brother, played by Joe Pesci: "Did you f*** my wife?"

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Reporter: Sz. Cs.
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