In New Orleans, prizefighter Socks Barbarrosa suddenly runs out of the ring before his title bout, and swears he'll never fight again. He gives no reason for his strange actions. His girl ... See full summary »
In New Orleans, prizefighter Socks Barbarrosa suddenly runs out of the ring before his title bout, and swears he'll never fight again. He gives no reason for his strange actions. His girl friend Angela sticks by him, but her father, a blind man known as "The Judge" brands him a coward and refuses to let his daughter marry him. Socks joins the army, goes to Korea, and comes back a war hero. Everybody loves him again, except for the Judge. A secret in Sock's past is revealed as the explanation for his quitting the ring, and is also the key to his redemption in the eyes of the Judge. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
This is one of the few movies I consider so bad they're interesting. The champion in this category is "The Guilt Of Janet Ames." "Glory Alley" is not that awful but it is a real mess. Yet, it is intriguing.
Ralph Meeker, the brilliant star of "Kiss Me Deadly" who did way too few movies, plays a boxer named Socks Barbarosa. Maybe Bill Clinton named his cat after this character.
Meeker is also very good in "Show In The Sky." He was generally underused ion movies, though.
"Glory Alley" is a kind of faux-Damon Runyon. Runyon gone South to New Orleans. We have Socks. We have a blind man called the Judge. His helper, played by Louis Armstrong, is named Shadow.
The Judge has an Italian accent; yet his daughter has a French accent. And no wonder: She is Leslie Caron. Caron and Meeker could have been a fantastic combination. She's appealing. It's hard, though, to believe that she is doing music hall numbers at a dive called Chez Bozo and her father doesn't know it. He seems to know everything else that's going on.
The movie is narrated by newspaper reporter John McIntire. It's a voice-over narration, looking back on the vents we're seeing. But this is no noir. McIntire tells us it's the most fascinating story he ever covered -- and he's never told the truth till now -- is that of Socks Barbarosa.
Well, it could have been a fascinating story. It's peopled with fine actors and a superb leading man. But it doesn't hold together. This is not to mention its preaching: Much of the dialogue, especially toward the end, sounds as if it came from a sampler on a wall. Nor what sounds like the MGM Chorale that accompanies some of Armstrong's trumpet playing and is sort of an uplifting Greek chorus.
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