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Glory Alley (1952)

 |  Drama, Music  |  6 June 1952 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 268 users  
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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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Socks Barbarrosa
...
Angela Evans
...
Gus 'The Judge' Evans
...
Peppi Donnato
...
Gabe Jordan / Narrator
...
Shadow Johnson
Jack Teagarden ...
Musician
Dan Seymour ...
Sal Nichols (The Pig)
Larry Gates ...
Dr. Robert Ardley
Pat Goldin ...
Jabber
John Indrisano ...
Spider, the Bartender
Mickey Little ...
Domingo
Dick Simmons ...
Dan
Pat Valentino ...
Terry Waulker
...
Frank, the Policeman
Edit

Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Street of tough guys, hot tunes, temptation!

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ruelle du péché  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Film debut of Larry Gates. See more »

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User Reviews

 
MGM enters the Fifties in a state of confusion!
22 March 2008 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

GLORY ALLEY is one of the films that signaled the end of the golden age of MGM. Set in a silly back-lot New Orleans, the drama centers on a prizefighter who inexplicably flees a championship bout just as it is about to begin. We have to wait the whole movie to find out why - and when we do the reason is so silly that it makes the whole movie seem like a complete waste of time. Ralph Meeker, a good-looking but rather genteel actor, struggles to play the street-wise boxer. It's the sort of part John Garfield played so well, but Meeker, lovingly filmed by William Daniels, just seems too pretty. The ludicrous 'on-the-skids' montage hardly helps - nor does the fact that his character is called "Socks"!

Then we have Leslie Caron as his love interest. It looks like this part was hurriedly re-written for her after her triumph in AN American IN Paris. She performs ridiculous ballet routines in a seedy bar (you know the patrons would have booed her off immediately). You see she wanted to be a ballerina, but she gave it all up to support her blind father. He's played by Kurt Kaszner - an actor still in his thirties but donned with silly silver hair to make him look ancient and wise.

Then there's Louis Armstrong, sadly named "Shadow", and seemingly the only African-American in New Orleans. He's supposed to be Meeker's trainer, but he spends the whole movie playing his trumpet and leading absurd sing-a-longs at the local bar. He does have a couple of good acting scenes though. The excellent Gilbert Roland floats around the film's edges with nothing to do, while John McIntire adds pseudo profound narration to the story - told in flashback like a film noir.

Probably the worst sequence in the film, and that's saying something, is the ludicrous Korean War scene, with some stock footage, four soldiers, some sort of pine forest and a rear projected bridge deemed sufficient to portray a major world conflict.

So we have a boxing picture, a musical, a film noir, a war film, and a pseudo-Freudian psychological study all rolled into one! What more could you ask for?

It's hard to believe a fine hard-boiled director like Raoul Walsh oversaw this mess - he probably wanted to run straight back to Warner Bros afterwards.


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