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Rocky Graziano is building a career in crime, when he's finally caught and arrested. In jail, he is undisciplined, always getting into trouble. When he gets out after many years he has decided to start a new life. However, he is immediately drafted to the army. But they can't keep him and he goes AWOL. Rocky discovers boxing as a way of earning quick money, and is discovered as a new talent. Written by
It's interesting to note the career relationship of James Dean and Paul Newman.
Both were leading contenders for the starring role in "East of Eden." Dean's moving screen test landed him the part over Newman.
Then, upon Dean's sudden demise, Newman was awarded the role Dean was to play in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." Fortunately, Newman was up to the task.
His Rocky was most effectively limned, with Newman in top physical form as well as in the acting department. He assumed a "New York hood" accent, which enhanced his portrayal, and executed the challenging fight scenes with conviction.
Perhaps young Newman's burning ambition at the time to greatly succeed in his craft provided extra stamina to smash through this meaty part for a "knockout punch." Fresh from Actors Studio training, Mr. Newman was fortunate to be surrounded by a quartet of fine "method" artists.
Eileen Heckart was particularly fine as Mrs. Barbella, Everett Sloane as a concerned Manager, Sal Mineo as dependable pal Romolo, and Pier Angeli as sensitive Norma Graziano.
Rocky's hard-hitting life was given a realistic black and white production, doing justice to the middle weight champ's biography. Robert Wise directed with his usual skill and confidence.
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