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Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)

Boxer Rocky Graziano's biopic, based on his autobiography, from childhood to his World Middleweight Championship title win at age 28 in 1947.



(screenplay), (autobiography) | 1 more credit »

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Joseph Buloff ...
Sammy White ...
Robert P. Lieb ...
District Attorney Hogan (as Robert Lieb)
Theodore Newton ...
Athletic Commissioner Edward Eagan


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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Punk Hoodlum! - Jailbird! - Alley Fighter! - He Brawled His Way From the Gutter All the Way to the Top! See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 December 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

El estigma del arroyo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,920,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(copyright time)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (Perspecta Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Frank Campanella See more »


Much of the location shoots in New York show the tenement where Rocky grew up next to the Manhattan Bridge, but his address on East 10th Street is over a mile north of the bridge. See more »


Rocky Graziano: You know, I've been lucky. Somebody up there likes me.
Mrs. Norma Graziano: Somebody down here too.
See more »


Referenced in James Dean: Live Fast, Die Young (1997) See more »


Somebody Up There Likes Me
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Lyrics By Sammy Cahn
Sung by Perry Como during the opening and closing credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent bio-pic with great acting

This is the movie that made Paul Newman a star. And with good reason. Although James Dean was signed to play the great Rocky Graziano, his death in a car crash made the role available for Paul Newman to step into. Newman who up to this point had made only a handful of forgettable pictures,turns in a marvelous portrayal of a man who is so filled with rage that everything he touches turns into trouble.

Newman's performance is layered with anger, humor, and fear. Rocky Graziano was by means the brightest guy in the world, and Newman to his credit does not try to make this an endearing quality of Rocky's.

The story does a nice job of not glossing over Rocky's troublesome youth. It shows a lot of the trouble and bad decision's that he made that led to being thrown out of schools, reformatories, and later into prison. This is not a sanitized bio-style film that you would have seen in the thirties or forties.

The rest of the acting is also first rate. Especially from Eileen Heckart and Everett Sloane as his mother and trainer, respectively. Lots of actors making their film debuts in this movie also. Look for Robert Loggia, Steve McQueen, George C. Scott and Dean Jones.

Robert Wise has done a wonderful job of bringing NYC to life in this picture. Watching Newman walk down the street with all of the people jeering him at first, and then rooting for him as he starts to gain some fame is the work of a top notch director. Wise would later exploit the scenery of New York to better use a few years later in "West Side Story". He also did an excellent job with the fight sequences.

It's easy to see where Sylvester Stallone got his inspiration for his "Rocky". In fact, you might say that he not only borrowed the development of his character, but that of Adrian, as well.

"Somebody Up There Likes Me" is well worth a look.

9 out of 10

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