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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.

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(screenplay), (autobiography) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

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It's tougher than Blackboard Jungle! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

El estigma del arroyo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,920,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright time)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (Perspecta Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Dean was signed to play 'Rocky Graziano' but the part was given to Paul Newman after Dean was killed in an automobile accident on 30 September 1955. See more »

Goofs

Graziano's second fight with Tony Zale took place on July 16, 1947. Like many 1950s movies that depicted earlier decades, they were a little sloppy about women's fashions. In scenes just before the climaxing fight, Pier Angeli is definitely wearing a 1950s-style sheath dress. See more »

Quotes

Irving Cohen: I never should have left the lingerie business. I was the happiest man in women's underwear.
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Connections

Referenced in Death in Hollywood (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Assembly
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a bugler
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User Reviews

 
Somebody up there liked Paul Newman
14 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Paul Newman stars as Rocky Graziano in the middleweight champion's life story, "Somebody Up There Likes Me," directed with spirit by Robert Wise. The film covers Rocky Barbella's young life on the mean streets of New York, made all the meaner by his juvenile delinquent presence and that of his friends. Totally out of control, Barbella steals, runs, and punches his way through his home life, reform school, and prison, including his army stint where he knocks out a corporal and goes AWOL, then assuming the name Graziano. It's not long before his talent is put to good use in the ring. The respectability and success he gains is short-lived, however, when he refuses to take a dive but then fails to report it to the boxing commission or identify the criminals.

The film covers Graziano's marriage to his wife of 47 years, Norma, and his historic fight with Tony Zale. Pier Angeli plays the petite but tough Norma, who knows just how to handle her husband; Eileen Heckert is marvelous as Rocky's mother. Harold Stone, as Rocky's disillusioned father, is very good in the difficult role of an unlikeable man with an uneasy relationship with his son. Sal Mineo is effective as Romolo, Rocky's friend from the neighborhood.

James Dean was to play Graziano but after his death, the role went to Paul Newman. Words are not really adequate to describe the young Newman's work in this film. He totally inhabits the character of Graziano and loses what one thinks of as "Paul Newman" in the bargain. One of the hardest accents to do without making it sound phony is a New York one, yet Newman pulls it off with no problem. Though Dean would have been excellent, Newman's portrayal is a treasure. He's angry, sympathetic, scrappy, vulnerable and caring - in short, a flawed human being. It's one of the finest performances on film.


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