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Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
The abuse Rocky Barbella endures at the hand of his father and subsequent run-ins with the law lead him in and out of detention centers and prisons. When it seems he has it together, Rocky is drafted but, refusing to adhere to Army rules, goes AWOL. He takes up boxing to earn quick money, but when he discovers he has a natural talent in the ring, he builds the confidence to pursue his love interest, Norma, and fulfill his potential as a fighter. Written by
Question: Is there such a thing as a boxing movie that isn't just a total cliché from start to finish? 'Cause if there is, then I'd sure like to know about it. I really would.
With that said, you have my personal guarantee that 1956's Somebody Up There Likes Me is such a predictable cliché-of-a-boxing-movie that, at times, it's almost too painful to endure.
On top of having this one major strike against it, this film also lost itself some significant points for its gross miscasting of Paul Newman in the lead role.
Not only did Newman never, ever come anywhere near to being at all convincing as a full-blooded American/Italian, but his goofy performance as boxing champ, Rocky Graziano, was, by far, one of the most absurd and annoying examples of copy-catting Marlon Brando's quirky mannerisms that I've ever seen.
Believe me, Newman's ridiculous portrayal was absolutely laughable to watch at times.
Filmed in stark b&w, Somebody Up There Likes Me's story (which was set in NYC during the 1930s & 40s) was based on the autobiography written by real-life, middleweight, boxing champ, Rocky Graziano (whose birth-name was Rocco Barbella).
Of all the many boxing films that I've seen over the years this dud has certainly proved to be one of the weakest and most unsatisfactory, by far.
By the end of the movie I literally loathed Newman's Graziano character right to the very bone. My only wish was to see one of his opponents really clean his clock, but good. But, unfortunately, this never happened. So I was left totally unsatisfied.
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