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Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) Poster

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 September 30, 1955.
There had been some opposition to the casting of Paul Newman, since at 31 he was already six years older than James Dean would have been, and his first movie The Silver Chalice (1954) had been a critical and commercial disaster.
Originally, the movie was to be filmed on-location in New York City in Technicolor. However, after James Dean's death, it was decided the film should be in black and white, and filmed on studio sets. Director Robert Wise felt the sets looked very fake, and only used them for night scenes, while filming the daytime scenes on-location.
Film debut of Robert Loggia.
Eileen Heckart, who played Rocky Graciano's mother was only six years older than Paul Newman. She was born in 1919, and he, in 1925.
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Paul Newman was fourteen years older than Sal Mineo.
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First movie for Angela Cartwright.
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Montgomery Clift was the first choice for the lead role, but he turned it down.
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Film debut of Dean Jones.
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Fresh off her Oscar win, Eva Marie Saint had been considered for the role of Norma.
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Paul Newman was not felt to be believable playing an Italian-American.
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The first time Paul Newman and Steve McQueen appeared on-screen together.
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Al Silvani, who played Rocky Graziano's cut man, played the cut man in Rocky (1976). Rocky was played by Sylvester Stallone, and was considered his breakthrough role, just like this movie was for Paul Newman.
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Film debut of Frank Campanella.
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Rod Taylor was screentested for the lead role after James Dean's death. Although Paul Newman got the role, Taylor impressed the studio enough for them to offer him a significant part in The Catered Affair (1956).
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James Darren screentested for the role of Rocky Graziano.
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Pro wrestler "Irish" Pat Barrett titled his autobiography, "Everybody Down Here Hates Me".
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Rocky Graziano's lifetime boxing record was 67-10-6. He is in the Boxing Hall of Fame and is listed by Ring Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Punchers of All Time".
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Graziano was a childhood friend of Jake LaMotta, who also became Middleweight Champion, and also had a movie made about his life, "Raging Bull". Graziano and LaMotta went to reform school together.
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