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Paradise Alley (1978)

PG | | Drama | 22 September 1978 (USA)
Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Big Glory
Frankie the Thumper
Joyce Ingalls ...
Susan Chow
Chick Casey ...
James J. Casino ...
Paradise Bartender
Fredi O. Gordon ...
Paradise Alley Hooker
Lydia Goya ...
Bar Room Hooker #1


It's 1946 in Hell's Kitchen in New York City. Cosmo Carboni, the eldest of the three Carboni brothers, is lamenting what he sees as them not living up to their potential. Big talking Cosmo hustles and panhandles for money. Brooding Lenny Carboni, an injured veteran whose sullen attitude stems from his time in the war, is an undertaker. And youngest Victor Carboni, the simple muscle-man who wouldn't hurt a fly unless he's annoyed, is an iceman. Victor looks to Lenny and his Chinese-American girlfriend Susan Chow as his voices of reason. After Victor holds his own against wrestler Frankie the Thumper in an arm wrestling match, Frankie who is seen as the strongest man in the neighborhood, and after seeing the lucrative wrestling matches - which are more like street fights without rules - at the underground nightclub called Paradise Alley, Cosmo gets it into his head that wrestling may be Victor's calling and a way for them all to get out of Hell's Kitchen for good. The brothers would act... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Carboni Boys. They haul ice, lay out stiffs and dance with monkeys. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hell's Kitchen  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


His role as Frankie was the first feature film role for real life professional wrestler Terry Funk. It would begin an acting career in films and television that continues after more than 35 years. See more »


In the opening scene, Stallone mentions that they have to jump across 10 roof tops to win the $5 prize that is on the tenth rooftop. During the opening credits, Stallone jumps exactly 14 times to reach the final rooftop. See more »


[to his gang about Victor]
Stitch: That guy's too stupid to be scared. He's a primitive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits use the 1940s Universal logo. See more »


Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »


Annie's Back in Town
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by Tom Waits
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User Reviews

Funny and highly underrated (but where's the DVD?)
29 October 2003 | by (York, England) – See all my reviews

Probably Stallone's most under valued work, this film reminds the viewer just what talent he had behind the camera (see also Rocky II to IV). The story follows the three Carboni brothers in 1940s New York, as they each try to make their way through life in the slums of Hells Kitchen. Cosmo (Stallone) plans to turn his tough but dim brother Victor into a champion wrestler, and with the help of their third brother (Assante) they set about making their fortune. There are echoes of Rocky throughout the film, (small time nobody becomes admired champion), but what sets it apart is the humour. There are great lines throughout the film delivered with dead pan perfection from the mostly excellent cast, which also includes Stallone regular Joe Spinell. If you can make it through the hilariously bad opening number (sung by Stallone himself), there's plenty here to appreciate. This film is long overdue a release on DVD... come on Universal, how about it?

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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