Jose Maria Gatica was born in extreme poverty in the capital of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He learned to fight in the streets and was discovered by Nicolas Preziosa who turned Gatica into "El Mono" and made him the nations greatest boxing idol of the mid 1940s & early 1950s. Noted for his "hurricane" style of punching, Gatica racked up an impressive knockout streak and became the toast of the country. Argentina's dictator General Juan Peron and his beautiful wife Evita were ringside for most of his fights. He had a pet lion, drank the finest wines from a host of beauties high-heeled shoes. He dressed in silk suits & dined and danced in the best clubs.
However, knockout losses, and his "fast-living" spelled his complete downfall. And fall he did. Deserted by his fans, shunned by Peron, he quickly faded from the scene after having scored a remarkable 72 knockout victories. He ended up a sad sight; broke, selling nic-nacs in the street. He died at age 38 after being run-over by a bus.
This is a disturbingly, well-acted film. It captures a time now long gone. In some ways, it's the story of all us........chasing dreams....dreams of love.......dreams of glory.......dreams of riches....sadly, in many cases, those dreams have passed us by......as has the legend of Jose "El Mono" Gatica,once the idol of his nation.