7.5/10
6,586
65 user 26 critic

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.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Ernest Lehman (screenplay), Rocky Graziano (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:
Paul Newman ... Rocky
Pier Angeli ... Norma
Everett Sloane ... Irving Cohen
Eileen Heckart ... Ma Barbella
Sal Mineo ... Romolo
Harold J. Stone ... Nick Barbella
Joseph Buloff ... Benny
Sammy White Sammy White ... Whitey Bimstein
Arch Johnson ... Heldon
Robert P. Lieb Robert P. Lieb ... District Attorney Hogan (as Robert Lieb)
Theodore Newton ... Athletic Commissioner Edward Eagan
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Storyline

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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Punk Hoodlum! - Jailbird! - Alley Fighter! - He Brawled His Way From the Gutter All the Way to the Top! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1956 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

El estigma del arroyo See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,920,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,915,000, 31 December 1956

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,360,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright time)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System) (Perspecta Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First movie for Angela Cartwright. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Rocky is flying to New York from Chicago, the picture of the plane in flight is reversed (see the airline name in backward lettering). It was probably intentional so that the plane would be heading from left to right. That is the way people would imagine the plane heading, since that's the direction on a map. See more »

Quotes

Rocky: Don't worry 'bout a thing
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the following on-screen quote before the title and opening credits: This is the way I remember it... _definitely_. -Rocky Graziano. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death in Hollywood (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Assembly
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a bugler
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Somebody up there liked Paul Newman
14 January 2006 | by blanche-2See 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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