Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York City, 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.
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
Stallones directing debut is a forgotten gem, back when it was released crushed by the critics and snubbed by the audiences. Wrongfully so, because this is great film that especially today makes you wonder whatever happened to Sylvster Stallone the artist. Here he was in all his glory: writer, director, star (even singer of the title song), and maybe that was the reason this film was ignored and critically lambasted back then. When Rocky came out, everybody body loved the writer-actor, but as we know, more sooner then later, people (especially the press) love to turn on the one they once favoured. Paradise Alley is a beautiful fim that needs to be rediscovered. Its made by someone who loves to tell a good, human story, captured in beautiful shots (just watch credit montage - the rooftop contest) Its full of colorful characters, full of warmth and feeling and wonderful humor. This film was a promise Stallone sadly later on never fulfilled, maybe because everyone turned so harsh on this one, which is something I will never understand. After decades of forgettable movies I wish Stallone would finally defy all nay-sayers and go back to stuff like this. He did by starring in Copland, but since then he made horribly choices as an actor, doing movies which didn't even make it to the theatres.
34 of 44 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this