(1956)

A Girl Can Lift A Fellow To The Skies!

The story of boxer Rocky Graziano's rise from juvenile delinquent to world champ.

Ma, I tried to turn the leaf but I can't make it. It's something inside me. I try but I can't make it.
Directed by multi genre supremo Robert Wise, the screenplay is adapted by Ernest Lehman from the Rocky Graziano biography of the same name. Music is by Bronislau Kaper and cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg. It stars Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane, Eileen Heckart and Sal Mineo.
This film really hits the spot to me as a portent of just what a great career Paul Newman was to have, not only that but it stands up as one of the better sports biographies I have seen.
Fine story as we follow Rocky Graziano (Newman) from his wild youth into a man on the verge of destroying his life and then on to becoming the World Middleweight Champion (the final fight with Tony Zale is superbly choreographed). It's weird because during Graziano's wild antics one can't help but like the guy because Newman makes the character so charming. The time he spent with the real Graziano pays off in spades as he captures his mannerisms and style impressively.
One has to wonder what sort of performance original choice James Dean would have done with the role?. A big shout up to Pier Angeli as the main Female lead as she turns in a wonderful performance in view of Newman's barn storming show. Ruttenberg won the Academy Award for his pin sharp Black-and-White cinematography, the art department won for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, while a certain Steve McQueen can be seen as one of Rocky's gang members - Fidel a knife wielding thug. 9/10

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by Robert Wise, Ernest Lehman, Rocky Graziano, Rowland Barber.
Stars: Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane.

Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport

Keywords: new york city parent child relationship biography marriage army convertible based on memoir or autobiography juvenile delinquent fighting policeman boxing abusive father

07/04/1956

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