Somebody Up There Likes Me


Action / Biography / Drama / Sport

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Paul Newman Photo
Paul Newman as Rocky
Steve McQueen Photo
Steve McQueen as Fidel
Stanley Adams Photo
Stanley Adams as Romolo's Attorney
Angela Cartwright Photo
Angela Cartwright as Audrey at Age 3
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.02 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.89 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jotix1008 / 10

Rocky, the original.

Robert Wise was a film editor before he became a director. Having edited some of Orson Welles films when he was starting out, made him a natural director. After all, Mr. Wise knows how to move his camera and how to capture great moments in film. "Somebody Up There Likes Me" is a rarity these days, in that it's seldom seen.

This is also a film that has a rich texture. The story, photographed using New York as a backdrop offers a rare view of how it looked in those years. We are taken to Brooklyn, downtown Manhattan and other natural locations that were an asset in the film. It helps that Mr. Wise had the inspiration to engage Joseph Ruttenberg as his cinematographer because of the excellence of his work in the films he photographed.

This is a story of Rocky Graziano, a boxing champion, who came from a poor family. The father, Nick Barbella, is seen at the beginning trying to show young Rocco to box. When he doesn't get the response he wants, he punches the boy squarely on his nose, making him bleed. Rocco would grow up to become a hoodlum doing petty crime and being sent to jail.

Rocco's story could have ended in tragedy, but didn't. It helped to have met good friends along the way like Irving Cohen who helped him with his boxing career. The love of Nora is another of the blessings this man was blessed with. In fact, yes, somebody up there must have liked Rocco Barbella, a man who is a legend in boxing circles.

The young Paul Newman was lucky to land this part. James Dean had been selected to play the role, but it went to Mr. Newman who took it and ran away with the film. This was his big break through in films. Paul Newman was formed at the famous Actor Studio. His technique is in sharp contrast with other, formally trained actors, but in a way, by making Rocky's character so complex, we get a detailed account of the man by an inspired young actor that went to become a legend in his own right.

The supporting cast was excellent. Eileen Heckart is the suffering Ida Barbella, a woman who has been cheated out of everything by a husband that is a brute. Harold Stone is also good as Nick Barbella. Pier Angeli is sweet as Norma and Sal Mineo makes the best out of Romolo, the childhood friend. Everett Sloan plays the pivotal role of Irving Cohen.

In the film we see a lot of interesting young actors who went to have their own distinguished careers later on. Steve McQueen, Robert Loggia, George C. Scott, Frank Campanella, and other New York based theater actors are seen in the background without any credit.

This is a boxing film that was way ahead of the others because of the tight direction of Robert Wise.

Reviewed by MartinHafer8 / 10

Pretty good--and a lot closer to the truth than I expected.

Rocky Graziano was a very, very flawed guy to say the least. To be more blunt, until he settled into a career in boxing, he was an antisocial jerk--a blight on society. However, as was the case with most older bio-pics (such as "The Birdman of Alcatraz" and "The Sound of Music"),in order to make a more marketable flick, the truth was often very, very malleable--as the writers took such huge liberties with the facts that the original of the film was hardly recognizable. And, since Rocky was not a very likable guy, I expected a whitewash with this film. Fortunately, the writers stuck reasonably close to the truth and Paul Newman puts in his first excellent performance (after his disaster in "The Silver Chalice").

The film begins with a lovely man (Harold Stone) forcing his young boy to fight. He slaps the little kid around horribly--and it was obvious the father was a complete jerk. From this sort of upbringing, it's understandable why the kid grew up angry (in reality, the father would bit his two sons against each other in boxing matches for his friends to watch--and Rocky's older brother usually beat the snot out of him). This portion of the film shows the many stupid and self-defeating things Rocky did before switching to a life in boxing. Stealing, violence, prison and a stint in military prison--all make up this sordid portion of the movie. To see just how Rocky manages to pull it all together, watch the film.

Overall, well-written and with a very likable performance from Newman. This isn't exactly "Raging Bull" but it is well worth seeing.

Reviewed by bkoganbing9 / 10

Don't Knock This Rock

Way back in the day when I was a lad, I read Rocky Graziano's memoirs Somebody Up There Likes Me and enjoyed the book. Someone at MGM must have liked it even more than I did because a really fine film was made from it and a star was born.

Paul Newman's debut picture, The Silver Chalice, was a bomb. Had he not made good in this it's possible he might never have had a film career. But he perfectly captures Rocky Graziano's character and it certainly is the character I remember Rocky talking about in his memoirs.

Thomas Rocco Barbella grew up on the Lower East Side of New York City and his teen years were during The Great Depression. The bleak poverty of the period ground the soul out of many a family as you can see in the portrayals of Graziano's parents by Harold J. Stone and Eileen Heckart. There were no jobs period. I have an uncle who told me that he spent the late thirties after graduating high school doing absolutely nothing, looking for jobs when there were none to be had. What probably saved him from being a Graziano was a strong family structure which Rocky didn't have.

But he sure had dynamite in those fists. In between all kinds of crooked mayhem he was causing with friends, Rocky discovers boxing as a way out of the slums. It was a long process, it involved a few stretches in various penal institutions, including a year term in Leavenworth for going AWOL from the army.

Barbella was his given name, but he took the name Graziano which happened to be his mother's maiden name while fighting when he was AWOL. The year stretch didn't corrupt his fighting skills any.

Somebody Up There Likes Me saw some interesting people in bit roles. Steve McQueen is one of Rocky's punk friends, George C. Scott has a walk-on as a prisoner. And Robert Loggia makes an unforgettable film debut as a wiseguy who nearly derails Graziano's career. Dean Jones also makes his screen debut as well.

Boxing fans know Rocky best from those three classic fights with Tony Zale for the middleweight championship. Tony Zale won the first one in New York. And then Graziano was offered a bribe to throw a tune-up fight and backed out of the bout altogether. The rules of the New York State Athletic Commission say bribes have to be reported, taken or not. But Rocky's code of the street didn't allow for that. He lost his license in New York, but was allowed to fight in Chicago in a rematch with Zale. Of course he won it and while he lost the championship back to Zale the following year, he's in the books as a champion and one of the most popular.

Pier Angeli is Norma Unger the Jewish girl he falls for and marries and she radiates the positive goodness he needs in his life. One of Everett Sloane's finest roles is Irving Cohen, former garment worker and now fight manager. My parents met Irving Cohen years ago, they almost bought a house from him way back when I was a toddler. Sloane's portrayal rings very true.

Finally Sal Mineo as Romolo is very good and having read the book, I can say that Romolo was a real person and Mineo plays him as described in Graziano's memoirs. The last scene with Mineo and Newman together before the second Zale fight is very dramatic as Rocky sees exactly the turn his life could have taken.

Paul Newman fans have this as required viewing. For me it is one of the best boxing films ever made and one of the best inspirational films ever made as well.

Read more IMDb reviews