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Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 2,304

My Rating

Movie Info

Once you get past the fact that handsome Paul Newman could never pass for plug-ugly boxer Rocky Graziano in real life, you will be able to accept Somebody Up Their Likes Me as one of the more accomplished movie biopics of the 1950s. Based on Graziano's autobiography (co-written with Rowland Barber), the film accurately depicts the teen-aged Rocky as an unregenerate punk, evidently doomed by his slum environment, and his own lousy attitude, to a life of petty crime. Determining that the only way

Unrated,

Drama, Classics

Ernest Lehman

Nov 14, 2006

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (2) | DVD (3)

Paul Newman brings to awesome life the jungle qualities implicit in a slum childhood...

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Paul Newman's talent is large and flexible, revealing an approach to the Graziano character that scores tremendously.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A disappointing biopic of Rocky Graziano, East Side delinquent turned World Middleweight Champion.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Robert Wise's direction is fast, aggressive and bright, and the picture is edited to give it a tremendous crispness and pace.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film's money shot is the well-staged fight between Zale and Rocky.

September 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Robert Wise's sports biopic of Rocky Graziano deservedly catapulted Paul Newman to major stardom; you can spot in small parts Steve McQueen, before he became a star, and Sal Mineo.

September 27, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

[Newman] worked himself into peak condition for the role, lifting weights and sparring with top professionals, and his portrayal of the scrappy, often tongue-tied, but wholly likable boxer is superb.

June 18, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Straightforward and simplistic.

February 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Director Wise keeps the action fresh and lively, drawing excellent performances from Newman, Angeli as Mrs Graziano and Mineo in a small but significant role.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Audience Reviews for Somebody Up There Likes Me

A flawless movie on all accounts, it's one of the best boxing movies to ever be made. Its longstanding reputation is well warranted and I feel like it should be praised even more. Paul Newman is both charming and determined, he plays a character that has truly had nothing to his name since he was born and been treated as though he is worthless and stupid. It's so powerful and inspiring when he turns his whole life around and gets everything he goes for. The visual style of this is downright scary, there is not one shot that doesn't look hand crafted and meticulously planned out. Robert Wise created a film that is both a great piece of entertainment and an unforgettable piece of cinema.
June 4, 2010
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

dunno what took me so long to see this. now i know where sly stallone got his rocky character. this part was meant for james dean before he was killed, giving newman the break that made him a star. with sal mineo and steve mcqueen as his street gang buddies. very entertaining if somewhat predictable story. well what can u do, it's all true :P the only lame part was perry como's theme song
October 13, 2008
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Early in the movie when Rocky is running around with a street gang, including Sal Mineo and Steve McQueen, you can see why Robert Wise was later given the job of directing West Side Story. I recently read an informative biography about Paul Newman. I didn't realize that he came out of the Actor's Studio, the same method school as Brando, Dean and many others. Newman observed the real Rocky Graziano, saw the neighborhoods where he lived, trained in the gym where he trained. Incidentally, Brando based his manner and voice for Stanley and Terry on Rocky too. Newman embodies a character who seems so different from the ones I've seen him play a later in life. He is excellent. I don't think I've seen any other movies in which Pier Angeli plays a role. Her role here is not the normal doting girlfriend/wife who fades into the background of the story. True she is doting on Rocky, but she shows a strength and a vulnerability that is usually not explored in a supporting part in a biopic like this. The circle of friends and family who surround Rocky through his life are played by a great cast of character actors. Parts of this movie were filmed on location in New York, when that was still a fairly new practice. So it has a realistic feel that doesn't often shrink from the tougher issues in Rocky's life. The big boxing match near the end must have been an inspiration to Scorsese and De Niro for Raging Bull. The movies of course share black and white cinematography. While Scorsese played with the camera speed more, here Wise keeps things at realistic speeds. The makeup work done on Newman as he gets pummeled and swollen looks quite similar to De Niro's makeup. This is a lifelike biopic that covers many years in Rocky Graziano life. The worst part about it is Perry Como's rendition of the title song over both sets of credits.
November 19, 2011
hypathio7

Super Reviewer

I have not seen this one in awhile and still enjoyed it. Newman is great and Wise shooting on location in NYC looks great. I agree with Keith where I couldn't see Jimmy Dean pulling this off, especially with Deans unique fighting style.
November 17, 2008
codyfranklin2

Super Reviewer

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