Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Ernest Lehman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 14, 2006
MGM Home Entertainment


as Rocky Graziano

as Norma Graziano

as Irving Cohen

as Ma Barbella

as Romolo

as Nick Barbella

as Whitey Bimstein

as Questioner

as Commissioner Eddie E...

as Cpl. Quinburg

as Ring Announcer

as Commissioner

as Frankie Peppo

as Lou Stillman

as Johnny Hyland

as Yolanda Barbella

as Colonel

as Capt. Grifton

as Himself

as Radio Announcer

as Rocky at Age 8

as Yolanda at Age 12

as Shorty

as Warden Niles

as Capt. Lancheck

as Lou Stillman

as Private

as Curtis Hughtower

as Audrey at Age 3

as Mr. Mueller

as Detective

as Detective
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Somebody Up There Likes Me

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Somebody Up There Likes Me

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

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

Full Review… | October 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 8, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.

Conner Rainwater

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

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.

Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

Somebody Up There Likes Me Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Somebody Up There Likes Me on our Movie forum!