Somebody Up There Likes Me

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,403
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Movie Info

Based on boxer Rocky Graziano's autobiography, this film accurately depicts the teen-aged Rocky as an unregenerate punk, evidently doomed by his slum environment, and his lousy attitude, to a life of petty crime. Determining that the only way he'll make a living is with his fists, Rocky becomes a boxer.

Cast

Paul Newman
as Rocky Graziano
Anna Maria Pier Angeli
as Norma Graziano
Everett Sloane
as Irving Cohen
Eileen Heckart
as Ma Barbella
Sal Mineo
as Romolo
Harold J. Stone
as Nick Barbella
Sammy White
as Whitey Bimstein
Robert P. Lieb
as Questioner
Theodore Newton
as Commissioner Eddie Eagan
Robert Easton
as Cpl. Quinburg
Ray Walker
as Ring Announcer
Billy Nelson
as Commissioner
Robert Loggia
as Frankie Peppo
Matt Crowley
as Lou Stillman
Judson Pratt
as Johnny Hyland
Donna Jo Gribble
as Yolanda Barbella
James Todd
as Colonel
Russ Conway
as Capt. Grifton
Harry Wismer
as Himself
Sam Taub
as Radio Announcer
Terry Rangno
as Rocky at Age 8
Jan Gillum
as Yolanda at Age 12
John Eldredge
as Warden Niles
Mart Crowley
as Lou Stillman
Clancy Cooper
as Capt. Lancheck
Dean Jones
as Private
Charles Green
as Curtis Hughtower
Angela Cartwright
as Audrey at Age 3
David Leonard
as Mr. Mueller
John Rosser
as Detective
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Critic Reviews for Somebody Up There Likes Me

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (2)

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

    Oct 1, 2008 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Paul Newman's talent is large and flexible, revealing an approach to the Graziano character that scores tremendously.

    Jun 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • A disappointing biopic of Rocky Graziano, East Side delinquent turned World Middleweight Champion.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    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.

    Mar 25, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The film's money shot is the well-staged fight between Zale and Rocky.

    Sep 8, 2012 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 27, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Somebody Up There Likes Me

  • Mar 24, 2018
    This was Paul Newman's second film, and because his first was so poor, it was the one that launched his career. He got the role of Rocky Graziano after James Dean, who was originally cast, tragically died. Graziano is shown for a good portion of the film as an out of control young man, stealing things, running rackets, and defying authority - even that of the US Army. Newman plays the part reasonably well, and though he was a little over-the-top at times, his presence and charisma more than make up for it. While the story is somewhat predictable, since we know Graziano will someday be a world champion boxer, it's well told by director Robert Wise, and not shy about showing us his shortcomings (with the real Graziano's full approval). His relationship with his father (Harold J. Stone), who had his own boxing dreams frustrated, is very touching. The real hero of the story is his wife (Pier Angeli), who always looks out for Graziano the man, as opposed to Graziano the boxer. Angeli plays the part well, playing her supportive scenes without being cloying, getting tough when she needs to be, and having a couple of very cute scenes with their daughter (Angela Cartwright) besides. "Baby, your father is the champ," exclaims mom. "I have to go to the bathroom," the little one replies. It's in human moments like these that make the film, and the action in the final boxing match is pretty good as well.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 08, 2011
    One of the best sports bio movies ever done.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2010
    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 R Super Reviewer
  • Mar 09, 2009
    barring butch cassidy and the sundance kid i think this is now my favourite paul newman performance. i know only a few days ago it was the left handed gun but y'know... i'm working my way through a newman boxset... so that's my excuse! aside from arguing with myself over which is paul newmans best performance this is the best boxing film i've seen apart from possibly clints million dollar baby, but it's better than raging bull or any of the rocky flicks. high drama and high octane
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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