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SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, 1956
Movie Review

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SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME,  MOVIE POSTERSOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, 1956
Movie Reviews

Directed by: Robert Wise

Cast: Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane, Eileen Heckart
Review by Jarred Thomas


SYNOPSIS:

Rocky Graziano is building a career in crime, when he's finally caught and arrested. In jail, he is undisciplined, always getting into trouble. When he gets out after many years he has decided to start a new life. However, he is immediately drafted to the army. But they can't keep him and he goes AWOL. Rocky discovers boxing as a way of earning quick money, and is discovered as a new talent.

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REVIEW:

The role was originally supposed to be given to James Dean, but after he died in a tragic car accident, the role was given to Paul Newman. The role of Rocky Graziano helped to establish Newman’s career as one of the fledging actors to look out for. Considering Dean was a great actor and would have done an amazing job in his role, no doubt, Newman stepped up his game and delivered a fine performance that truly shows his depth and range as a quality actor.

The film chronicles the life of Rocky Graziano whose troubled youth helped to shape his difficult yet rewarding future, despite the setbacks that aimed to destroy him. As a troubled youth growing up with an abusive father, Rocky found himself constantly fighting against authority figures and ending up in jail. He moves from reform school to the army to prison where he meets a fitness instructor who takes an interest in Rocky.

The fitness instructor, Johnny Hyland sees great potential in Rocky as an athlete and urges him to make something of himself by using his anger into something positive like boxing. When he’s released from prison, Rocky continues his devious lifestyle until he hooks up with a small time manager who teaches him the art of boxing. Rocky is a natural.

But it’s when he meets Nora that he begins to change his life and become a better man. Their scenes together are well done with plenty of emotional and well acted dramatic moments throughout. Newman is at his best and shows why he was one of Hollywood’s greatest actors of his or any generation.

Newman talent is huge and his characters usually allow him to channel that powerful energy into something that is equally as powerful. But Newman is gifted and wise enough to know when to turn the volume down, come back to Earth, and level with us on an emotionally relatable scene that feels genuine and true. Sure there are some actors that have same power behind their performances, but many do not know how to properly use it.

His scene with his father towards the end shows just that. It’s loud, raw, captivating but true; true in the sense that one some level many can relate to that moment. Clashing with your parent about challenges and difficulties they put on you growing up, and the lack of support they provided when needed most. It’s a tough yet rewarding scene because the film was building up that moment, even if it was short, it was still effective.

“Somebody up there likes me” is an excellent well done picture with some gripping performances across the board. The final fight at the end is engaging and sterling as you watch with the rest of the cast to see if Rocky can pull off the big win. No matter the outcome, Newman pulled off a huge win in this film.

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SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME


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