Somebody Up There Likes Me

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Robert Wise (1956)

PG Certificate


Our Score
In this boxing biopic, the role of middleweight champ Rocky Graziano was intended for James Dean, who unfortunately had a date with destiny on the highway. Into the ring stepped Paul Newman, in only his third film after The Silver Chalice and The Rack (released at the same time as this movie), and he became a star overnight. Newman brings to the role a lot of the Method mannerisms popular with young actors at the time, making this very much a product, albeit an important one, of the home of Method in the 1950s, the Actors Studio of New York. His training sessions with Graziano before and during production give his performance a realistic edge, but the script drags in rather too many social issues for comfort. It's directed by Robert Wise, who had previously made another boxing classic, The Set-Up, in 1949, and, if you watch closely, you might catch Steve McQueen making his screen debut.


Biopic of New York-born boxer Rocky Graziano, who went through a series of reform schools and prisons before going AWOL from the army. Turning to the ring to make some quick money, he shows a talent for the sport and ultimately rises to become the world middleweight champion. Starring Paul Newman, Pier Angeli and Everett Sloane, and featuring an appearance by Steve McQueen in his movie debut.

Cast & Crew

Rocky Graziano Paul Newman
Norma Pier Angeli
Irving Cohen Everett Sloane
Fidel Steve McQueen
Ma Barbella Eileen Heckart
Romolo Sal Mineo
Nick Barbella Harold J Stone
Benny Joseph Buloff
Director Robert Wise
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerAvailable on: video and DVD