SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (1956) B/W widescreen 114m dir: Robert Wise
w/Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane, Eileen Heckart, Sal Mineo, Harold J. Stone, Joseph Buloff, Sammy White, Arch Johnson, Robert Lieb
The true story of boxer Rocky Graziano's rise from a small time hood in the slums of New York to become the middleweight champion of the world. Newman is wonderful as the original "Rocky," and he gets top support from Angeli as his wife, Buloff as a candy store philosopher, Heckart as his mother, and Sloane as a fight promoter.
From The Movie Guide: "After pulling no punches in his brilliant study of professional boxing, THE SET-UP, director Robert Wise presents a much more upbeat picture of the fight game in this entertaining biography of one-time middleweight champion Rocky Graziano. ... Newman, who spent time with Graziano and observed his speech patterns, mannerisms, movements, and boxing style, 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. Although the role was originally intended for James Dean, Newman makes it his own, delivering such memorable lines as 'I'll drink from the bottle like the rest of the boys' when asked if he needs a cup to complete his boxing garb."
SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME won two Oscars: Best Cinematography (Joseph Ruttenberg) and Art Direction (Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm Brown, Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason). It was also nominated for Best Editing (Albert Akst).