Rocky Granziano 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.
This biopic of boxer Rocky Graziano was set to be James Dean's next film when the star died, making way for a career-making performance by Paul Newman as the inarticulate hood who makes a life for himself by boxing his way out of the gutter. A rare boxing film with a hero who emerges as a winner inside and outside the ring, this has Rocky resist the slimy advances of crooked fixer Robert Loggia and reconcile with his failure of a father (Harold J. Stone) as he makes a nice life with his spirited love interest (Angeli). Method acting Newman seems punch-drunk even before he starts fighting though he goes less overboard with the paisano mannerisms than everyone else. Robert Wise, one of Hollywood's slickest, manufactures a shallow, entertaining movie, but it's impossible not to wonder what he would have made of Dean.
Entertaining but light boxing biopic