Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »
The abuse Rocky Barbella endures at the hand of his father and subsequent run-ins with the law lead him in and out of detention centers and prisons. When it seems he has it together, Rocky is drafted but, refusing to adhere to Army rules, goes AWOL. He takes up boxing to earn quick money, but when he discovers he has a natural talent in the ring, he builds the confidence to pursue his love interest, Norma, and fulfill his potential as a fighter.Written by
In the scene where Rocky is flying to New York from Chicago, the picture of the plane in flight is reversed (see the airline name in backward lettering). It was probably intentional so that the plane would be heading from left to right. That is the way people would imagine the plane heading, since that's the direction on a map. See more »
Up until now I've only seen Paul Newman in 1990's and later movies - but he's never been the actor that called me into a movie theater or made me change the channel. He always seemed to play the same type of part: easy going, calm, aware, well contained. Or maybe that's the way he made each part seem.
After seeing this movie, now I know why he's considered such a great actor. I only watched boxing when it was part of the Olympics - just don't enjoy the sport itself that much - and only know about Rocky Graziano from the newspapers. But Paul Newman was riveting. He made this character of a complete underdog, who apparently had no hope, no charm, and nothing to live for, into someone I cared about enough to stick with the movie for two hours.
I don't know how true-to-life the story was; Hollywood generally creates composite characters, cleans up reality and changes or outright ignores major events. Certainly the many fights Graziano had were a bit of a blur in the film and I'm sure several critical steps in his advancement towards middleweight championship were neglected. The reason for the violent relationship between Rocky and his father was unexplained. And his mother's mental state (the film alludes to her time in the hospital) is not fully developed.
These gaps do not overshadow in any way Paul Newman's performance. I always thought it was longevity, charitable works, and a long-lasting marriage to another actor (not to mention darn good spaghetti sauce) that gave him the aura he has - now I understand.
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