Monkey on My Back

Monkey on My Back

Director: André De Toth

Cast: André De Toth, Cameron Mitchell, Dianne Foster, Paul Richards

     
 

The painfully true story of welterweight boxing champion Barney Ross is detailed in Monkey on My Back. Cameron Mitchell stars as Ross, whose meteoric ring career is interrupted when he joins the Marines at the outset of WWII. A highly decorated hero, Ross contracts malaria oversees and is given morphine to assuage the pain. By the time he returns to the states,See more details below

Overview

The painfully true story of welterweight boxing champion Barney Ross is detailed in Monkey on My Back. Cameron Mitchell stars as Ross, whose meteoric ring career is interrupted when he joins the Marines at the outset of WWII. A highly decorated hero, Ross contracts malaria oversees and is given morphine to assuage the pain. By the time he returns to the states, Ross is a confirmed drug addict. Before he can rise to the top again, he must hit rock bottom and his descent into the hell of narcotics dependency is graphically illustrated (so much so that the film was almost denied a Production Code seal). Though a cured Barney Ross served as technical advisor for Monkey on My Back, he ended up suing the producers for defamation of character -- and lost.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Unlike many other Hollywood biopics, Monkey on My Back does a pretty good job of keeping its facts more-or-less straight; certainly, it's not like one of their "famous composer" films, in which the life story bears no resemblance to reality. But while it is to commended for its accuracy, Monkey is nevertheless too familiar a tale to have the dramatic power that it wants to have. Indeed, there are times when the screenplay is so unimaginative that it becomes downright plodding. Fortunately, there are also a number of "can't miss" sequences to lift the film out of these doldrums. Most praiseworthy of these would be the frightening, disturbing section of the film in which the leading character stays in a hospital fighting his painful addiction; in this sequence are real power and impact, thanks largely to Andre de Toth's fine direction and especially Cameron Mitchell's expert portrayal. Mitchell is excellent throughout, opting for a quieter, more nuanced performance rather than the "hit them over the head" approach that many might take. He's ably aided by Dianne Foster's sensitive work as his wife. Monkey is not the world beater it wants to be, but Mitchell scores a personal knock-out.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2005
UPC:
0027616919205
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cameron Mitchell Barney Ross
Dianne Foster Cathy
Paul Richards Rico
Paul E. Richards Rico
Jack Albertson Sam Pian
Kathy Garver Noreen
Lisa Golm Barney's Mother
Barry Kelley Big Ralph
Dayton Lummis McAvoy
Lewis Charles Lew Surati
Raymond Greenleaf Latham
Richard Benedict Art Winch
Brad Harris Spike

Technical Credits
André De Toth Director
Paul Dudley Screenwriter
Maury Gertsman Cinematographer
Frank Hotaling Art Director
Paul Sawtell Score Composer
Bert Shefter Score Composer
Edward Small Producer
Anthony Veiller Screenwriter
Grant Whytock Editor
Crane Wilbur Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title/In the Ring [:08]
2. Birthday Boy [5:55]
3. Barney and Cathy [2:23]
4. Placing His Bets [3:59]
5. Boxing Day [4:38]
6. Lost His Legs [3:47]
7. "On the House" [2:49]
8. Round Over [4:06]
9. "For Keeps" [2:29]
10. At War [3:39]
11. The Wounded Soldier [10:34]
12. Roar of the Crowd [6:47]
13. Withdrawl [3:32]
14. Waiting All Night [5:47]
15. The Businessman [1:41]
16. The Hit He's Looking For [2:32]
17. A Fix [5:00]
18. Alley Cats [8:25]
19. The Last Fight [5:37]
20. The Champ/End Credits [7:16]

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