Three Italian-American brothers, living in the slums of 1940's New York City, try to help each other with one's wrestling career using one brother's promotional skills and another brother's con-artist tactics to thwart a sleazy manager.
Conservative street cop Deke DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention. But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge.
Billy Dee Williams
In New York in the late 60s, a politically motivated group of students plans bombings of company offices who do business with dictators in Middle American countries. But when they contact a... See full summary »
Robert Allen Schnitzer
It's 1946 in Hell's Kitchen in New York City. Cosmo Carboni, the eldest of the three Carboni brothers, is lamenting what he sees as them not living up to their potential. Big talking Cosmo hustles and panhandles for money. Brooding Lenny Carboni, an injured veteran whose sullen attitude stems from his time in the war, is an undertaker. And youngest Victor Carboni, the simple muscle-man who wouldn't hurt a fly unless he's annoyed, is an iceman. Victor looks to Lenny and his Chinese-American girlfriend Susan Chow as his voices of reason. After Victor holds his own against wrestler Frankie the Thumper in an arm wrestling match, Frankie who is seen as the strongest man in the neighborhood, and after seeing the lucrative wrestling matches - which are more like street fights without rules - at the underground nightclub called Paradise Alley, Cosmo gets it into his head that wrestling may be Victor's calling and a way for them all to get out of Hell's Kitchen for good. The brothers would act...Written by
Sylvester Stallone actually wrote this before Rocky (1976) and tried to sell it to producers for years, to no avail. Once Rocky (1976) became a smash hit, producers were willing to look at the script, and Universal Pictures green-lit the production due to the overwhelming success of Rocky (1976). See more »
In the opening scene, Stallone mentions that they have to jump across 10 roof tops to win the $5 prize that is on the tenth rooftop. During the opening credits, Stallone jumps exactly 14 times to reach the final rooftop. See more »
Why should I walk around looking like a boiled rag when I can have a stylish set of duds for free?
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Opening credits use the 1940s Universal logo. See more »
All UK versions are cut by 42 secs by the BBFC to remove shots of a tethered and gagged monkey in Cosmo's closet. See more »
If this film had been spoken in Italian and dubbed in English (like all Italian movies of the seventies) it would have scooped all of the European arthouse awards. It is an excellent film that I have watched many times, and one which always reminds me to respect Stallone as a serious and talented writer/director. This film is very funny and very engaging and can hold it's own with classics of the time such as Lina Wertmuller's "Seven Beauties" or Lasse Hallstrom's "My Life As A Dog". It's a shame that Stallone has never equalled this work. First Blood had much to recommend it and can even stand a little analysis as a metaphor for the American Post-Vietnam psyche. Cliffhanger is pure 'leave-your brain-at-the-door' entertainment and Stallone is perfect in the part but he has done nothing (including Copland) that approaches the sheer art of Paradise Alley. I give it nine out of ten
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