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Sunday, May 25, 2008

MONKEY ON MY BACK (1957)

"B" picture stalwarts producer Ed Small & director André de Toth delivered this formulaic boxer’s rise & fall bio-pic which fitfully comes to life halfway thru when we leave the ring for Guadalcanal WWII action, malaria, and a quick army cure that evolves into drug addiction. Based on Bernie Ross’s career (his mom shows up w/ bagel & lox, so I guess he was a Jewish boxer), Cameron Mitchell makes like John Garfield, but comes up short, as does Dianne Foster as the suffering wife. But the noir elements of the second half, along with Paul Richards’ smoothy loan shark/drug supplier, make for a modestly tasty treat.

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