PARADISE ALLEY

year: 1978
cast: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Kevin Conway
writer/director: Sylvester Stallone
rating: **

A movie that begins with a song sung by Sylvester Stallone has to be good... for something. If not simply for laughs. This is Sly's followup to ROCKY and has the feel of a film noir comic book and the dialogue of a pulpy dime novel. Sly plays a fast-talking role he'd have written for Burt Young or a more versitile character-actor, but doesn't do too bad a job... his acting is better than his directing herein. Plot centers on three brother (named in order up top): the main one a flaky rogue; one a crooked thug; one a very large, dumb lovable oaf... and there's barroom wrestling. It's no surprise which brother manages, which one wants all the money, and which one wrestles? Well Sly's not the fighter this time, and Armand Assante is both big brother and semi-antagonist (Funhouse star Kevin Conway the main heavy). This was Stallone's sophmore jinx after ROCKY rocketed him to stardom. The film has heart, but is, overall, a pointless mess.

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