Thursday, December 4, 2014

Only now does it occur to me... PARADISE ALLEY

Only now does it occur to me... that OVER THE TOP was not Stallone's first run-in with the glamorous world of arm-wrestling.

In PARADISE ALLEY, his directorial debut (it's a post-WWII, poverty-row, Hell's Kitchen, bootstrap-pullin', wrasslin' tale), Stallone acts as a manager for his brother Vic (Lee Canalito) and arranges an arm-wrestling match where the prize is a gangster's monkey.

This monkey.

His brother delivers (taking it over the top, so to speak)

and Stallone finally fulfills his lifelong dream of owning a dancing monkey.

The monkey is last seen on the street with Stallone, seriously underperforming:
Yo– look at the dancin' monkey!

Also of note:  for a movie that actually has Tom Waits in it, 

 As "Mumbles"

it's Sylvester Stallone who sings the title song, and his brother Frank who plays "Lounge Singer."

 Everybody loves Frank Stallone.

Though to be fair, the soundtrack does feature the same number (two) of Waits songs as Frank Stallone songs, with "(Meet Me In) Paradise Alley" and "Annie's Back in Town," and conjures the proper atmosphere of whiskey-fueled despondency!

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