PARADISE ALLEY by Sylvester Stallone
Kirkus Star


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Rocky II . . . in Seventh Heaven? Remember those gutter rosebuds, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, and he's the Parisian sewer cleaner and she's a waif? Well, writer-actor Stallone has furnished himself with a new film vehicle (it's all here, no need for a script) that lets him play a slum character with even less personal insight than Rocky's and to love a pavement flower with even less definition than Talia Shire's shy little introvert (""Rose was a pleasant person. Few things on earth ever got under her skin. To her life was simple. She did not want wealth, or sex with blond men, or long legs, she only wanted to be married and share someone else's life""). What Rose and Victor the Giant want is to buy a houseboat in New Jersey--not that Victor doesn't have a Saroyan-sweet crush on Manhattan's mucky West Side district known as Hell's Kitchen. Now 28, Victor has been an iceman since age 12; he thinks little of shouldering 450 pounds of ice up five tenement flights. It's 1946 but the dialogue is 1936, say from Dead End and Street Scene, filtered through Stallone's hard-ass sentimentality. Victor's older brothers are Cosmo the con man and Lenny-the-crippled-war-vet-turnedundertaker. Cosmo and Lenny are fighting over Kathy the taxi dancer, then decide to promote Victor as the greatest wrestler in Hell's Kitchen and help him get his houseboat (and some $$ for themselves). . . . Appealingly playable, sometimes goofy dialogue with the ring of tinsel.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1977
Publisher: Putnam