Paradise Alley was written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also played the starring role in this entertaining account of three Italian-American brothers whose sole purpose in life is to better themselves and escape from the claustrophobia of Hell’s Kitchen in New York in 1946.
Stallone played the middle brother with Armand Assante as the oldest, a wounded WWII veteran who works as an embalmer, walks with a limp and is the bitterest of the three.
Lee Canalito played the youngest brother, who also happened to be both the biggest and the most gentle.
Stallone and Assante planned to promote their baby brother as a wrestler in order to earn enough money to move to a better part of town.
The quest to do just that provided roles for Kevin Conway as an Irish hood, Frank Rae as a has-been black wrestler, Anne Archer as a redhead in a dime-a-dance hall, Joyce Ingalls as a whore, and Aimee Eccles as a Chinese American who had young Canalito’s interests at heart.
Frankie the Thumper