Monkey on My Back

Synopsis: The true story of Barney Ross, a World War II hero and champion professional boxer, who became addicted to morphine.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): André De Toth
Production: United Artists
94 min

Come in.

Come in, Sullivan.

Sign here, Ross.

This is Barney Ross, a voluntary patient.

Dr. Sullivan is in charge

of the Withdrawal Ward...

and he'll take care of you.

That's all that's necessary.

This will be home

while you're on withdrawal, Barney.

lt's all right.

l'll be back in half an hour, at shot time.

-l get a shot?

-That's right.

Twice a day in smaller and smaller doses

until you don't need it anymore.

That's why we call it the Withdrawal Ward.

Just take it as easy as you can.

l got no crowd rooting for me this time,

l'm on my own,

a junkie,

Me, Barney Ross,,,

the guy that couldn't lose,

That's what l always told myself,

Well, l got a different kind of fight

on my hands now,,,

different from the time l fought McLarnin

to win my title back,

Keep moving, slip his left jab,

and watch his left hook.

That's how he beat you last time.

-Listen, will you, Barney?

-Yeah, l'm listening, Sam.

-Hiya, Champ.

-Hey, Big.

How did you get in here?

How you feeling, Champ?

l just thought l'd stop by and wish you luck.

Don't worry about me, l'm feeling fine.

What are the odds on Dancin' Boy

in the fourth at Belmont tomorrow?


-6-to-1 to our best customer.

6-to-1. $5,OOO right on his nose.

Grow up. You already fought one title fight

just for the bookies. Lay off the betting.

This ain't betting.

This is banking. l know what l'm doing.

Sure, you knew what you were doing

when you lost $1 2,OOO on the World Series.

And when you dropped

$5,OOO shooting dice.

Sam, that's enough already.

-lt's a bet, Big.


Bets? You're worrying about a horse,

while McLarnin's ready to tear your ears off.

They're betting 8-to-5 he'll do it.

Okay, Barney, your public is waiting for you.

-Come on, Harry, let's go.

-Spit out the gum.

lt's a bet, Big.

Okay. You win this round. Would you mind

concentrating on the next one?

-Relax, Sam. We know l'm a winner.

-Sure. You know you're a winner.

l know you're a winner,

but we still gotta convince McLarnin.

Kill him, Barney!

Go on, Barney.

Come on, Jim!

Come on, Barney!

The crowds yelling and the photographers

taking my picture weren't new to me,

Now l had my title back

and l was the king again,

Hello there, Sam.

-Good fight, Champ.

-Thank you very much.

Good evening, Mr. Ross.

We have your table ready.

-Hi, Barney. You look great.

-l'm fine. Thank you.

Right this way, Mr. Ross.

-Hiya, Champ. You look great.

-Thank you.

That's for you, honey. Here, Mary, sit down.

-Sit down, Francie.

-Thank you.

-What's this?

-Like it?

lt's so cute, Barney. It's adorable.

That ain't nothing but the package.

Look inside.

Diamond earrings.

You shouldn't have.

Sure l should.

l'm just nuts about my buddies.

A guy's gotta be nuts

to give out diamonds and cuff links.

Pi, you gave me this, didn't you?

Diamonds are good enough for me,

they're good enough for my buddies.

Besides, presents are for birthdays,

ain't they?

-lt's his birthday!

-Happy birthday, honey.

So, naturally, we wind up with the presents.

l'm so sorry. It was an accident.

l hope l didn't hurt you.

My fault. l shouldn't have led with my skull.

l hope l didn't hurt you.

-Honey, that's been tried by experts.

-Please forgive me.

You know something? She's a cute girl.

She sure gave you something

to remember her by.

So she's real cute. So what?

Right now you're with me.

Excuse me a minute.

-Hey, Louie.

-Yes, Mr. Ross.

-That girl. What's her name?

-Which one?

The third from the end.

-Cathy Howlett. She's new here.


Do me a favor, will you?

Send her some flowers.

Roses. My compliments.

Thank you.

l thought l'd never see Cathy Howlett again,

Only, there was a pair of brown eyes

l couldn't get out of my mind,

Pick it up, will you, Champ?

It's getting on to lunchtime.

-Who's hungry?

-l am.

lt's bad for me to wait so long for my eats.

Makes me nervous.

Stay with me, Mush.

You'll hold up for another 12 or 15 miles.

l gotta take out some insurance against you.

Mr. Ross, not again.

-You all right, Champ?


-You didn't hurt yourself?


Why don't you watch what you're doing?

A grown-up dame rolling a hoop.

That's for kids. Don't you know that?

Lay off, will you, Mushy?

The lady happens to be a friend of mine.

Some friend. Knocking you down

right in the middle of the park.

Here, lady. Go roll your hoop.

May l have it now, please?

l won't let it go fast again.

Better not.

l think maybe l better keep it, dear.

l'll be careful, Mommy. l really will.


-ls she yours?

-Yes. This is Noreen.

-This is Mr. Ross.

-Hi, Noreen.

The nice man who sent Mommy the flowers

because she kicked you in the head.

Looks like you done better

than your mommy.

l'll have to buy you

a diamond necklace and a new hoop.

Say you're sorry and say goodbye.

No, wait a minute. Don't go in a hurry.

-We gotta eat, too, ain't we?


Let's eat here.

l ain't dressed for the Pump Room.

Are you off your rocker?

You gotta take a rubdown.

You wanna catch a cold or something?

-Got any cash with you?

-l always have cash.

-How much?

-85 cents.

That's a big help.

-l hope you're in the chips.

-Yes, l have $10.

l owe you $10.

-l've got 15 cents.

-We're loaded.

You go with Mushy in the car.

Get anything you like. You're in charge.



Now you take good care of him, lady.

And don't let him cool off too fast.

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Ivan Bunny

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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