A powerful drama from 1957, Andre De Toth's MONKEY ON MY BACK stars Cameron Mitchell (HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE) as ex-boxer Barney Ross. Ross returns from military service in Guadalcanal, where he became addicted to morphine after succumbing to malaria. Unable to kick his craving, Ross becomes a fully-fledged heroin addict, much to the dismay of everyone around him. Although the film isn't graphic in its depiction of a fallen man caught up in the throes of a powerful addiction, it was still very much ahead of its time. Otto Preminger's THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM precedes De Toth's film by two years, and its tale of a poker player trying to give up heroin is the most obvious cinematic predecessor to MONKEY ON MY BACK. But such films were few and far between in the 1950s, making this a brave stab at tackling addiction in a time when drug taking was barely mentioned in the movies. Based on the true story of boxer Barney Ross, Martin Scorsese's docudrama RAGING BULL is another close cinematic bedfellow; if nothing else, De Toth's film certainly keeps some impressive company.