Kid Monk Baroni Analysis

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A box office flop in 1952, Kid Monk Baroni is certainly no well-known film. Directed by Harold D. Schuster, Kid Monk Baroni was actor Leonard Nimoy’s first leading film role. Though it wasn’t very successful, it’s a good film that relays a great message through the development of lead character Paul “Monk” Baroni. Throughout the movie, Paul Baroni transforms from a street punk to a successful and respected man.
In the beginning, Paul is the leader of “The Billy Goats,” a street gang in Little Italy, New York. He’s very sensitive about his face, which is deformed and described as “ape-like” (hence the nickname “Monk”), to the point where he goes into a violent rage if anyone mentions it. The movie opens to a scene where Monk and the rest of the gang are destroying a staircase in an apartment building for firewood. The new parish priest, Father Callahan, is introduced when he walks in on the boys and offers them a legal way to keep warm—by making use of the gym equipment in the church’s heated basement. This leads to the Father teaching Monk how to box, in an attempt to help him control his anger. He also councils the young Baroni on not reacting violently to people noticing his deformity. The timeline skips ahead a few weeks and we see Father Callahan lightly reprimanding Paul for purposefully using slang and slurring his words to appear “tough” when he’s capable of pronouncing words correctly. There’s already a noticeable change in Paul Baroni’s
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There were some times when it seemed as though Paul was stuck, doomed to revert back to his old lifestyle, but he never lost sight of who he really was. With just a few helpful pushes from his friends and family, Paul was able to grow as a person. Despite the film’s failure in the box office, Nimoy embodied a great character that showed viewers that you really can change who you
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