Monkey on My Back is a painfully true story of welterweight boxing champion Barney Ross, whose meteoric ring career is interrupted when he joins the Marines at the outset of WWII. A highly decorated hero, Ross contracts malaria oversees and is given morphine to assuage the pain. By the time he returns to the states, Ross is a confirmed drug addict. The morphine has turned him in to an addict. So, before he can rise to the top again, he must hit rock bottom and his descent into the hell of narcotics dependency is graphically illustrated. A cured Barney Ross served as technical advisor for Monkey on My Back, he ended up suing the producers for defamation of character, and lost the case.