Rocky (1976)

Rocky (1976)

Titled boxer Balboa (AFI’s #7 hero) helped this film and its director John Avildsen win Oscars. What if Oscar nominated Best Actor Sylvester Stallone had accepted the $150000 the producers offered him to let Ryan O’Neal play the lead? Thankfully we’ll never know. The fight scene was filmed in reverse order starting with the fifteenth round and Stallone and Weathers in heavy make-up. As filming continued the make-up was slowly removed until they were at round one. In part because of this technique the movie also won an Oscar for Best Film Editing. Talia Shire was also nominated (Best Actress) as were Supporting Actors Burt Young and Burgess Meredith and Stallone’s Screenplay Writing. Has led to four sequels and counting. #78 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies list. #52 on AFI’s Most Heart-Pounding Movies list. “Gonna Fly Now” is #58 on AFI’s 100 Top Movie Songs of All Time. Rocky’s frequently spoken call to his gal (played by Shire) “Yo Adrian!” is #80 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list. #4 on AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies list. This film was added to the National Film Registry in 2006.

Stallone plays the titled fighter a brawler that leads with his face in small bar fights for little money. Otherwise he collects money for a loan-shark (Joe Spinell). An old trainer (Meredith) who works with him believes he “coulda been a contender”. He meets a shy girl Adrian (Shire) who he begins to date. She has a brother (Young) who’s a meat packer. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) the heavyweight champion decides to give a Philadelphia boxer a shot at the title and you know who he chooses. But there’s more a sweet love story between Rocky and Adrian.

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