Gonna Fly Now

Rocky is an inspirational underdog story for the ages. Winning the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director John G. Avildsen, and Best Film Editing, Rocky is perhaps the most universally beloved sports movie of all time. It’s certainly the most iconic boxing movie ever made. You don’t even have to be into sports to appreciate it. Which is why I knew I needed to watch the first movie and by extension, the rest of its many sequels, as soon as possible. Long before he was famous, Sylvester Stallone was known mostly for his role in a softcore porno film (later renamed Italian Stallion). After watching a championship boxing match, Stallone wrote Rocky in 3ยฝ days. Unsurprisingly, studios loved his script, but wanted to cast a more A-list star. So Stallone refused to sell the script if he didn’t play the lead himself. It’s a good thing it worked out, because Sylvester Stallone is Rocky Balboa. Rocky tells a very simple underdog story. Rocky Balboa is just a small time boxer working for a lone shark. Because of this, people call him a bum. It isn’t until he’s given the chance to fight the world heavyweight champion that he finally proves himself. What makes it standout is everything in between…

SYLVESTER STALLONE & CARL WEATHERS ROCKY (1976)

Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed

Rocky takes place in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. Which certainly boosted the overall appreciation of the city. Rocky Balboa often dresses in a black leather jacket and matching fedora. Due to his ethnicity, he’s nicknamed “The Italian Stallion.” Despite his current occupation, Rocky is actually very friendly. He doesn’t even swear. Most only focus on the boxing, but at its core, Rocky is a love story. Between Rocky and shy pet shop owner Adrian, played by Talia Shire. His innocent attempts to get her out of her shell make their relationship feel real. Rocky’s main opponent is Apollo Creed. The current boxing champ that only Carl Weathers can make as likable as he is. Being a small time fighter, a promoter selects Rocky to fight in an exhibition match against Apollo Creed. Burgess Meredith plays Rocky’s trainer Mickey. His gruff tough love attitude pushes Rocky to achieve his full potential. By far the most iconic part of the movie is the training montage. Accompanied by one of the most famous movie themes of all time. Rocky first consumes five raw eggs (leading to many sick imitators). He also punches frozen meat in (Adrian’s brother) Paulie’s meat factory. Since hitting meat is closer to hitting a person. Rocky then chases chickens, runs through the streets of Philly, and makes his way up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rocky’s arms extended in triumph is so iconic that a statue was built on the steps where millions of people visit to recreate the moment to this day. But the big fight is what everyone came to see. Creed is so confident that Rocky manages to get the best of him. Leading to a more serious fight with the two opponents delivering brutal blow after brutal blow. Until the final bell sounds where (SPOILER ALERT!) Apollo Creed is named the winner. It may seem like an unhappy ending, but the outcome was never important in the first place. Rocky is about going the distance. About proving yourself, and that’s why Adrian is all Rocky cares about in that moment. Rocky is an event that never fails to exhilarate, inspire, and most importantly, triumph.

rocky-1976-movie-still

Rocky conquers the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Followed by: Rocky II

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s