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Rocky (1976)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  3 December 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 334,396 users  
Reviews: 514 user | 131 critic

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.


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Top Rated Movies #218 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Gambina ...
Bill Baldwin ...
Fight Announcer
Al Silvani ...
Cut Man (as Al Salvani)
George Memmoli ...
Ice Rink Attendant
Diana Lewis ...
TV Commentator
George O'Hanlon ...
TV Commentator
TV Interviewer


Rocky Balboa is a struggling boxer trying to make the big time, working as a debt collector for a pittance. When heavyweight champion Apollo Creed visits Philadelphia, his managers want to set up an exhibition match between Creed and a struggling boxer, touting the fight as a chance for a "nobody" to become a "somebody". The match is supposed to be easily won by Creed, but someone forgot to tell Rocky, who sees this as his only shot at the big time. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's a has-been battler with one dream left...and one last chance. See more »


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Рокки  »

Box Office


$960,000 (estimated)


$117,235,247 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Prior to shooting the fight between Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers, director John G. Avildsen decided that the scenes needed to be shot in a unique way so as to make the boxing more realistic than in other boxing movies of the period. He, Weathers and Stallone all went to a ring and began to block out the moves, but it wasn't working, and the fight was coming across as staged and not very energetic. Avildsen then told Stallone to go home and literally write out the fight; 'Rocky throws a left, Creed moves back, Creed goes right, Rocky goes right Creed jabs low etc'. The next day, Stallone returned with 32 pages of specific directions for the fight, which he and Weathers learned off like a ballet over a period of weeks. In total, Stallone and Weathers rehearsed for over 35 hours. See more »


In the final fight, just before we see the sign for Round 13, there is a shot of Rocky in a clinch looking fairly unmarked even though the previous rounds had shown him already very bloodied. See more »


[first lines]
Club fight attendee: Come on, Spider!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Butkus the dog is credited as "Butkus Stallone". See more »


Referenced in Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) See more »


The First Noel
Traditional 17th century hymn
Hummed by Burt Young
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

14 May 2000 | by (Edmonton) – See all my reviews

The first common misconception about Rocky, and something that's almost inevitable when you put a half-naked Stallone with boxing gloves on the cover is that it's a fighting movie. In that time it would fall into a category including Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan. Now don't get me wrong, I like both of these actors a lot, they're among my favorites, but Rocky is not just another cheap movie about a man who like to win a fight or tournament because he deserves it (Bloodsport, Quest). Instead of a fighting movie we should say that it is a movie about a fighter. That changes the context altogether, it means that sure he has fighting on his mind but has other personal issues that are demonstrated throughout the movie. In fact in the whole movie there are two fight scenes (at the beginning and at the end) which together add up to about 15 minutes.

The rest is the portrayal of a man who has never had it easy in his life but nonetheless keeps his heart. That is to say that he keeps his moral and ethics, just keeps on trying no matter the hardships. A MAN WITH A DREAM... an un-realizable dream to be frank. But in the end, a lot, even most, of our dreams are un-realizable... but we try anyway. The difference here is that this man is given a shot at his dream, a "one-in-a-million shot". It's something that we all would like so we can relate and CAN'T HELP but cheer for him at the end of the movie.

The largest portion, in minutes, of the movie is actually devoted to the love theme between Rocky and Adrien. So that should maybe make this a "love story" movie instead of fighting movie. Adrien is another of his dreams, slightly more attainable which is why he devotes more of his time everyday to trying to attain it (her). She won't open up to anybody but in the end, with a certain amount of tenacity on the part of Stallone, she can't help but fall for the heart deep inside the rough exterior.

Another theme here is that of fraternity between Rocky and Mickey, his trainer/manager. In fact THE MOST TOUCHING SCENE in the whole movie in my opinion is one of about 15 to 20 seconds long and without any words. It's when Mickey goes to see Rocky at his home the first time to see if he can manage him. Rocky gets angry with him but keeps it to himself until Mickey leaves, at which point Rocky takes it out on the door jam and yells at Mickey who can still hear him outside. Rocky's life is being turned upside down by this whole "fighting Creed" business and although it is his dream, he doesn't know how to deal with it and is scared to get mangled in the ring, knowing he's not of the same caliber as the champ. The touching scene is when he realizes that he has yelled at an old man. His heart takes him out into the street after Mickey, he joins him and shakes his hand. The beginning of an enduring friendship which will ultimately lead to tears in a later film (Rocky 3 and 5).

This movie simply seeps with "classic", and by the end you know you have just seen a movie of courage, of the portrayal of "the indominable spirit of man" (Rocky 3). No matter the difficulties, Rocky's heart takes him through it all. It doesn't fit the mold of today's classics (like Private Ryan) with melodrama and grandiose scenery, just a simple movie, with simple qualities but very large meaning intricately woven into the fabric of the film itself by Stallone and the director John G. Avildson, with the musical overtones of Bill Conti. A classic from a different age, and the mold of a lot of movies to follow.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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As good as Raging Bull ? leonwatson79
Ending makes me cry every time kombucha
The first film as a Standalone Weber4278
What was that stuff? micmac99
Quiz for Rocky fans :) cottinghamster
If Rocky had just gone to a neutral corner as soon as Apollo was down kenjon-796-694562
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