Rocky (1976) Poster

(1976)

User Reviews

Review this title
726 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
"But it's Thanksgiving. Yeah to you, but to me it's Thursday."
JFHunt17 December 2004
It's hard to explain what this movie means to me. Words could never. I remember when I was a kid, I never liked the first Rocky, was too obsessed with III and IV. It happened when I was 11 and I went to see V in the theater. I never been to a movie like that before. People were screaming and cheering. Shook the whole damn place. They were dancing in the isle's and celebrating. It was then I realized the true power of Stallone's vision. The realization that only the original would ever really matter.

Rocky to me is so many things. I had to beg my girlfriend to see it. She said she doesn't like boxing. I almost dumped her right there. If she wasn't so hot, I probably would have. I was crushed that someone could think that this movie is about boxing. To me it was never that. It's about a guy, much like you or me, who's down on his luck and everyday feels like Sunday. He's pushing 30, single and broke. I'm sad to say that at this moment it almost reminds me of myself. Every minute more another reason.

It's hard to pick my favorite scenes from the movie. I love the chemistry between Rocky and Adrian (Shire). When he's talking to door and she finally comes out and then stops to look in the mirror. It's a thing of beauty. Or when Mickey (Meredith) goes over to Stallones apartment. Rocky gets upset and punches his shitty wall, then goes to hide in the bathroom. The look on Stallone's face when he comes out to find Mickey still there is priceless. I heard it wasn't in the script or directed, just happened. But the one that does it for me is when he comes home in the opening scene after the chapel fight. He turns on his record player and goes for a beer, but it's empty, like everything else in his life. Talks to the turtles and his fish, why because the Rock is lonely. Goes to the mirror and practices a joke for his love. Looks at a picture of himself and realizes he's wasting his life. It's more than beautiful or real.

It's safe to say that I have seen the original more than 100 times. I still feel all the emotion. I love this movie more than any other film. I hope one day, with God's help, to show it to my kids and have them feel the same way. I think if I ever got the chance to meet Stallone, I'd want to thank him. Tell him how he changed my life. But in reality, he probably wouldn't care. Because, "I'm at least half a bum."
472 out of 518 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A classic! the best and the original movie of all time - Rocky !
ivo-cobra83 November 2015
Rocky (1976) It is still today one of the best action, sport, drama and a cult classic low budget films ever made in history. It is an underdog story telling about a men and his struggle in his life. Sure, I know that without it, there'd be no sequels for a ranking, but compared to III, although this Best Picture of 1976 was great, it just dragged a bit for me. I'm no brainless action-goer, mind you. I love real human drama portrayed on screen. I've got to say though, at times, you feel like you're watching a documentary on a real man's life. It's that much realistic. This to me is a no brainier. You get introduced to an insecure Rocky who works for the mob as a collector, but has too big of a heart to go around hurting people in an awesome heartfelt movie. Adrian and Rock meet, You get introduced to the lovable A-hole Pauly. Introduced to Creed. Introduced to Mick. and BUTKUS! And Rock goes the distance with Creed! This movie has a Heart . As a kid Rocky III was my favorite best movie ,but this one is my second best movie. YO ADRIAN I DID IT!!!

It is my first best favorite film in the series and I just love this film to death. It has a message and it is portraying a real human drama. Rocky is a movie that everyone can relate to. One of my favorite Stallone roles, there is nobody else who could play Rocky better than him, it's too bad that he didn't win Oscar because i honestly think that he deserved it. But at least movie won the best picture of the year award. Maybe Rocky didn't win the fight in the movie, but Stallone did win his "fight" in real life. Rocky, a poor guy that just barley manages to get by, just wants to fight. However, everyone including his trainer has given up on him. Rocky also wants to go on a date with Adrian, a very shy girl who works at the local pet store, Adrian, however, is too shy to even say anything to anyone. Meanwhile, Apollo Creed (the heavy-weight champion of boxing) learns that his boxing partner has been injured and can't fight. Apollo tries all the other potential boxing partners, but every one of them refuse. Apollo decides to give an unknown boxer a chance to fight him for the title, with the intentions of just giving him five minutes of fame then knocking him out. Apollo picks Rocky. This is the Rocky's only shot at the big time and chance he will never get it back.

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. Sylvester Stallone, himself a virtual unknown, managed to sell his Rocky script (one of 35 that he'd written over the years) on the proviso that he be given the starring role. Since the film was to be made on a shoestring and marketed on a low-level basis, the risk factor to United Artists was small. For Stallone, this was a make-or-break opportunity — just like Rocky's million-to-one shot with Apollo Creed. Costing under a million dollars, Rocky managed to register with audiences everywhere, earning back 60 times its cost. The film won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The original Rocky film is one of the greatest epic action sport drama film in the history! It contains action, humor, romance, and an uplifting message. The screenplay is great, and features some truly touching moments. There is also some great camera work, thanks to the new Steadicam. It's a shame Stallone's later career and all the Rocky sequels have lessened this film in the eyes of many. This film is truly a classic and deserves to be seen at least once by everyone.

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone.

10/10 Grade: Bad Ass Seal Of Approval Studio: Chartoff-Winkler Productions, United Artists Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith Director: John G. Avildsen Producers: Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff Screenplay: Sylvester Stallone Rated: PG Running Time: 1 Hr. 59 Mins. Budget: $960.000 Box Office: $117.235.247
30 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
His whole life was a million-to-one shot...
TheSixthChild28 December 2003
When I was a kid there were only three major things in my life: food, wrestling and `Rocky'. My brother and I followed the numerous Rocky Balboa struggles religiously, and even today, there is no exception. Although the latest efforts of Stallone have been pitiful, the movie that made his career is the 1977 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, `Rocky'. On top of that, `Rocky' also earned two more Academy Awards for Best Film-Editing and Best Director (John G. Avildsen).

This movie is unlike any other ever put on film. It's films like this that remind us of the beauty that is going to the cinema, and if only I was around during that year when such films as `Close Encounters of the Third Kind', `Jaws', `Saturday Night Fever' and `Network' were all playing in cinemas. The storyline takes place in Philadelphia, where Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) struggles to make a living as both a small-time boxer, and the brawn of a loan shark. Until one day, a sudden opportunity is handed to Rocky to compete for the World Heavy-Weight Title against the champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), a charismatic and flamboyant fighter labelled as `The King of Sting' and `The Master Of Disaster'. Attracted to Rocky's reputation as "The Italian Stallion", a match between Creed and the unknown boxer is set, which is subsequently advertised as a fight where a "nobody" can become a "somebody". Mickey (Burgess Meredith), is the owner of the gym where Rocky trains and later becomes Rocky's manager. Mickey is passionate about the world of boxing, and believes that Rocky has the potential to go the distance, instead of being `a cheap second rate loan-shark'. However, the central character in Rocky's life is Adrian (Talia Shire), a shy pet-store clerk, who acts awkwardly when Rocky even breathes in her direction. However, these almost completely distant outcasts are strangely drawn to each other. While one `didn't have much of a brain', the other `didn't have much of a body', so they worked on their opposites, only to end up together. The legend of this film when it was first released in the mid-70's was: `His whole life was a-million-to-one shot', but what Stallone did was prove to the world that `Rocky' is one-in-a-million.

Seeing `Rocky' is both a cinematic experience and a religious experience. When first released, the film appealed to the widest audience, and all felt the emotion and intense passion which passed from the film, to them. The film's possession of realistic acting, superb dialogue and the most phenomenal music score by Bill Conti to date, indeed transformed the face of cinema. Stallone's wholesome performance of his own screenplay is electrifying as the film celebrates of the underdog battling to beat the odds. Fans of cinema aren't manipulated into thinking that the inevitable will happen as it does in every other tedious hero drama.

Over 25 years on, `Rocky' still manages to let the audience's emotions explode; Rocky's blossoming relationship with Adrian, the seedy worlds of Mickey and Adrian's alcoholic brother, Paulie (Burt Young), and the affirmation of Rocky's inability to overcome Creed. And who could forget the excruciatingly compelling Balboa / Creed confrontation? Rocky's determination overturns the boxing fraternity, and supplies cinemaphiles with one of the greatest moments in cinematic history, as a body of spectators both on-screen and off applaud and chant for Rocky in unison. The following four Rocky sequels attempted to deliver the same magic as the original, however failed to convey it's message. `Rocky' illustrates how life itself is stifling and perplexing, but sometimes when you lose your way as well as your original intentions, you may just find something better.

Simply put, if anyone has a free Friday / Saturday night, this is the film to go out and borrow from the local video store. It's unbelievable that this film was only voted in at #78 on the AFI Top 100 films of all time, and worse yet, was voted in at the SECOND best sports film of all time (the first went to `Hoosiers', starring Gene Hackman). C'mon people, be you black or white or brown or any other skin colour we have yet to discover, get out there and be inspired by Stallone's masterpiece, `Rocky'.
195 out of 230 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
One of the greatest movies of all time.
Obi-Wan Wilson26 February 2003
I don't remember exactly when I first saw this film, but for a long time I thought that the second of the series was my favorite. Well, I recently bought the DVD box-set and after I watched the first movie again I knew that it was definitely the best in the series, and also one of the best movies ever made. Rocky is very much more than just a boxing movie. It's a movie about the unbreakable human spirit, determination, and the will to "go the distance." Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) is a second rate club-fighter and a debt collector for a loan shark(Joe Spinnell). He becomes involved with a shy girl working in a petshop named Adrian(Talia Shire), and also becomes friends with her brother Paulie(Burt Young). Rocky's life really isn't anything of interest - until the World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) gives him an unexpected shot at the title. An old boxer-turned-trainer named Mick(Burgess Meredith) offers to be Rocky's manager. Although the whole film is outstanding, what follows are some of the greatest and most memorable movie moments of all time. Rocky striving to go the distance in the training scene, the final fight, and the closing moments of the film are so emotional and inspiring that they perfectly demonstrate the human spirit and can bring out the will to win in anybody. Add to this an excellent music score and you have a classic and unforgettable movie. Without a doubt deserved the Best Picture award in 1976. Exceptional performances by all the cast members, notably Burgess Meredith and Sylvester Stallone. **** out of ****
260 out of 312 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Changed My Life
lilt130989 January 2005
"Your gonna eat lightning and your gonna crap thunder"

Rocky is about a poor boxer living his life in Philadalphia. His life changes when an invitation from the heavyweight champ Apollo Creed is given to him.

Romance, Drama, Fight.

Story- With minimum resources and low money, this movie was an underdog itself. Stallone wrote it and fought to play Rocky. When they were low on resources, they changed the story all together and made it even better. The story is flawless and keeps you on the edge of your seat. 9/10

Music- The best thing about the movie itself. The music in this movie is guaranteed to give you goosebumps every time you watch it. Bill Conti gives you an excellent score throughout the movie, including the famous "gonna fly now". 10/10

Acting- 4 nominated performances in this movie. The acting is very good as well, especially Burgess Meredith who offers one of the greatest acts I have ever seen. Stallone plays Rocky Balboa and changes his voice very well to be Rocky. He did a very good job. Talia Shire plays Adrian, a shy pet store owner who has never had a BF before. She did a good job as well. Burt Young plays the drunkard Paulie. Burgess Merideth plays the boxing trainer Mickey. I have never seen a better performance. 9.5/10

Stallone fought for this triumphant movie that made me want to go the distance (sounds corny but its true). It made me strive to work harder and not give up. If you haven't seen this, buy it and watch it. I'll guarantee it will change you too. A classic.

I give it a perfect 10/10
294 out of 355 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
NOT A BOXING MOVIE!
forsaken99914 May 2000
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.
81 out of 94 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The Raging Bull Named Rocky...
MovieAddict20165 May 2003
"Rocky" is about a man. It is the story of a man who exceeds past all normal expectations and makes the most out of what he is doing. What is he doing? Boxing. Why? As Rocky says in the film, "You have to be a moron to want to box."

Rocky is played by Sylvester Stallone, whose only other film before "Rocky" was "Weekend at Kitty and Stud's," and, as you can probably guess by the title, it was an X-rated movie. But Stallone gives just about the best performance of his career here. Before he started getting into recycled action movies and unfunny comedies, the man had talent, as seen shining through in "Rocky." Somewhere along the way he lost that talent, but it's pretty evident that he had it at one time.

Stallone wrote the script, which is about a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia man named Rocky Balboa. Rocky is your average tough-guy you see walking down the street, but this film takes a closer look INTO the guy walking past you, and not AT the guy walking past you.

He lives in a beat-up, old apartment, infested with roaches, and he barely makes enough money to support himself. His job? Rocky retrieves money for loan sharks. His real job, however, is to break the loaners' thumbs if they don't pay up. He's a muscle man.

After he returns from his "job" every day, he takes time to do what he has been doing for the past six years, which is boxing. Then, after that, he takes a trip to the local pet store to see the love of his life, Adrian, who works there. He constantly tries to impress her and talk to her, but she is shy and literally does not talk much throughout the entire film.

But things change for Rocky after heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) decides that he wants to make a big performance on the 4th of July. He wants to appear nice by letting a regular Joe Schmoe fight him in the ring. All for show, of course. As he is looking through a book of local boxers, he points his finger at the letters THE Italian STALLION, a.k.a. Rocky. He says that fighting an Italian is perfect. "An Italian found America," Creed says. If he fights an Italian-American on the 4th of July, it will be symbolic and will also make Creed look good.

But Rocky doesn't realize this is all for show. When he receives word that Apollo Creed wishes to fight him in the ring, Rocky begins to train long and hard with Burgess Meredith, which results in the famous scene where Rocky runs up an entry of stairs in Philly with the music "Gonna Fly Now" playing in the background. This scene is spoofed by films world-wide, and it's one of the cornerstones in film history. You will see it all the time. It's just one of those film moments that are marked down in history.

The most entertaining thing about "Rocky" is how innocent Sylvester Stallone comes across in his role as Rocky. You feel for him when he is trying to impress Adrian and she shrugs him off. The scene where her brother invites Rocky over, and Rocky keeps saying, "Are you sure she knows I'm coming?" is a sign of how the guy has been put down. And then when she comes over to his apartment, he acts nice and talks to her. He's not trying any moves on her. He just enjoys being with her. Rocky is a bit of an idiot, as he himself admits, but he's a sweet idiot.

And the end, when Rocky fights Apollo Creed, is amazing. A nobody who actually stands a chance against the heavyweight champion of the world. Creed and Rocky are being battered by each other. Creed goes into the opposite corner as Rocky, and one of Creed's managers says, "This guy thinks this thing is for real -- knock him out!" You feel sorry for Rocky there, because he is giving the fight all he's got, when it was just a publicity stunt from the beginning, but he didn't even realize it.

Things like that are what make "Rocky" what it has become over the years. It is a great film, and it has many classic moments that you will see spoofed in films all the time. You should probably see it just for that fact.

But the truth is, if you take away all the underlying intricacies, "Rocky" is just the story of a simple guy who gets a chance to do something amazing, and he gives it all he's got. I think we've all gone through something like that before, and if so, you will be able to identify with "Rocky" all the more.
220 out of 274 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
What it is to be and "underdog"
crumpler14 November 2004
One of Stallone's first and finest feature film performances is as Rocky Balboa, a lonely, small-time boxer who gets by doing muscle work for a neighborhood loan shark. Everything about his life spells "underdog"-- he's even left-handed. He lives alone in a shabby apartment, and when he's not slowly being swept aside at the local gym, where even the trainer calls him a bum, he fauns over an introverted pet store clerk named Adrian.

He gets his first break when he's chosen at random by heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, to take a shot at his title. No one thinks he can beat Creed-- not even Rocky. All Rocky wants is to be able to go all ten rounds with the champ, because no one else has. And in the final ten minutes of the film, Rocky finds out just how far he can go.

What's terrific about this movie is that it's about Rocky. It's not about winning; it's not even about fighting. It's about Rocky and his desire to get by in the world without being a bum. The sequels to this widely popular film have focused more heavily on the upcoming fight, whereas this story focuses on Rocky's life. He doesn't want to win; he just wants to survive and feel good about himself. That's what most of us want, and that's why this film is a classic.
124 out of 158 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A great Sylvester Stallone film
rbverhoef18 February 2005
If you think Sylvester Stallone has made nothing but stinkers you just have to see 'Rocky'. This is a brilliant film, based on Stallone's own screenplay, where he plays a complex character in such a terrific way it is not strange people thought this was going to be a great actor. Compare it to another great film about a boxer, 'Raging Bull', and 'Rocky' will be better at some points. It goes without saying that it's quite an achievement.

The story is about Rocky Balboa (Stallone), a boxer who once had a glorious future, but now fights for little money in gyms. Then, out of the blue, he gets the chance to fight the heavyweight champ Apollo (Carl Weathers), a stunt from his side. Although Rocky seems to have no chance he starts his training to make the best of it, although at first he is too proud to accept any help. The scene where he finally accepts the help from his old trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) is one of the best scenes in the film. Rocky also starts dating the very shy girl Adrian (Talia Shire), sister of his friend Paulie (Burt Young).

'Rocky' is a terrific film in every aspect. The acting is what amazed me the most. Stallone gives such an impressive performance it is very hard to believe he is also the star of films like 'Over the Top', 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' and 'Judge Dredd', and from the other 'Rocky'-films for that matter. Not only Stallone is impressive, Shire, Young and Meredith find perfect notes for their characters as well. Every little thing that happens seems natural through their acting and of course Stallone's screenplay does a great job here. Director John G. Avildsen serves this material the way he should. Of course he is no Martin Scorsese, 'Raging Bull' stays the better directed film, but he knows how to tell this story.

I do not like boxing very much, so a boxing-film is not something I would enjoy. But this is not a boxing-film, it is a film about a boxer. It tells about a character who happens to be a boxer running for a title. This is probably one of the points where the other four 'Rocky'-films fail and where films like this one and 'Raging Bull' and Clint Eastwood's 'Million Dollar Baby' succeed.
90 out of 123 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Stalone's best
mm-399 April 2001
As much as the media mocks Stallone, he won best picture for this film. He will never top this film, which made him a icon. It's a story about a down on his luck loan collector/ boxers who gets a one time shot at the heavy weight championship, because of a late pull out by a contender, and the champ does not want to lose his money on the deal. There is romance between Rocky and his new girl friend who lives just as hard of a life as Rocky, and together they make life livable. The rest of the cast is other down and outers who give the viewer a feeling of hopelessness until Rocky gets his chance. This film is touching, and unforgettable.
94 out of 131 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The fact that Rocky isn't on the top 250 is kinda sad.
b_u_n_444 March 2002
Rocky is one of two great boxing movies. Only Raging Bull challenges Rocky as the greatest boxing movie of all time. Not only is there great action inside the ring, the story and drama outside the ring makes for a movie worth watching over and over again. There is no doubt in my mind it should be at least in the top 25.
22 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Great movie, great soundtrack a classic
marcrice26 March 2016
What can you say about a this movie that has not been said already? It is my all time favorite movie series ever and I could watch every movies back to back time and time again. I have owned this movie series on Video, DVD, Blu-ray and owned just about every version going.

The main story is about one mans struggles to overcome the odds life has stacked against him but it is also a love story. There are real touches of greatness such as Burgess Meredith as Mickey as veteran boxer who does not want to train Rocky as he sees him as a washed out bum until he is offered a shot at the big time. Then seeing his relationship with Rocky grow. The acting is superb and the music still pumps my blood to this day. This may have been the movie to invent the training montage which is now a must in any movie about sports or fighting. Stallone's performance is phenomenal as the film celebrates the underdog battling to beat the odds and it is still amazing almost 40 years after release.
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
American Masterpiece
khodan9 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Over the Fourth of July, I was channel surfing and caught Rocky on AMC....and as usual, after watching about 20 seconds, it sucked me in again to watch it for the 124th time or so. Since it's been about 35 years since Rocky premiered, I was waxing nostalgic about the film.

It's so impressive now to remember that Stallone wrote the film, then went up against the Hollywood movie industry and got it made even though he had only been in a few previous movies prior to this. AND, he wouldn't sell it unless he was cast to play the title character, turning down offers even though he was broke and hungry at the time. He believed...and wouldn't compromise.

So basically, as a kid, a novice in Hollywood, Sylvester Stallone created one of the true all- time classic American movies....a masterpiece that has grown even stronger over time....with an Academy Award, necessary or not, to add its official stamp of approval.

Over the years of his career since them he has had many ups and downs. He's been the butt of jokes, always type-cast, let his celebrity status overshadow his movie roles. He's been grouped in with Schwarzenegger, Seagal, Van-Damme...just another cookie-cutter action- hero...and hey, he's chosen the roles that put him there. Nobody's ever compared him to Pacino, Spielberg, or any of the upper echelon of the Hollywood elite.

But then there's Rocky. It'll probably never place higher than The Godfather on the all-time lists....never compare to Citizen Kane or Casablanca in film school discussions...or mentioned in conversations discussing Pulp Fiction or Schindler's List.

But Rocky is the cinema equivalent of Tom Sawyer, The Grapes of Wrath, The Old Man and the Sea....a true American classic.

His portrayal of the title character (which was probably more just being himself than acting) embodied what all us guys want to be. He was a guy who knew where he came from, he didn't have much, but what he had was yours if you needed it, he tried to guide those in his neighborhood down the right path, he remembered to always feed and care for his pet turtles, Cuff and Link...he was a street-tough that was sweet, kind and gentle. He was a friend to a guy, Paulie, who didn't deserve his friendship, and he fell in love with a woman and treated her as if she were a Queen. He knew he couldn't offer her much in the way of the material trappings of life, so he gave her what he could...himself, his heart and his unconditional love....He was humble in attitude, and gave respect to everyone, regardless of their position in life. Stallone wrote and portrayed the character that all us American guys hope and try to be. And when offered the chance to make a dream come true, Rocky Balboa accepted the challenge. The South Philly lunk put his American work ethic into achieving his goal...something all of us are...or want to believe we are...doing in our own lives.

The hero doesn't win in the end, at least not on the scorecard...but his victory comes from knowing that he gave it his all...he didn't give up.

So this is a movie that grabs your heart and shows you that if you believe that good things can happen...and if you just be true to yourself...that the journey is itself the victory, and the people we love and who love us are the real treasures in our lives. If you're not cheering at this movie, than you may not have a pulse...and you're definitely lacking a soul.

When you're in one of those ruts where nothing seems to be going your way, when bad luck is your constant companion, and you're asking yourself, what's the use? Rocky will give you an encouraging pat on the shoulder, a firm kick in the butt, and let you know that you're not alone in your struggles.

That a kid outta Hells Kitchen wrote the script, and nailed the lead role, is an underdog story in itself. No matter what Stallone has done since...or will do in the future....he created Rocky, one of the greatest American movies..and characters... .ever made. No one can ever take that from him.

So thank you Sylvester Stallone. I'm grateful for the gift of your movie.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Rocky
auuwws29 December 2020
Excellent movie The movie story was not great. I experienced moments of boredom in the first half of the movie. Sylvester Stallon's performance in the film was excellent. The last fight in the film was great. I was very excited as I watched the last fight. The film affected all the sports films after it had a positive effect.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Rocky through the ages
colm-hearne36528 July 2016
For this review, I'd like to go through all the Rocky movies (including the most recent Creed) and talk about their good points and their bad points.

Rocky - The first one is obviously a classic and the best out of the series and made people like Sylvester Stallone a superstar. It takes a simple but touching story of the underdog boxer and rise to have a chance to be a champion.

Rocky II - I felt was kind of the same story and was a little cheesy but it still carried the spirit of the original.

Rocky III - Like the second one, was cheesy but it was entertaining. But I like how Rocky was doing more boxing and had more drama and Mr. T was a good villain even though he talked too much. Also it featured a great song, "Eye of the Tiger".

Rocky IV - Again like the two other sequels, cheesy but still entertaining and it had another great song "No Easy Way Out".

Rocky V - I know this one disappointed a lot of fans but I thought it was okay but I can understand why people didn't like it but I don't think it deserves to be hated.

Rocky Balboa - Was redeeming and I like how it has a lot of references to the first Rocky.

Creed - Finally, this one was another great comeback for Stallone as Rocky and gave Michael B. Jordan his big break as well.

But you can't beat the original because it's the first and a classic, like I said before. But I'm still looking forward to the sequel to Creed next year.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The Ultimate Underdog Story
jkwrite-3390022 September 2016
What more can I say about the greatest sporting movie ever made? I don't think there's a person in the world who doesn't like Rocky. He is the ultimate underdog that we love to root for. The movie is an absolute masterpiece and can be enjoyed time and time again. I've seen it countless times myself. I hold this film close to my heart. Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay in 2 days, but you would never guess that judging by the depth of the film. It's an emotional roller-coaster that keeps you coming back for more. Rocky Balboa is up there as one of Hollywood's greatest ever creations.

It's a very basic movie, but that's what we all love about it. The best films are usually like that. Very rare a big-budget blockbuster will take home an Oscar. Not only is it a love story, but it's also a boxing tale as we go on an unforgettable journey with The Itallian Stallion.

Sylvester Stallone is my favorite actor, and for good reason. During the Creed movie he stole the show and should have won as Oscar for his latest portrayal as Balboa. Stallone is not only a great actor, but also a director and writer too. He can do it all. Some say Rambo is his greatest creation, but for my money nothing comes close to Rocky Balboa.
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
An "underdog" story from top to bottom
erim-1108226 September 2020
Rocky, is a completely "underdog" story with itself and its production's background. Sylvester Stallone's intention while writing this story and his sacrifices to play Rocky character, are fascinating as movie. Although Sly's acting was not appreciated from the authorities, his acting was quite good despite Rocky was one of the his first movies. According to most people, Rocky's story is simultaneously with Sly's life and this makes movie more special. That's why, reading the background of filming process is highly recommended before watching Rocky.

As most sport movies, the message of the movie is that you should do your best regardless the circumstances. When Rocky is watched now, it has some cliches. However, these cliches do not disturb audience's pleasure. Intercalarily, Rocky can be considered as a clicheless movie according to a film made in 1976. Despite its all filming inexperiences and its all shooting mistakes, Rocky is accepted as a cult for cinema community. Since, these inexperiences and mistakes contribute involuntarily to movie's effort to reflect Rocky's "underdog" life.

When all features of the Rocky are considered as a whole, it can be seen that Rocky is not only a sport movie. It is a movie could change most people's world view. It gives people a way of thinking and teaches them life's dark and painful side. It shows them, the important thing is not to reach the top, but to fight on this way. While doing these all, it achieves to get audience into different feelings. Therefore, Rocky is more than a sport movie. It is a cult gains people a world view and deserves its score absolutely.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Rocky
MR_Heraclius13 February 2020
It's always important to be aware of what you are about to watch whenever you are going to watch a Sylvester Stallone movie. There are multiple movies on his resumé that could have easily been thrown out of the window. "Rocky" is definitely not that movie! This is a movie that he wrote and starred in and showed his talent on both sides of the camera. It is a classic, but beautiful story about the hero who fails but still gets the girl in the end. Stallone plays the main character of Rocky Balboa and he shows all of his talents this time around. He proves that he is someone who is to be taken serious by the audience. The supporting cast, which includes stars like Talia Shire, Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith helps the story forward and helps give our main guy a good sense of accomplishment in the end. Oh, and a lot of challenges! The twist to the classic love-rival story, ended up being one of the most successful accomplishments of all time. Who would have known...??
39 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Yo!
BA_Harrison24 February 2016
Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a struggling Italian/American boxer who also earns cash collecting debts for shady Philadelphian 'businessman' Gazzo (Joe Spinell). When heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) finds himself without an opponent for his upcoming match, he offers the unknown fighter a chance at the title as a gimmick, but doesn't count on Rocky's determination to go the distance.

I watched Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull not that long ago, an excellent film, but something of a downer—a gritty study of a not very nice character whose horrible personality and poor choices see him winding up losing everything. Rocky, on the other hand, is a real feel-good film about a guy on the skids who is given a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to make something of himself. It's an uplifting Cinderella story, a classic underdog tale that leaves the viewer with a big smile on their face, which is why I prefer it slightly over Scorsese's film.

Rocky also has a great story behind the making of the film which mirrors that of its main character: star Stallone went from an almost broke struggling actor to Hollywood mega-star by not only writing the script for Rocky, but also insisting that he play the title role. The rest, as they say, is history.

Those only familiar with Stallone's later action hero work will be surprised at how good an actor he is in his breakthrough role, tackling the drama just as well as the boxing: Rocky's burgeoning romance with shy pet store clerk Adrian (Talia Shire), his friendship with her brother Paulie (Burt Young), and his strained relationship with trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) are all handled superbly.

Director John G. Avildsen also manages all aspects of his film with aplomb, with the final fight between Rocky and Apollo being the absolute showstopper, a gruelling battle of wills, both combatants pushed to their limits. Add a rousing score from Bill Conti and what you have is an unmissable, uplifting classic of the '70s.

9.5 out of 10, rounded up to 10 for IMDb.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Serious comments about the movie.
yxcool16 February 2005
If there is a chance for you which can turn you from nobody to somebody, how would you treat it? Would you let it go pass because it is almost impossible to achieve or you want to use all you have to give it a great shot? This is what the movie about, how a struggling underdog became hero, legend or more. This is the one of my favorite movies. Because it has a simplest storyline but it successfully gave expression to it's theme-if you want to be on the top, you have to pay the price which means hardworking and determination A good movie must require an understandable storyline which clearly tells its theme. That is why I think rocky is a great movie. The movie is about the sudden life change of a struggling underdog boxer-Rocky, the world champion set up a fight between himself and Rocky, but he decided to give it the greatest shot just to prove that he is not a bum for a entertainment show. So basically, whole movie is about how Rocky trying so hard to achieve his goal: go the distance with the champion.

The acting of the film is another shinning point; it has many great actors in it. Especially the main actor Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) he made a great impression in my mind by his excellent pyrotechnic acting skill. In the famous fighting scene, Stallone performed an emotion of a boxer who is suffering from pain, frustration and exhaustion, but he is not giving up. The scene became so real because Stallone's incredible performance. Also, other actors like Burt Young (Pauline), Tailia Shire (Adrian) Burgess (Mickey) acted perfectly in the movie.

If there is anything else can highlight the movie that is the fantastic music used in the movie. Because the music played in the movie perfectly contributed to the atmosphere of each individual scene. E.g. when Rocky started his morning run, pumping up style music plays simultaneously while he is running, that generated a memorable scene. Also again in the fighting scene, a part of passionate and stirring background music played when rocky is trying so hard to stand on his feet, it has successfully reinforced the mood of the scene.

This movie is simple but well made. Fantastic music, excellent action sequences and incredible acting crew lined with a nice storyline to express its theme: a man can be anyone he wants to be but is requires great determination and stamina to achieve that. The movie is appealed to audiences who are 15 or above, and strongly recommended to every boxing fan! PG Rating: 8/10
67 out of 116 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A must-see, must-have, a cult....one of the best films ever!
david-rf29 June 2001
This is the first (and the best) chapter of one of the most famous saga ever. The story of an unknown boxer that have the chance of his life challenging the world heavyweight champion. A story of hope, of dreams that come true, where the life suddenly changes form a day to another. From the misery of Philadelphia suburbs to the fame and the glory.
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Unforgettable picture about a failed boxer Rocky Balboa gets a chance to make a better life fighting heavyweight champion
ma-cortes8 September 2013
Initial outing dealing with a small-time boxer named Rocky (he took the nickname from real-life boxer Rocky Marciano) , he is panned as a down-and-out fighter , being nicknamed as the Chicken Stallion . But he gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers , real life boxer Ken Norton was offered the role , but because he was 230 pounds, it was felt he would dwarf Stallone too much, and a smaller man was sought) in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect . Rocky attempts to prove himself and his girlfriend (Talia Shire , Carrie Snodgress was originally offered the role o but dropped out due to a disagreement about money , Susan Sarandon also auditioned) , friend (Burt Young , Stallone had originally wanted Harvey Keitel for the role) and trainer (Burguess Meredith who steals the show as an old coach , though the character was initially offered to Lee Strasberg) .

This enjoyable predictable entertainment displays splendidly various elements as drama , emotion and spectacular boxing . This soaper on the ring is developed in gentleness , dignity and feel-good style . Magnificent Stallone as a tough boxer , prior to shooting, Sylvester trained for six months with legendary fight-trainer Jimmy Gambina, who was also the film's technical adviser ; during this period, Stallone also studied every available piece of footage of boxers Rocky Marciano and Ezzard Charles. Great training montage and spectacular and climatic final bout . Writer-actor Stallone first entry is surprisingly entertaining and packs good feeling . Although Stallone famously wrote the first draft of the script in 3 days, it went through nine sizable rewrites before it was purchased by Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartof ; originally, Stallone's much darker script depicted Mickey/Burgess Meredith as a bitter old racist, and the film ended with Rocky throwing the fight after realizing he did not want to be part of the professional boxing world . Originally the filmmakers wanted several former heavyweight champions to appear at the beginning of the fight between Rocky and Apollo ; they put out a call for all former champions to show, but on the day of the shoot only Joe Frazier turned up ; the filmmakers thought it worked well however, because Frasier is a resident of Philadelphia, which was where the movie was shot and took place . Some immortal scenes include the iconic shot of Rocky running up the steps of Philadelphia Art Museum came about because of Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown was from Philadelphia . Most of the scenes of Rocky jogging through Philadelphia were shot guerrilla-style, with no permits, no equipment and no extras . Good production design , though for the championship fight, the filmmakers had trouble getting extras to fill the arena because it was a low-budget film that was not yet known to anyone . Stock footage of crowds was used to help this problem, but empty seats are still visible in some shots . Emotive as well as unforgettable musical score by Bill Conti and atmospheric cinematography by James Crabe . The motion picture was rightly financed by the producers of complete saga , Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and compellingly directed by John G Avildsen , being shot in 28 days. The picture achieved big success as critical as public and in 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #57 Greatest Movie of All Time and ranked #2 on the list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sports" in June 2008.

Followed by various sequels that work at usual manner, fitting appropriately to franchise , even though we know the plot the films work, continuing the 'formula Rocky'¨, such as ¨Rocky II¨ was co-starred by Carl Weathers , in which Balboa returns to take on Apollo Creed ; ¨Rocky III¨ after being dethroned by obnoxious , corpulent Mr T from A Team ; ¨Rocky IV¨ against a massive Russian boxer played by Dolph Lundgren ; ¨Rocky 5¨with Tommy Morrison and Sage Stallone , real-life son plays Rocky Jr. and finally ¨Rocky Balboa¨ proving his estranged young son Milo Ventiglimia who still can fight .
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Everything About This Film Is Iconic--And Inspirational
zkonedog27 November 2020
Every once in awhile, a movie comes along that sort of breaks the mold. By almost all accounts, "Rocky" never should have even been made, much less developed into a cultural phenomenon. Fortunately, the stars aligned in just the right places to produce what is truly one of the most iconic, inspirational films of all time.

For a very basic overview, "Rocky" tells the story of titular character Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a Philadelphia "leg breaker" who is a street enforcer for loan shark Gazzo (Joe Spinell) and does a little boxing on the side. Rocky eeks out a meager existence and tries to romance shy pet store worker Adrian (Talia Shire) in his spare time. When boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) has a fighter cancel on him, however, the champ gives Rocky ("The Italian Stallion") a million-to-one shot on American's bi-centennial. With this tremendous opportunity staring him in the face, Rocky falls in with trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) and resolves to give it his best shot.

There is almost no question that "Rocky" is one of the most inspirational films ever made. Rocky represents everyone who "never had a prime" but is given a shot at one. Does he (and, by extension, we) take it, or let it slip away? That is the crux upon which the entire film is based. Much of this inspiration comes from Stallone, who drew upon many of his own experiences to craft such a true-to-life, yet engaging narrative. It is often tough to tell where "Rocky ends and Sly begins", so to speak, as their stories are so intertwined. Art imitating life in the best way imaginable.

Every time I watch "Rocky", I'm amazed by just how iconic many of its central tenets have become. For example:

-Stallone's verbal and visual foibles produced a character that will live on long after I (or my children, or theirs) will. -Shire is the epitome of the unassuming, shy woman who gains her own strength--finally standing up to brother Paulie (Burt Young)--through Rocky but also provides him the same in return. -The archetype of the crusty old boxing trainer? Practically invented by Meredith's "Mick". -Bill Conti's simple piano melodies and bombastic brass fanfares compose one of the best original scores ever heard. -Even the location--Philly--seems like a character. Whereas Rocky gained strength from his roots, now that city draws much of its own identity from the character.

Upon a recent re-watch, I was also struck by how little boxing actually resides within the film. The big Creed fight only takes about 10-15 minutes of screen time. No, "Rocky" is all about the character development and journey. Scenes of him ice skating with Adrian, punching the raw meat, jogging through Philly, or contemplating his big opportunity are what steal the show here.

All in all, everything just comes together in "Rocky" to create a movie that will last through the ages. Despite being a low-budget project that Stallone had to mortgage his future to get made, then threaten to pull out entirely if not cast in the lead role, the end product was legendary. It spawned five direct sequels and two more spinoff "Creed" films, all entertaining in their own rights, but there is simply something special about this 1976 original.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Rocky
dk230120 November 2020
The story of a man who fights for himself and his self respect. There are no villains here, just a tale about the human spirit and his ability to overcome all odds. A truly uplifting and powerful film.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
APPOLO CREED V ROCKY BALBOA SOUNDS LIKE A DAMN MONSTER MOVIE
waynegavin123 January 2020
The first installment of the ROCKY franchise,ok I know people are split on these movies and thats fine but I am a fan and these movies get me every time,you are not suppose to care about the reality of the situation you are not suppose to care about the possibilities you are just suppose the get on board like any other movie be it sci-fi or fantasy or whatever,it is a movie about a guy who dreams of grandeur but hasn't got a hope in hell and when an opportunity knocks on his door he answers it.this film has a love story and it is essentially this love that drives him.ROCKY is not to mental but is all physical and so his mind tells him he must use this because it is all he has.the movie has a good story line but obviously the title bout is the endgame and sought after in the movie it does not disappoint for 1976 in my opinion....this movie is MARMITE hate it or love it
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed