In 1976, a low budget movie written by an unknown actor was released, inspiring audiences around the world to go the distance. Rocky (1976) became the ultimate underdog film. Over forty years later, Sylvester Stallone recounts the making of the beloved classic through rare home movies provided by Director John G. Avildsen and Production Manager Lloyd Kaufman.
Fascinating (Albeit Brief/Random) Home Video Footage
One way to look at "40 Years of Rocky" is to view it as a bit of a rip-off. I wouldn't totally blame someone for this opinion. It runs just 30 minutes and has no coherent message, simply consisting of Sylvester Stallone commenting on old home movies from "Rocky" director John G. Avildsen and other on-set producers.
That being said, fans of "Rocky" may still enjoy this (brief) escapade for two primary reasons:
1. The home movies are indeed fascinating almost because of their banality and randomness. Nothing is staged and it truly shows (as best as videotape can) what the major players of "Rocky" were like on set. In particular, seeing Carl Weathers practice the fight choreography with Stallone or Burgess Meredith running lines in the makeup chair will bring a smile to your face while watching.
2. "Rocky" has become such a cultural phenomenon that it is now fair game for every little scrap of behind-the-scenes minutiae to have meaning. Fans have seen the movie so many times that any tiny bit more they can squeeze out of the franchise (even from behind the camera) seems significant.
Overall, I'd only recommend "40 Years" to the hard-core "Rocky" fans, as others may question the necessity of such a random collection of home videos. But for those who admire the Philly pugilist on a deeper, more inspirational level, getting a "peek behind the curtain" is fun no matter how short a time is spent there.
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