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Rocky

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Rocky (disambiguation).
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Rocky DVD cover

Rocky is a motion picture released in 1976 starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed. It tells a rags-to-riches tale about Balboa, a slightly dull-witted but good-hearted "collection agent" for a loan shark in Philadelphia with a penchant for boxing who gets a shot at the world heavyweight title in the Philadelphia Spectrum. It was written by Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen. The movie was inspired by a real-life fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, as well as having parallels to Ali's two fights with George Chuvalo.

Rocky Balboa is a dead-end, "bottom of the barrel" guy from Philadelphia who is going nowhere in life. With the nation's bicentenary coming up, the undefeated heavyweight champion Apollo Creed searches desperately for a match worthy of the nation's birthday. With all the deserving competitors unavailable for one reason or another, Creed comes up with the perfect bout: he will fight the local underdog "Italian Stallion" Rocky, and by doing so give him a chance at the world title. In the time leading up to the fight, Rocky trains with crusty, 1920s-era bantamweight fighter Mickey Goldmill, played by Burgess Meredith. At the same time, he falls in love with his best friend's sister, Adrian (Talia Shire). After intense training and with a new found focus and determination, Rocky takes his thousand-to-one shot at the title, deciding that even though he probably can't win he will go the distance (compete in the maximum duration of 15 rounds) with Creed. In the first round, Rocky nearly knocks Creed out, but from that point on Creed takes the match seriously and the fighters beat each other bloody. Rocky refuses to give up and fights Creed for all fifteen rounds (a feat no one had previously accomplished) only to lose on a split decision, but not before gaining instant fame worldwide. Rocky proves himself to all those who had doubted him before, including his trainer Mickey, and demonstrates that one man can stand in the face of overwhelming odds.

Given the inevitable comparison between the outspoken Apollo Creed and the real-life outspoken Muhammad Ali, one interesting detail is the cameo appearance of Joe Frazier, a former world heavyweight champion who fought Ali three times and who Apollo accuses of "dodging him" prior to the start of the match with Rocky. This comparison was extended to that year's Academy Awards where Ali had a little comic scene of confronting Stallone onstage which ended amiably to make it clear that he was not offended by the film.

Other co-stars included Burt Young as Rocky's best friend Paulie and Thayer David as the fight's promoter and ringside announcer. Los Angeles television sportscaster Stu Nahan played himself. Michael Dorn, who would later play the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Worf, played an uncredited role as one of Apollo Creed's bodyguards.

Rocky won the 1976 Oscar for "Best Picture" and earned Stallone a nomination for "Best Actor." It also won Oscar awards for John G. Avildsen for best director, as well as best film editing for Richard Halsey and Scott Conrad.

The success of Rocky spawned four sequels, though none were quite as successful as the original.

The film was made on an extremely low budget of $1.1 million, and was shot in only 28 days. The American Film Institute placed Rocky at number 78 of its "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.

One legacy of the original movie is the theme music that was composed by Bill Conti and is often played at sporting events. Canadian jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson put "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" on the pop charts with an instrumental disco rendition from his 1977 album, Conquistador.

Another legacy of the Rocky movies is a statue of Stallone as Rocky Balboa that stands in front of Wachovia Spectrum, the arena where the first Balboa-Creed fight took place in the original movie.

The steadycam, a video camera attached to a weighted system of pulleys so that it would not shake while its operator ran, was used for the first time in this movie, during Rocky's training run up the flights of stairs.

The Rocky video game was released in 2002 for many of the popular consoles at that time.


Rocky part of the Rocky Series
Rocky | Rocky II | Rocky III | Rocky IV | Rocky V |

External links

fr:Rocky ja:ロッキー

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