More About Rocky
Director John G. Avildsen's ROCKY is the stand-up-and-cheer saga of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), an underdog boxer who gets his million-to-one shot at love, self-respect, and the world heavyweight title. Rocky is a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia southpaw who works at a meat-packing factory while fighting at a local club. He's given the chance of a lifetime when the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), chooses him as an unlikely opponent in his championship bicentennial fight. What was originally planned as a publicity stunt becomes a chance for Rocky to prove himself as a prizefighter while training with his cantankerous manager, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), to rise to the challenge. Thrilling scenes of Rocky's arduous training, including his unforgettable run up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, are interspersed with a sweet and touching love story between the fighter and his best friend's shy sister, Adrian (Talia Shire). With the love of Adrian on his side, Rocky struggles to overcome the odds, fighting with all his heart in the glorious and brutal finale. Shot with gritty realism on the mean streets of Philadelphia, ROCKY introduced a new American cinematic hero, spurred on by rollicking action sequences and a rousing soundtrack. A triumph for star and screenwriter Stallone, who himself came from nowhere to reach the top, ROCKY is crowd-pleasing entertainment at its finest.
1976 - Academy Awards - Best Film Editing Winner
1976 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1976 - Academy Awards - Best Director Winner
Main Cast & Crew
John G. Avildsen - Director
In ROCKY, a young boxer from Philadelphia rises from obscurity to get a shot at the world boxing championship.
Theatrical release: November 21, 1976. Shot on location in Philadelpia, Pennsylvania, in only 28 days. ROCKY is number 76 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. The film received 10 Academy Award Nominations and won three, including Best Picture and Best Director (John G. Avildsen). Sylvester Stallone wrote the script in three days after watching the legendary boxing match between champion Muhammad Ali and underdog Chuck Wepner. Wepner was left standing after 15 rounds. James Caan, Ryan O'Neal, and Burt Reynolds were all favored by United Artists to play Rocky Balboa. They agreed to cast screenwriter and relative unknown Sylvester Stallone after he agreed to keep the budget under $1 million.
"...Writer-star Sylvester Stallone's parable of redemption remains not only the sports-film paragon but one of the most successful low-budget movies ever..." - 01/11/2002 Entertainment Weekly, p.36
"...A pure pugilistic fairytale..." - 11/01/2003 Total Film, p.129
"[S]triking a blow for underdogs with more heart than smarts, and bringing apple-pie values and feel-good endings back into vogue." - 12/01/2003 Premiere, p.12
4 stars out of 5 -- "A fine, scuffed, sweaty slab of romantic pulp sentimentalism." - 03/01/2007 Uncut, p.122
"It still holds up, too, as both an exceptional romantic tale and a gripping drama about an improbable success story who doesn't throw away his shot." - 04/08/2021 USA Today