Rocky (1976)

Rocky (1976)
  • Time: 119 min
  • Genre: Drama | Sport
  • Director: John G. Avildsen
  • Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young


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.

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  • How many times does an individual get the chance to make it big? Very few. And it’s even less when the thing that makes you, comes knocking on your door. It’s extremely rare. And if it were to come, what would you choose? To be where you have been or take the risk and grab at the opportunity and maybe lose everything? This is that story of the down on his luck boxer, Rocky Balboa, who gets to fight the heavy weight champion for the title. A drama that consists of realistic dreams and goals involving authentic emotion and struggle.

    Amazing as this story may be, what will astound audiences even more is when they discover that this story reflects the life of its main star, Sylvester Stallone. Before this movie, Stallone was also down on his luck too. He needed a break in a career and this is the film that shot him to the top. Stallone had been in a few other movies before hand but none that truly focused on him or propelled him to popularity. That was his chance to make it big. What helps make the story feel even more authentic is the fact that Stallone had wrote the story. This is why it reflects as a parallel to his past.

    In the writing, Stallone also includes a love interest with a girl named Adrian played by Talia Shire. As the movie plays out, viewers will see her character transform thanks to the charm of Rocky. Together their chemistry blooms into something greater and it’s the sweetest and most innocent thing. What’s also great about Stallone’s writing is that Rocky has a very large antagonist. It’s not the heavy weight champion that Carl Weathers plays – Apollo Creed, it’s much bigger. That antagonist is called LIFE. Life is one of those things where it can seem like nothing will ever straighten out. And that’s real, for everyone because everyone goes through a struggle in his or her life. Very few have it easy all the time.

    The cinematography and editing is well put together too. James Crabe as the director of photography took some very large shots that helped emphasize the magnitude of this match. Richard Halsey and Scott Conrad’s editing is cut appropriately so that each sequence has a consistent flow. And as for music, Bill Conti’s score to the film is so emotionally attached to the story it’s hard to let go of the feelings that it evokes. Either when it comes to Rocky being alone with a light tread on the piano keys or when he’s training with all the string instruments playing, the right emotion is emitted. All around and excellent drama.

    This sports drama works extraordinarily well because of how relatable it is when it comes to the struggle of life; how to deal with its ups and downs. And the moral is to never, ever give up. Every element works here.

    Points Earned –> 10:10

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