After almost 30 years, I still enjoy seeing Rocky but for different reasons than I once did. One is the use of humor. The first time around, I missed so many comic moments. Another is Rocky's relationship with Mickey (Burgess Meredith). The bond they eventually forge is credible, indeed poignant. And still another is Talia Shire's performance as Adrian. Only an actress of her talent could invest that role with the texture and nuances she does. (I think her talents were essentially wasted in the three Godfather films, especially in Godfather III.) The exteriors in Philadelphia are still effective as is the build-up to the fight during which Rocky and Mickey have few resources to work with except their imagination and determination. This may not be a great film but it was certainly great fun in 1976 and it still is. Yo!
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Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, and written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rocky starts out as a club fighter who then gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.
The film, made on a budget of less than $1 million and shot in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it made over $225 million the highest grossing film of 1976, and won three Oscars, including Best Picture. The film received many positive reviews and turned Stallone into a major star. It spawned five sequels: Rocky II, III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa.