Rocky (1976) – Encore Review

rocky“Because I can’t sing or dance. ” – Rocky

Number of Times Seen – Probably around 5 times (Video, DVD, 27 Aug 2013 and 11 Dec 2016)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A down on his luck boxer who moonlights for a local gangster gets the chance of a lifetime when the Heavyweight champion of the World chooses to fight him in an exhibition match.

My Take on it – I’ve seen this movie a number of times in my life and never really got why this is such a beloved film.

Yes, I always liked the idea of the underdog’s portrayal in this film, but just didn’t quite get what the fuss was with it.

After finally (for the first time in my life) watched all 7 films back to back in order, I finally realized how great a character Rocky is not only because of the underdog factor, but more to do with the fact that he is a simple guy trying to get what he wants in life by trying his best; he doesn’t care if he wins or loses  but he just wants to make sure that he makes himself present in everything he does.

This analogy for life is what apparently had excited people about this film for the last 40 years and now I can finally say that I agree with them on that point.

This is probably the best film in the series (as most first movies are), but I still think that no matter how great a story this is, it still isn’t the best movie of the year which still IMHO belongs to Network (1976).

Great fight scenes keep the momentum going throughout.

Bottom Line – Had a new found appreciation for this film especially after watching the series as a whole.  Really liked the way that this film deals more with going the distance than focusing n win or lose.  Rocky is a great character and I loved his mild mannered way of courting the sister of his best friend. A great film, probably the best of the series, deserving of a Bets Picture nomination, but still not the best of the year.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  Most of the scenes of Rocky jogging through Philadelphia were shot guerrilla-style, with no permits, no equipment and no extras. The shot where he runs past the moored boat for example; the crew were simply driving by the docks and director John G. Avildsen saw the boat and thought it would make a good visual, so he had Sylvester Stallone simply get out of the van and run along the quays whilst Avildsen himself filmed from the side door. A similar story concerns the famous shot of Rocky jogging through the food market. As he runs, the stall keepers and the people on the sidewalks can clearly be seen looking at him in bemusement. Whilst this works in the context of the film to suggest they’re looking at Rocky, in reality, they had no idea why this man was running up and down the road being filmed from a van. During this scene, the famous shot where the stall-owner throws Rocky an orange was completely improvised by the stall owner-himself, who had no idea that a movie was being filmed and that he would be in it.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (upgrade from original review)


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