Rocky (1976)

Rocky (1976, USA) C-119m. *** D: John G. Avildsen. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Brugess Meredith, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, Frank Stallone, Lloyd Kaufman. Irresistible rhinestone drama about 30-year-old boxer Rocky (Stallone), whose life is at a crossroads. He is contemplating the end of his pathetic career, when the heavy-weight champion (Weathers), looking for an easy-to-beat contender, chooses him, the 'Italian Stallion', for the championship bout. Screenplay, written by Stallone himself, strikes all the right tones, especially towards the end, excusing some pacing flaws in the first half of the film. Understandably an extremely popular film, which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing (the final bout was filmed backwards and re-edited). Memorable score by Bill Conti. Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma Films, appears briefly as a drunk and also supervised the pre-production. Followed by four sequels.


© Ron Altman