User Reviews (588)

  • JFHunt17 December 2004
    "But it's Thanksgiving. Yeah to you, but to me it's Thursday."
    It's hard to explain what this movie means to me. Words could never. I remember when I was a kid, I never liked the first Rocky, was too obsessed with III and IV. It happened when I was 11 and I went to see V in the theater. I never been to a movie like that before. People were screaming and cheering. Shook the whole damn place. They were dancing in the isle's and celebrating. It was then I realized the true power of Stallone's vision. The realization that only the original would ever really matter.

    Rocky to me is so many things. I had to beg my girlfriend to see it. She said she doesn't like boxing. I almost dumped her right there. If she wasn't so hot, I probably would have. I was crushed that someone could think that this movie is about boxing. To me it was never that. It's about a guy, much like you or me, who's down on his luck and everyday feels like Sunday. He's pushing 30, single and broke. I'm sad to say that at this moment it almost reminds me of myself. Every minute more another reason.

    It's hard to pick my favorite scenes from the movie. I love the chemistry between Rocky and Adrian (Shire). When he's talking to door and she finally comes out and then stops to look in the mirror. It's a thing of beauty. Or when Mickey (Meredith) goes over to Stallones apartment. Rocky gets upset and punches his shitty wall, then goes to hide in the bathroom. The look on Stallone's face when he comes out to find Mickey still there is priceless. I heard it wasn't in the script or directed, just happened. But the one that does it for me is when he comes home in the opening scene after the chapel fight. He turns on his record player and goes for a beer, but it's empty, like everything else in his life. Talks to the turtles and his fish, why because the Rock is lonely. Goes to the mirror and practices a joke for his love. Looks at a picture of himself and realizes he's wasting his life. It's more than beautiful or real.

    It's safe to say that I have seen the original more than 100 times. I still feel all the emotion. I love this movie more than any other film. I hope one day, with God's help, to show it to my kids and have them feel the same way. I think if I ever got the chance to meet Stallone, I'd want to thank him. Tell him how he changed my life. But in reality, he probably wouldn't care. Because, "I'm at least half a bum."
  • Manny (TheSixthChild)28 December 2003
    His whole life was a million-to-one shot...
    When I was a kid there were only three major things in my life: food, wrestling and `Rocky'. My brother and I followed the numerous Rocky Balboa struggles religiously, and even today, there is no exception. Although the latest efforts of Stallone have been pitiful, the movie that made his career is the 1977 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, `Rocky'. On top of that, `Rocky' also earned two more Academy Awards for Best Film-Editing and Best Director (John G. Avildsen).

    This movie is unlike any other ever put on film. It's films like this that remind us of the beauty that is going to the cinema, and if only I was around during that year when such films as `Close Encounters of the Third Kind', `Jaws', `Saturday Night Fever' and `Network' were all playing in cinemas. The storyline takes place in Philadelphia, where Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) struggles to make a living as both a small-time boxer, and the brawn of a loan shark. Until one day, a sudden opportunity is handed to Rocky to compete for the World Heavy-Weight Title against the champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), a charismatic and flamboyant fighter labelled as `The King of Sting' and `The Master Of Disaster'. Attracted to Rocky's reputation as "The Italian Stallion", a match between Creed and the unknown boxer is set, which is subsequently advertised as a fight where a "nobody" can become a "somebody". Mickey (Burgess Meredith), is the owner of the gym where Rocky trains and later becomes Rocky's manager. Mickey is passionate about the world of boxing, and believes that Rocky has the potential to go the distance, instead of being `a cheap second rate loan-shark'. However, the central character in Rocky's life is Adrian (Talia Shire), a shy pet-store clerk, who acts awkwardly when Rocky even breathes in her direction. However, these almost completely distant outcasts are strangely drawn to each other. While one `didn't have much of a brain', the other `didn't have much of a body', so they worked on their opposites, only to end up together. The legend of this film when it was first released in the mid-70's was: `His whole life was a-million-to-one shot', but what Stallone did was prove to the world that `Rocky' is one-in-a-million.

    Seeing `Rocky' is both a cinematic experience and a religious experience. When first released, the film appealed to the widest audience, and all felt the emotion and intense passion which passed from the film, to them. The film's possession of realistic acting, superb dialogue and the most phenomenal music score by Bill Conti to date, indeed transformed the face of cinema. Stallone's wholesome performance of his own screenplay is electrifying as the film celebrates of the underdog battling to beat the odds. Fans of cinema aren't manipulated into thinking that the inevitable will happen as it does in every other tedious hero drama.

    Over 25 years on, `Rocky' still manages to let the audience's emotions explode; Rocky's blossoming relationship with Adrian, the seedy worlds of Mickey and Adrian's alcoholic brother, Paulie (Burt Young), and the affirmation of Rocky's inability to overcome Creed. And who could forget the excruciatingly compelling Balboa / Creed confrontation? Rocky's determination overturns the boxing fraternity, and supplies cinemaphiles with one of the greatest moments in cinematic history, as a body of spectators both on-screen and off applaud and chant for Rocky in unison. The following four Rocky sequels attempted to deliver the same magic as the original, however failed to convey it's message. `Rocky' illustrates how life itself is stifling and perplexing, but sometimes when you lose your way as well as your original intentions, you may just find something better.

    Simply put, if anyone has a free Friday / Saturday night, this is the film to go out and borrow from the local video store. It's unbelievable that this film was only voted in at #78 on the AFI Top 100 films of all time, and worse yet, was voted in at the SECOND best sports film of all time (the first went to `Hoosiers', starring Gene Hackman). C'mon people, be you black or white or brown or any other skin colour we have yet to discover, get out there and be inspired by Stallone's masterpiece, `Rocky'.
  • Obi-Wan Wilson26 February 2003
    One of the greatest movies of all time.
    I don't remember exactly when I first saw this film, but for a long time I thought that the second of the series was my favorite. Well, I recently bought the DVD box-set and after I watched the first movie again I knew that it was definitely the best in the series, and also one of the best movies ever made. Rocky is very much more than just a boxing movie. It's a movie about the unbreakable human spirit, determination, and the will to "go the distance." Rocky(Sylvester Stallone) is a second rate club-fighter and a debt collector for a loan shark(Joe Spinnell). He becomes involved with a shy girl working in a petshop named Adrian(Talia Shire), and also becomes friends with her brother Paulie(Burt Young). Rocky's life really isn't anything of interest - until the World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed(Carl Weathers) gives him an unexpected shot at the title. An old boxer-turned-trainer named Mick(Burgess Meredith) offers to be Rocky's manager. Although the whole film is outstanding, what follows are some of the greatest and most memorable movie moments of all time. Rocky striving to go the distance in the training scene, the final fight, and the closing moments of the film are so emotional and inspiring that they perfectly demonstrate the human spirit and can bring out the will to win in anybody. Add to this an excellent music score and you have a classic and unforgettable movie. Without a doubt deserved the Best Picture award in 1976. Exceptional performances by all the cast members, notably Burgess Meredith and Sylvester Stallone. **** out of ****
  • Tony Fountain9 January 2005
    Changed My Life
    "Your gonna eat lightning and your gonna crap thunder"

    Rocky is about a poor boxer living his life in Philadalphia. His life changes when an invitation from the heavyweight champ Apollo Creed is given to him.

    Romance, Drama, Fight.

    Story- With minimum resources and low money, this movie was an underdog itself. Stallone wrote it and fought to play Rocky. When they were low on resources, they changed the story all together and made it even better. The story is flawless and keeps you on the edge of your seat. 9/10

    Music- The best thing about the movie itself. The music in this movie is guaranteed to give you goosebumps every time you watch it. Bill Conti gives you an excellent score throughout the movie, including the famous "gonna fly now". 10/10

    Acting- 4 nominated performances in this movie. The acting is very good as well, especially Burgess Meredith who offers one of the greatest acts I have ever seen. Stallone plays Rocky Balboa and changes his voice very well to be Rocky. He did a very good job. Talia Shire plays Adrian, a shy pet store owner who has never had a BF before. She did a good job as well. Burt Young plays the drunkard Paulie. Burgess Merideth plays the boxing trainer Mickey. I have never seen a better performance. 9.5/10

    Stallone fought for this triumphant movie that made me want to go the distance (sounds corny but its true). It made me strive to work harder and not give up. If you haven't seen this, buy it and watch it. I'll guarantee it will change you too. A classic.

    I give it a perfect 10/10
  • Antoine Dubé14 May 2000
    The first common misconception about Rocky, and something that's almost inevitable when you put a half-naked Stallone with boxing gloves on the cover is that it's a fighting movie. In that time it would fall into a category including Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan. Now don't get me wrong, I like both of these actors a lot, they're among my favorites, but Rocky is not just another cheap movie about a man who like to win a fight or tournament because he deserves it (Bloodsport, Quest). Instead of a fighting movie we should say that it is a movie about a fighter. That changes the context altogether, it means that sure he has fighting on his mind but has other personal issues that are demonstrated throughout the movie. In fact in the whole movie there are two fight scenes (at the beginning and at the end) which together add up to about 15 minutes.

    The rest is the portrayal of a man who has never had it easy in his life but nonetheless keeps his heart. That is to say that he keeps his moral and ethics, just keeps on trying no matter the hardships. A MAN WITH A DREAM... an un-realizable dream to be frank. But in the end, a lot, even most, of our dreams are un-realizable... but we try anyway. The difference here is that this man is given a shot at his dream, a "one-in-a-million shot". It's something that we all would like so we can relate and CAN'T HELP but cheer for him at the end of the movie.

    The largest portion, in minutes, of the movie is actually devoted to the love theme between Rocky and Adrien. So that should maybe make this a "love story" movie instead of fighting movie. Adrien is another of his dreams, slightly more attainable which is why he devotes more of his time everyday to trying to attain it (her). She won't open up to anybody but in the end, with a certain amount of tenacity on the part of Stallone, she can't help but fall for the heart deep inside the rough exterior.

    Another theme here is that of fraternity between Rocky and Mickey, his trainer/manager. In fact THE MOST TOUCHING SCENE in the whole movie in my opinion is one of about 15 to 20 seconds long and without any words. It's when Mickey goes to see Rocky at his home the first time to see if he can manage him. Rocky gets angry with him but keeps it to himself until Mickey leaves, at which point Rocky takes it out on the door jam and yells at Mickey who can still hear him outside. Rocky's life is being turned upside down by this whole "fighting Creed" business and although it is his dream, he doesn't know how to deal with it and is scared to get mangled in the ring, knowing he's not of the same caliber as the champ. The touching scene is when he realizes that he has yelled at an old man. His heart takes him out into the street after Mickey, he joins him and shakes his hand. The beginning of an enduring friendship which will ultimately lead to tears in a later film (Rocky 3 and 5).

    This movie simply seeps with "classic", and by the end you know you have just seen a movie of courage, of the portrayal of "the indominable spirit of man" (Rocky 3). No matter the difficulties, Rocky's heart takes him through it all. It doesn't fit the mold of today's classics (like Private Ryan) with melodrama and grandiose scenery, just a simple movie, with simple qualities but very large meaning intricately woven into the fabric of the film itself by Stallone and the director John G. Avildson, with the musical overtones of Bill Conti. A classic from a different age, and the mold of a lot of movies to follow.
  • MovieAddict20165 May 2003
    The Raging Bull Named Rocky...
    "Rocky" is about a man. It is the story of a man who exceeds past all normal expectations and makes the most out of what he is doing. What is he doing? Boxing. Why? As Rocky says in the film, "You have to be a moron to want to box."

    Rocky is played by Sylvester Stallone, whose only other film before "Rocky" was "Weekend at Kitty and Stud's," and, as you can probably guess by the title, it was an X-rated movie. But Stallone gives just about the best performance of his career here. Before he started getting into recycled action movies and unfunny comedies, the man had talent, as seen shining through in "Rocky." Somewhere along the way he lost that talent, but it's pretty evident that he had it at one time.

    Stallone wrote the script, which is about a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia man named Rocky Balboa. Rocky is your average tough-guy you see walking down the street, but this film takes a closer look INTO the guy walking past you, and not AT the guy walking past you.

    He lives in a beat-up, old apartment, infested with roaches, and he barely makes enough money to support himself. His job? Rocky retrieves money for loan sharks. His real job, however, is to break the loaners' thumbs if they don't pay up. He's a muscle man.

    After he returns from his "job" every day, he takes time to do what he has been doing for the past six years, which is boxing. Then, after that, he takes a trip to the local pet store to see the love of his life, Adrian, who works there. He constantly tries to impress her and talk to her, but she is shy and literally does not talk much throughout the entire film.

    But things change for Rocky after heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) decides that he wants to make a big performance on the 4th of July. He wants to appear nice by letting a regular Joe Schmoe fight him in the ring. All for show, of course. As he is looking through a book of local boxers, he points his finger at the letters THE Italian STALLION, a.k.a. Rocky. He says that fighting an Italian is perfect. "An Italian found America," Creed says. If he fights an Italian-American on the 4th of July, it will be symbolic and will also make Creed look good.

    But Rocky doesn't realize this is all for show. When he receives word that Apollo Creed wishes to fight him in the ring, Rocky begins to train long and hard with Burgess Meredith, which results in the famous scene where Rocky runs up an entry of stairs in Philly with the music "Gonna Fly Now" playing in the background. This scene is spoofed by films world-wide, and it's one of the cornerstones in film history. You will see it all the time. It's just one of those film moments that are marked down in history.

    The most entertaining thing about "Rocky" is how innocent Sylvester Stallone comes across in his role as Rocky. You feel for him when he is trying to impress Adrian and she shrugs him off. The scene where her brother invites Rocky over, and Rocky keeps saying, "Are you sure she knows I'm coming?" is a sign of how the guy has been put down. And then when she comes over to his apartment, he acts nice and talks to her. He's not trying any moves on her. He just enjoys being with her. Rocky is a bit of an idiot, as he himself admits, but he's a sweet idiot.

    And the end, when Rocky fights Apollo Creed, is amazing. A nobody who actually stands a chance against the heavyweight champion of the world. Creed and Rocky are being battered by each other. Creed goes into the opposite corner as Rocky, and one of Creed's managers says, "This guy thinks this thing is for real -- knock him out!" You feel sorry for Rocky there, because he is giving the fight all he's got, when it was just a publicity stunt from the beginning, but he didn't even realize it.

    Things like that are what make "Rocky" what it has become over the years. It is a great film, and it has many classic moments that you will see spoofed in films all the time. You should probably see it just for that fact.

    But the truth is, if you take away all the underlying intricacies, "Rocky" is just the story of a simple guy who gets a chance to do something amazing, and he gives it all he's got. I think we've all gone through something like that before, and if so, you will be able to identify with "Rocky" all the more.
  • crumpler14 November 2004
    What it is to be and "underdog"
    One of Stallone's first and finest feature film performances is as Rocky Balboa, a lonely, small-time boxer who gets by doing muscle work for a neighborhood loan shark. Everything about his life spells "underdog"-- he's even left-handed. He lives alone in a shabby apartment, and when he's not slowly being swept aside at the local gym, where even the trainer calls him a bum, he fauns over an introverted pet store clerk named Adrian.

    He gets his first break when he's chosen at random by heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, to take a shot at his title. No one thinks he can beat Creed-- not even Rocky. All Rocky wants is to be able to go all ten rounds with the champ, because no one else has. And in the final ten minutes of the film, Rocky finds out just how far he can go.

    What's terrific about this movie is that it's about Rocky. It's not about winning; it's not even about fighting. It's about Rocky and his desire to get by in the world without being a bum. The sequels to this widely popular film have focused more heavily on the upcoming fight, whereas this story focuses on Rocky's life. He doesn't want to win; he just wants to survive and feel good about himself. That's what most of us want, and that's why this film is a classic.
  • rbverhoef18 February 2005
    A great Sylvester Stallone film
    If you think Sylvester Stallone has made nothing but stinkers you just have to see 'Rocky'. This is a brilliant film, based on Stallone's own screenplay, where he plays a complex character in such a terrific way it is not strange people thought this was going to be a great actor. Compare it to another great film about a boxer, 'Raging Bull', and 'Rocky' will be better at some points. It goes without saying that it's quite an achievement.

    The story is about Rocky Balboa (Stallone), a boxer who once had a glorious future, but now fights for little money in gyms. Then, out of the blue, he gets the chance to fight the heavyweight champ Apollo (Carl Weathers), a stunt from his side. Although Rocky seems to have no chance he starts his training to make the best of it, although at first he is too proud to accept any help. The scene where he finally accepts the help from his old trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) is one of the best scenes in the film. Rocky also starts dating the very shy girl Adrian (Talia Shire), sister of his friend Paulie (Burt Young).

    'Rocky' is a terrific film in every aspect. The acting is what amazed me the most. Stallone gives such an impressive performance it is very hard to believe he is also the star of films like 'Over the Top', 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' and 'Judge Dredd', and from the other 'Rocky'-films for that matter. Not only Stallone is impressive, Shire, Young and Meredith find perfect notes for their characters as well. Every little thing that happens seems natural through their acting and of course Stallone's screenplay does a great job here. Director John G. Avildsen serves this material the way he should. Of course he is no Martin Scorsese, 'Raging Bull' stays the better directed film, but he knows how to tell this story.

    I do not like boxing very much, so a boxing-film is not something I would enjoy. But this is not a boxing-film, it is a film about a boxer. It tells about a character who happens to be a boxer running for a title. This is probably one of the points where the other four 'Rocky'-films fail and where films like this one and 'Raging Bull' and Clint Eastwood's 'Million Dollar Baby' succeed.
  • mm-399 April 2001
    Stalone's best
    As much as the media mocks Stallone, he won best picture for this film. He will never top this film, which made him a icon. It's a story about a down on his luck loan collector/ boxers who gets a one time shot at the heavy weight championship, because of a late pull out by a contender, and the champ does not want to lose his money on the deal. There is romance between Rocky and his new girl friend who lives just as hard of a life as Rocky, and together they make life livable. The rest of the cast is other down and outers who give the viewer a feeling of hopelessness until Rocky gets his chance. This film is touching, and unforgettable.
  • calvinnme29 April 2017
    The tortoise and the hare coupled with Georgie Girl
    Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, this film is cute, upbeat, and likable. But the plot is so obvious and clichéd. Heavyweight champion Apollo Creed needs a boxing partner for his next fight and it is decided to give an average joe boxer the chance to win the title on January 1, 1976, the 200th anniversary of the United States declaring independence. Well actually that would be July 4, but I won't quibble. That average joe is 3rd rate boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) who makes ends meet by collecting for a mobster.

    Rocky only has eyes for cripplingly shy plain Adrian (Talia Shire) who works in the pet store. Adrian lives with her alcoholic bully of a brother, Paulie, who is a butcher and friends with Rocky. It would be easy to scratch your head and ask why Rocky never gave up pursuing Adrian who, if she wasn't disinterested, was so shy she might never come out of her shell. But Rocky saw himself as a diamond in the rough, regardless of other people's opinions, and I think he took the time to realize this young woman was a diamond in the rough too if only she would come out of that shell.

    Now everybody who can disrespects Rocky - the driver of the mobster he works for is always insulting him, a neighborhood girl who is hanging out with the bad kids is given an endearing lecture by Rocky about girls who have bad "reps" only to have her make an obscene gesture as they part after walking home, and most of all Mick (Burgess Meredith), who runs the local gym, is always yelling at Rocky about what a loser he is.

    When it becomes known that Rocky has been given a shot at the title, suddenly people want a piece of him. Mick comes to him and wants to be his manager. Rocky is not stupid. He realizes the difference in treatment is because of the opportunity he has been given, and if not for that people would still be walking on him. The scene between him and Mick where Rocky explodes with resentment is really good acting by Stallone.

    So Rocky does ultimately let Mick train him, and the scene of Rocky running after Mick after Rocky at first threw him out of his apartment is shot from a distance, so we never know what was said, and that again is good filmmaking. Rocky takes the whole thing seriously while Creed is too busy with public appearances to train.

    In parallel with Rocky's training is his romance with Adrian who transforms from a plain looking girl into a stylish pretty girl. This is one of those obvious things because Talia Shire was not an unknown. She was in the Godfather for Pete's sake, so the audience knows she is not ugly. Just don't style her hair, dress her drably, no makeup and some geeky looking glasses and voila - the ugly duckling. Rocky's unconditional love gives her confidence to dress well and present herself attractively.

    So the big day comes, Rocky has done his homework, Creed hasn't really prepared, expecting this to be a three round publicity stunt. Adrian has changed so much that nobody who knew her three months ago could recognize her in a lineup. How does all of this end up? Watch and find out.

    I don't think this was the Best Picture of 1976, but it was probably the most upbeat of the A pictures that came out that year. Look at its competition - "All The President's Men" which was about Watergate, "Network" about a bloodless television executive who will do anything for ratings, "Taxi Driver" about a psychologically troubled ex-marine, and "Bound For Glory" about a folk singer of the Depression era who died of just about the worst disease on earth. Maybe the Academy just wanted to pick a feel good film, and Rocky was the only one that fit that bill.
  • yxcool16 February 2005
    Serious comments about the movie.
    If there is a chance for you which can turn you from nobody to somebody, how would you treat it? Would you let it go pass because it is almost impossible to achieve or you want to use all you have to give it a great shot? This is what the movie about, how a struggling underdog became hero, legend or more. This is the one of my favorite movies. Because it has a simplest storyline but it successfully gave expression to it's theme-if you want to be on the top, you have to pay the price which means hardworking and determination A good movie must require an understandable storyline which clearly tells its theme. That is why I think rocky is a great movie. The movie is about the sudden life change of a struggling underdog boxer-Rocky, the world champion set up a fight between himself and Rocky, but he decided to give it the greatest shot just to prove that he is not a bum for a entertainment show. So basically, whole movie is about how Rocky trying so hard to achieve his goal: go the distance with the champion.

    The acting of the film is another shinning point; it has many great actors in it. Especially the main actor Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) he made a great impression in my mind by his excellent pyrotechnic acting skill. In the famous fighting scene, Stallone performed an emotion of a boxer who is suffering from pain, frustration and exhaustion, but he is not giving up. The scene became so real because Stallone's incredible performance. Also, other actors like Burt Young (Pauline), Tailia Shire (Adrian) Burgess (Mickey) acted perfectly in the movie.

    If there is anything else can highlight the movie that is the fantastic music used in the movie. Because the music played in the movie perfectly contributed to the atmosphere of each individual scene. E.g. when Rocky started his morning run, pumping up style music plays simultaneously while he is running, that generated a memorable scene. Also again in the fighting scene, a part of passionate and stirring background music played when rocky is trying so hard to stand on his feet, it has successfully reinforced the mood of the scene.

    This movie is simple but well made. Fantastic music, excellent action sequences and incredible acting crew lined with a nice storyline to express its theme: a man can be anyone he wants to be but is requires great determination and stamina to achieve that. The movie is appealed to audiences who are 15 or above, and strongly recommended to every boxing fan! PG Rating: 8/10
  • James Klonowski22 September 2016
    The Ultimate Underdog Story
    What more can I say about the greatest sporting movie ever made? I don't think there's a person in the world who doesn't like Rocky. He is the ultimate underdog that we love to root for. The movie is an absolute masterpiece and can be enjoyed time and time again. I've seen it countless times myself. I hold this film close to my heart. Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay in 2 days, but you would never guess that judging by the depth of the film. It's an emotional roller-coaster that keeps you coming back for more. Rocky Balboa is up there as one of Hollywood's greatest ever creations.

    It's a very basic movie, but that's what we all love about it. The best films are usually like that. Very rare a big-budget blockbuster will take home an Oscar. Not only is it a love story, but it's also a boxing tale as we go on an unforgettable journey with The Itallian Stallion.

    Sylvester Stallone is my favorite actor, and for good reason. During the Creed movie he stole the show and should have won as Oscar for his latest portrayal as Balboa. Stallone is not only a great actor, but also a director and writer too. He can do it all. Some say Rambo is his greatest creation, but for my money nothing comes close to Rocky Balboa.
  • marcrice26 March 2016
    Great movie, great soundtrack a classic
    What can you say about a this movie that has not been said already? It is my all time favorite movie series ever and I could watch every movies back to back time and time again. I have owned this movie series on Video, DVD, Blu-ray and owned just about every version going.

    The main story is about one mans struggles to overcome the odds life has stacked against him but it is also a love story. There are real touches of greatness such as Burgess Meredith as Mickey as veteran boxer who does not want to train Rocky as he sees him as a washed out bum until he is offered a shot at the big time. Then seeing his relationship with Rocky grow. The acting is superb and the music still pumps my blood to this day. This may have been the movie to invent the training montage which is now a must in any movie about sports or fighting. Stallone's performance is phenomenal as the film celebrates the underdog battling to beat the odds and it is still amazing almost 40 years after release.
  • BA_Harrison24 February 2016
    Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a struggling Italian/American boxer who also earns cash collecting debts for shady Philadelphian 'businessman' Gazzo (Joe Spinell). When heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) finds himself without an opponent for his upcoming match, he offers the unknown fighter a chance at the title as a gimmick, but doesn't count on Rocky's determination to go the distance.

    I watched Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull not that long ago, an excellent film, but something of a downer—a gritty study of a not very nice character whose horrible personality and poor choices see him winding up losing everything. Rocky, on the other hand, is a real feel-good film about a guy on the skids who is given a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to make something of himself. It's an uplifting Cinderella story, a classic underdog tale that leaves the viewer with a big smile on their face, which is why I prefer it slightly over Scorsese's film.

    Rocky also has a great story behind the making of the film which mirrors that of its main character: star Stallone went from an almost broke struggling actor to Hollywood mega-star by not only writing the script for Rocky, but also insisting that he play the title role. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Those only familiar with Stallone's later action hero work will be surprised at how good an actor he is in his breakthrough role, tackling the drama just as well as the boxing: Rocky's burgeoning romance with shy pet store clerk Adrian (Talia Shire), his friendship with her brother Paulie (Burt Young), and his strained relationship with trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) are all handled superbly.

    Director John G. Avildsen also manages all aspects of his film with aplomb, with the final fight between Rocky and Apollo being the absolute showstopper, a gruelling battle of wills, both combatants pushed to their limits. Add a rousing score from Bill Conti and what you have is an unmissable, uplifting classic of the '70s.

    9.5 out of 10, rounded up to 10 for IMDb.
  • utgard146 July 2015
    "I ain't no bum, Mick. I ain't no bum."
    A first-rate film that's about as close to perfect as any movie about boxing (or any other sport) that I've ever seen. The plot is very simple -- small-time boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is given a chance to fight the heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). It sounds no different than a ton of old movies about the sport. But this film proves that it's not always how fresh or unique the story is but how well it's crafted. Rocky is a masterpiece of filmmaking with dynamite acting from Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Talia Shire, Burt Young, and Carl Weathers. Many classic scenes, lines, characters. Bill Conti's score is one of the all-time greats. It was nominated for nine Oscars, winning three including Best Picture. It was director John G. Avildsen's best film and many would argue it is Stallone's best as well. Certainly his best screenplay. The fight choreography is terrific. Followed by a string of enjoyable sequels but they were just solid entertainment. This one is very entertaining but it is also something much more than that. It's one of those movies that becomes part of culture in a big way where everybody recognizes something from the film even if they've never seen it.
  • b_u_n_444 March 2002
    The fact that Rocky isn't on the top 250 is kinda sad.
    Rocky is one of two great boxing movies. Only Raging Bull challenges Rocky as the greatest boxing movie of all time. Not only is there great action inside the ring, the story and drama outside the ring makes for a movie worth watching over and over again. There is no doubt in my mind it should be at least in the top 25.
  • ccthemovieman-114 November 2006
    The Rocky Movie With Character Studies
    After not seeing this film since it had come out in the theaters in 1976, I was almost shocked at how little action this movie had compared to what you see today....or in the Rocky sequels, for that matter. It's okay. It was needed to give us character studies of the main players: Rocky, his wife, his brother, his manager, etc., people we would see in subsequent films. Also, the fight scenes in those sequels went on too long, anyway. Frankly, I've enjoyed all the Rocky movies, beginning with this one.

    In this film, the romance between "Rocky Balboa" (Sylvester Stallone) and "Adrian" (Talia Shire) was a major subplot to the boxing saga. It reminded me a bit of the '50s film with Paul Newman, "Somebody Up There Likes Me." If you enjoyed this movie, check that classic film out.

    The DVD transfer is excellent, especially considering the movie is 30 years old.
  • Bjorn (ODDBear)9 October 2005
    70's trashy fairytale story
    Stallone is just perfect as Rocky, a "bum" who gets a shot at the Heavyweight title in Boxing.

    What works perfectly here is the era in which this film was made. I seriously doubt that had this movie been made a decade later it would be half as charming. It's got that glorious 70's trashy style film-making and setting which made films like Midnight Cowboy or even Five Easy Pieces so appealing to begin with. The characters here feel real and authentic, and most of all, completely human. Nothing spectacular about them, more or less lowlifes who wouldn't arouse any interest in other people than social workers perhaps.

    The script by Stallone is exceptionally good and completely deserved the Oscar. Rocky is a treasure of a character and Stallone plays him to perfection, really should have picked up an Oscar for that as well. This is basically a fairytale story in a different setting and almost feels very real.
  • david-rf29 June 2001
    A must-see, must-have, a of the best films ever!
    This is the first (and the best) chapter of one of the most famous saga ever. The story of an unknown boxer that have the chance of his life challenging the world heavyweight champion. A story of hope, of dreams that come true, where the life suddenly changes form a day to another. From the misery of Philadelphia suburbs to the fame and the glory.
  • khodan9 July 2011
    American Masterpiece
    Warning: Spoilers
    Over the Fourth of July, I was channel surfing and caught Rocky on AMC....and as usual, after watching about 20 seconds, it sucked me in again to watch it for the 124th time or so. Since it's been about 35 years since Rocky premiered, I was waxing nostalgic about the film.

    It's so impressive now to remember that Stallone wrote the film, then went up against the Hollywood movie industry and got it made even though he had only been in a few previous movies prior to this. AND, he wouldn't sell it unless he was cast to play the title character, turning down offers even though he was broke and hungry at the time. He believed...and wouldn't compromise.

    So basically, as a kid, a novice in Hollywood, Sylvester Stallone created one of the true all- time classic American movies....a masterpiece that has grown even stronger over time....with an Academy Award, necessary or not, to add its official stamp of approval.

    Over the years of his career since them he has had many ups and downs. He's been the butt of jokes, always type-cast, let his celebrity status overshadow his movie roles. He's been grouped in with Schwarzenegger, Seagal, Van-Damme...just another cookie-cutter action- hero...and hey, he's chosen the roles that put him there. Nobody's ever compared him to Pacino, Spielberg, or any of the upper echelon of the Hollywood elite.

    But then there's Rocky. It'll probably never place higher than The Godfather on the all-time lists....never compare to Citizen Kane or Casablanca in film school discussions...or mentioned in conversations discussing Pulp Fiction or Schindler's List.

    But Rocky is the cinema equivalent of Tom Sawyer, The Grapes of Wrath, The Old Man and the Sea....a true American classic.

    His portrayal of the title character (which was probably more just being himself than acting) embodied what all us guys want to be. He was a guy who knew where he came from, he didn't have much, but what he had was yours if you needed it, he tried to guide those in his neighborhood down the right path, he remembered to always feed and care for his pet turtles, Cuff and Link...he was a street-tough that was sweet, kind and gentle. He was a friend to a guy, Paulie, who didn't deserve his friendship, and he fell in love with a woman and treated her as if she were a Queen. He knew he couldn't offer her much in the way of the material trappings of life, so he gave her what he could...himself, his heart and his unconditional love....He was humble in attitude, and gave respect to everyone, regardless of their position in life. Stallone wrote and portrayed the character that all us American guys hope and try to be. And when offered the chance to make a dream come true, Rocky Balboa accepted the challenge. The South Philly lunk put his American work ethic into achieving his goal...something all of us are...or want to believe we are...doing in our own lives.

    The hero doesn't win in the end, at least not on the scorecard...but his victory comes from knowing that he gave it his all...he didn't give up.

    So this is a movie that grabs your heart and shows you that if you believe that good things can happen...and if you just be true to yourself...that the journey is itself the victory, and the people we love and who love us are the real treasures in our lives. If you're not cheering at this movie, than you may not have a pulse...and you're definitely lacking a soul.

    When you're in one of those ruts where nothing seems to be going your way, when bad luck is your constant companion, and you're asking yourself, what's the use? Rocky will give you an encouraging pat on the shoulder, a firm kick in the butt, and let you know that you're not alone in your struggles.

    That a kid outta Hells Kitchen wrote the script, and nailed the lead role, is an underdog story in itself. No matter what Stallone has done since...or will do in the future....he created Rocky, one of the greatest American movies..and characters... .ever made. No one can ever take that from him.

    So thank you Sylvester Stallone. I'm grateful for the gift of your movie.
  • jamestheklein20 January 2013
    World's biggest let down? Yes.
    Warning: Spoilers
    After many years of hearing that this film is great, millions and millions of references made to it in other films and TV shows, and seeing it in multiple "100 best films ever" lists, I decided to watch it.

    I needn't have bothered. There are some "classic, must see" films that are worth seeing, just to be able to claim that you have seen them, such as "Airplane." But Rocky is not one such film. It tells the story of a low-level enforcer for a small time loan shark. He makes his money shaking people down and boxing on weekends for a few dollars per fight. He then forces himself on his best friend's sister, punches animal carcasses, and tries to win a fight against the world champion.

    For a film about boxing, there is basically none. A few seconds at the beginning, that show that Rocky is a boxer. Then there is nothing until the final few minutes. The film is 116 minutes long. What a joke.

    The dialogue? It is dreadful. Rocky's best friend just randomly shouts and goes into massive rage tantrums for basically no reason, Rocky is barely intelligible, and his girlfriend basically says nothing. Apollo Creed is meant to come across as some massive ass hole who only cares about the big show, but whenever he is on screen you barely even pay attention to him enough to notice.

    The whole scene where Rocky practically begs Adrienne do come in, then corners her against the wall and forces her to kiss him is one of the most rapey things I have ever seen. They have zero chemistry.

    I am just upset that I wasted the time to watch it. The only reason it doesn't get 1/10 is because the day may come when I have to review the sequels, so I need to save that spot.
  • RealChristian1420 October 2017
    What Made Rocky Balboa An Endearing Character
    Warning: Spoilers
    Rocky was written and starred by then unknown actor but present Hollywood superstar Sylvester Stallone.

    This 1976 Oscar Best Picture winner tells the story of a boxer that was given a once-in-a-lifetime shot at the world heavyweight title by the world boxing champion Apollo Creed,whose character is based on boxing legend Muhammad Ali.John Avildsen directed the film about an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector who is a boxer in small-time fights at Philadelphia,Pennsylvania and how the opportunity that was given to him changed his life.In addition,we are also told of his love story with the shy and pet shop employee Adrian,who provides him tons of inspiration to face his challenges in life.

    No question that this was the highest grossing movie on the year it was released.It continues to provide inspiration to millions of people not only when it was released in the United States when Americans were facing a lot of difficulties like unemployment due to a economic recession but to people around the world at present. Many got a lot of inspiration from Rocky especially when he managed to go the distance on his boxing match with Apollo. Added to that,it ushered six sequels from Rocky II to Rocky Balboa until a spin-off franchise entitled "Creed" was released that continues to provide inspiration to people to remain optimistic and hopeful in life.No question that it is the ultimate film that one will surely remember especially for people who gave strength and courage to face the challenges of life amidst pain and suffering.With that in mind,Rocky Balboa has remained one of the most endearing character in cinema for the last 50 years whether he faces a challenger as an underdog or whenever he acts as a trainer to Apollo's illegitimate son,Adonis Johnson a.k.a Adonis Creed.
  • ocasiobonita2 July 2017
    one of my favorite movies. never give up.. always keep moving and always stay positive. I still got the music in my head lol

    i can watch this over and over.

    My favorite part is running up the stairs.

    I couldn't run before like that but now ill take it on.
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