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  • Like Babe Ruth, Marciano and his inspiring story provides much opportunity to tell an exciting and moving tale. In both movies about Ruth, Hollywood erred. In this latest attempt about Marciano, the producers likewise failed. The major depictions, of Rocky and his manager, Al Weill, are both inaccurate. For all his well-known frugality, Marciano was not the vicious, money-hungry pug shown here. Jon Favreau physically resembles the Brockton Blockbuster, and his ability to mirror Rocky's crab-like style in the ring are fine. But unfortunately, Favreau is the victim of an extremely poor teleplay, regarding the title character. In the 1979 tv-movie about Marciano, Tony LoBianco was given a more realistic depiction of Rocky, and performed it well. Here, it seems as if someone has a vendetta about The Rock. As powerful and courageous as he was inside the ring, outside he was---as is well-documented---a gracious, very likeable person. A true credit to himself and his sport. Sportswriter Jimmy Cannon wrote of Marciano that he "...was like a rose in a garbage dump." As for Weill's character, he is shown to be a milquetoast in the latest Marciano film. In reality---as demonstrated in Vincent Gardenia's '79 version---Weill was a thoroughly despicable person. The major reason Marciano retired in 1956 was that he absolutely despised Weill. Though fight fans might enjoy the ring action in the latter film, these critical errors completely undermine the effort.
  • this is a really good movie about boxer Rocky Marciano.it chronicles his rise to greatness in the sport.but more than that,it chronicles his and his family's struggle to overcome adversity and prejudice.the film shows Marciano as a (at most times)humble man who longs to escape the dead end path he is on,with a bleak future and a menial job in which he is fated to merely eke out an existence.the movie is low key and doesn't not put boxing on a pedestal,but rather shows that that their are people behind those gloves and bruises.it also shows the despicable people behind the scenes(slimy managers and promoters,etc) and the udder depths they will stoop to in order to keep their fighters under their thumbs.Jon Favreau puts in a terrific performance as the title character,while both Judd Hirsch and Tony Lo Bianca both portray(very convincingly)a scumbag manager and an even scummier promoter,respectively George C.Scott plays Marciano's father,whose fate in life Marciano hopes to escape from.this is obviously not a documentary,so there is probably some liberty taken by the filmmakers.but i'm sure a lot of the movie was accurate,especially about the scumbags behind the scenes.in fact,we have one high profile one in the real life boxing world,though haven't heard too much from him lately.we all know who he is and that he's nothing but a waste of skin.anyway,i feel this is a movie that most people,even non boxing fans will enjoy and relate to.for me "Rocky Marciano" is a 9/10
  • This made-for-TV biography about Rocky Marciano takes us into a journey from his early beginnings to finally becoming the Brockton Blockbuster-Undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world. George C. Scott is very memorable as Rocky's father,a struggling shoe factory worker,who vows to never let Rocky live the same hard life. Jon Favreau puts in a very nice performance as Rocky,with his fight scenes being very credible. Rocky's overhand right as always was a knockout. A special dramatic part which shows Rocky's gentle side is his admiration of the Brown Bomber,Joe Louis (played admirably by Duane Davis).The relationship between the two fighters as seen after their fight added an emotional impact on this movie. Anybody interested in boxing history should watch this show,as Rocky Marciano was truly the best heavyweight of all time.
  • Charles Winkler gets a very good performance out of Jon Favreau as Rocky Marciano and creates an interesting overall effect. Excitement is built as the movie progresses.

    Yet, the story could have been stronger. Some of the characters are written in a two dimensional manner. Penelope Ann Miller seems to be doing her best with the character of Barbara Cousins, as does Judd Hirsch as Al Weill and Tony Lo Bianco with the cartoonish Frankie Carbo. Duane Davis' charm is only allowed to occasionally peek through as Joe Louis.

    Rino Romano and George C. Scott shine in smaller roles. Rino Romano quietly steals scenes as Rocky's best friend Allie Colombo and George C. Scott takes the film to a higher level in every time he's in the frame.
  • Just saw this film for the first time and it was great. The cast was well put together and it had a great story. The only failing of this film is that the subject had so many aspects of his life to cover that only a few of them were touched upon. Overall...An excellent biographical film.
  • Don't let the 'made for TV' or boxing theme put you off this film. Rent it. Even my wife stayed awake late at night and thoroughly liked this film, much to my surprise. It is well-acted and scripted, and does not really glorify boxing.
  • dtucker8623 February 2002
    First of all an interesting footnote, Tony Lo Bianco played Marciano in a 1979 tv film and also appears in this one as slimy mobster Frankie Carbo (he plays a really detestable character). This is a great film about the real life Rocky. Someone once fed some facts about boxing champions into a computer and the computer said Rocky was the greatest champ of all time. This can be debated of course, but this film shows him as not only a great boxer but as a humble, decent human being who literally started out with nothing. It made me angry watching this film as to how poor Italian immigrants like the Marcianos were treated as second class people and labeled as "dagos". In one of his last performances, George C. Scott is wonderful as Marciano's father. There is one mistake in this film, however. It shows Marciano visiting his friend Joe Louis in a Denver mental hospital. In fact, Joe Louis wasn't committed to this hospital until 1970 a year after Marciano was killed in a tragic plane crash.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Marciano's career is shortchanged in this film. It never even depicts Rocky's title winning effort against Jersey Joe Walcott. Which is arguably one of the best title fights of the 20th century. To say nothing of the way Rocky finishes matters in that fight. The rematch with La Starza is not here. The two wars against Ezzard Charles? You'd think the injury Rocky suffers in the rematch would be more than worth recounting. Nope, not here. Nor Rocky's swan song against the great Archie Moore. A fine film. Good acting all around. But for anyone who knows anything about The Rock. It seems odd the greatest parts of his career are missing.
  • The life of Rocky Marciano takes a beating in this made-for-tv flick which is fraught with melodrama, over acting, a mediocre screenplay, distortions of fact, and obvious attempts to wring emotion from the audience. The film features an excellent performance by Favereau in the title role with fine supporting talent none of which can save this fast-track to success Hollywoodish formula approach to the exploitation of the life of a boxing legend. Come on...do we really need another boxing flick where every punch sounds like a sledge hammer hitting a sandbag?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After watching the film, I was left puzzled by just what the film makers were trying to accomplish here. With a title like "Rocky Marciano", one would think it would trace the entire history of the former boxing legend, but it never even got around to the match that made him World Heavyweight Champion. In fact, the feature bout of this story in which he took on Joe Louis was almost inconsequential in light of Marciano's actual career. Louis, in 1951 was at the end of his comeback bid and nowhere near as fit as the actor who portrayed him (Duane Davis).

    The film deserves some credit for casting Jon Favreau as Rocky. He has an amazing resemblance to Marciano, both facially and in terms of physical stature, designed to ooze menace in the ring. From what I've read, he also managed to mimic much of Marciano's ring style with the low crouch and hammer-like punches. The major kick I personally got out of the story was catching Marciano wearing his 'Greenwood Lake Training Camp' jersey; that town is only about a twenty minute drive down the road from where I live, straddling the New York/New Jersey border.

    Probably what bothered me the most was the way the story was brought to an end, giving one the impression that the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis was practically on his death bed giving Marciano sound advice to get back to his wife and family as the things that matter most in life. Which was fine, but in fact, Louis lived another twelve years beyond Marciano's death in a plane crash on August 31, 1969. If one stays with the film's chronology, Louis would have been treated around that time for cocaine addiction or a possible drug overdose; he was actually admitted to a hospital for that condition in June of 1969.

    I picked up an intriguing quote by Rocky that had to do with the Marciano-Louis bout depicted in the picture. He commented once - "I saw in Joe in particular and in several other fighters that you should never outstay your welcome in boxing. If you have two or three fights too many it can have terrible consequences". For his part, Marciano followed his own advice after announcing his retirement while still champion. He couldn't be tempted out of retirement even for huge paydays against Floyd Patterson or Sonny Liston after putting together a record of forty nine wins against no professional losses, a record that still stands today.

    Note**** The Marciano quote is from the book "Crown of Thorns", by Norman Giller and Neil Duncanson
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There was an episode of PUBLIC DEFENDER about Rocky Marciano called "The Prize Fighter." The victim in this episode is a young boxer by the name of Dave Davis who has gone undefeated so far in his professional career but is framed as a drug pusher after defeating a syndicate fighter by the gangster who has bought out his contract. Because he is depicted as undefeated, he must actually be Rocky. Bart Allen, the lead character, is portrayed by the late Reed Hadley, the star of the serial ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGION from 1939. Hadley, the only actor to play the actual Zorro character in a serial, was also the lead actor on the RED RYDER radio program.
  • "Rocky Marciano" (1999): Can the true life story of a boxer be full of lessons for us all? Yes. Forget that shmucky stuff like "Rocky", "Rocky II", "III", "IV" Sixteen, Twenty seven, Son of Rocky... ad nauseum. This is the modest, gritty, not-pretty, non-romanticized story of an underdog from Day One, who, by sheer determination and little else, rose to the top, and remains the ONLY undefeated Heavy Weight box in history. To do this, you must be something special, even if you ARE modest, have doubts, get pounded around, conned, taken for granted, and trade off family time to earn a living. It's OUR story, if you look beyond the ring. Jon Favreau stars, along with Penelope Miller, Judd Hirsch, a sleazy character by Tony Lo Bianco, and a wonderful character by George C. Scott. This is not the only boxing movie by far, but it is one of the Top Five. ("Raging Bull", "On the Waterfront", "Ali", and "The Boxer" would have to be the others.)
  • An excellent movie that tells us about the greatest boxer in the world to this day. Rocky Marciano is a great biography that is different to others, while watching it you don't think it's a biography because it is filled with action and drama just like any other great movie.

    If you are a boxing fan then this movie is a must! Even if your not it's still a great movie!
  • For starters, this film was shot in Toronto, Canada. Although none of this film took place in Toronto or anywhere near the Canadian border, it was shot there. I had many problems with this movie. Like its location, the actors they got for the film were wrongly picked. While Jon Favreau did a wonderful job as Marciano, why did they get Penelope Ann Miller as his wife? Yes, she is a very beautiful and talented actress but she was wrong for the role. Why? Have you ever seen what Rocky Marciano's wife looked like? Nothing at all like Penelope. Once you see what she looked like, you will know where I am coming from.

    Just like ALI starring Will Smith, this movie is missing something. It does not tell the entire story of the fighter, only a period of the fighters life. While much is left out, there is still a good portion of his life mentioned, and for that I recommend this film to fans only. To those looking to do research, rent the documentary and leave this film on the shelf.
  • This was nothing I expected it to be. It was an insult to my fondness of Rocky Marciano. It gave me a chance to find out some new facts about him, but the other life events of Marciano were omitted in this mediocre Rocky film. The Brockton Blockbuster is my personal favorite boxer and when I actually got a chance to rent this movie, it was a real disappointment. It didn't include his battles with Ezzard Charles or his bout with Archie Moore. The film should have been longer and more detailed, rather than a sappy love story containing limited fight scenes. The only thing good about this movie was the information, though it was a short amount.

    Rock's Rating: ** out of ****
  • Better than the 1979 TV version, this film touches on a little known side of Marciano. Allegedly he was one of the world's "tightest" people; he was certainly the most miserly boxer that I've ever heard or read about... The actor playing Marciano has a better left jab that Rocky did, although the jab is not what made Marciano. Overall, a better than average film. 2 1/2 stars