A small-time boxer gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go up
against the heavyweight champ for a shot at the title.
Directed by John G. Avildsen
Written by Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young,
Burgess Meredith, Carl Weathers, Thayer David, Joe Spinell
Oscar Wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Sylvester Stallone), Best Actress (Talia Shire), Best Supporting Actor (Burt Young), Best Supporting Actor (Burgess Meredith), Best Original Screenplay,
Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Song (Gonna Fly Now)
Rocky is the original feel-good classic that can inspire greatness in virtually anybody. It's the film that paved the way for every boxing movie after it, even the ones based on real people like Raging Bull. It spawned a franchise that continues to this day and is arguably one of the few films that truly earned the mantel of Best Picture. Rocky plucked a nobody named Sylvester Stallone out of obscurity and made him into Hollywood royalty, a feat that he has never forgotten and never will. This was the beginning of something amazing.
This film introduced us to a bum from Philadelphia named Rocky Balboa. He's a small-time contender who never got his chance to become a pro, until he is chosen at random by the heavyweight champ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) who's looking for an opponent for a special exhibition bout. Rocky's initial fear and lack of self-confidence makes him a very relatable protagonist and even though he ends up losing the fight, he gains that self-confidence and proves to himself that he isn't a bum. It's the Cinderella story that we all need at least once in our life, even if you don't know it.
The first Rocky set the bar for every film after it, as well as proved what Stallone can do when he puts his heart into a project. It's a film that is loved by everyone who puts it on, especially the people who need a little boost. Rocky will put a smile on anybody's face because it's a fantastic movie. It's earned the decades of praise it's received and stands as a monument to the underdog, who's always underestimated but never disappoints.