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Genre: Sports, drama
Photography: Color
Running Time: 120 minutes
145 minutes (director's cut)
Country: United States
Release Date: December 3, 1976 (United States)
Directed by: John G. Avildsen
Written by: Sylvester Stallone
Distributed by: MGM/United Artists
Starring: Sylvester Stallone
Talia Shire
Burt Young
Carl Weathers
Burgess Meredith
Thayer David
Joe Spinell
Tony Burton
Pedro Lovell
Next film: Rocky II

Rocky is a 1976 film starring Sylvester Stallone (who also wrote the film) as Robert "Rocky" Balboa, Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Paulie, Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed, Burgess Meredith as Mickey Goldmill, Thayer David as Miles Jergens, Joe Spinell as Tony Gazzo, Tony Burton as Tony "Duke" Evers and Pedro Lovell as Spider Rico. The film was directed by the late John G. Avildsen. The film was released on December 3, 1976.


In November, 1975, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a small-time boxer from working-class Philadelphia, is arbitrarily chosen to take on the reigning world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), when the undefeated fighter's scheduled opponent is injured. While training with feisty former bantamweight contender Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), Rocky tentatively begins a relationship with Adrian (Talia Shire), the wallflower sister of his meat-packer pal Paulie (Burt Young).

Why It Rocks

  1. The story was well-written by Stallone.
  2. Amazing fight scenes, especially the final fight between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed.  
  3. Rocky is a talented fighter.
  4. The supporting characters are memorable, especially Adrian, Mickey and Apollo Creed.
  5. Incredible acting.  
  6. Despite the film being mostly serious, there are touches of humor in the film.
  7. Adrian is a good friend to Rocky.
  8. Memorable quotes like "Yeah. I been out there walkin' around, thinkin'. I mean, who am I kiddin'? I ain't even in the guy's league."
  9. It was the first film in the franchise.  
  10. This film is the poster child for the classic rags to riches story.  In fact, it even invented, (or at least popularized), the training montage.  
  11. Good music, especially the song Gonna Fly Now.  


Rocky currently holds a 93% "Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.4 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints." Gene Siskel of The Chicago Tribune gave the film a 3 out of 4 stars and stated in his review "Sylvester Stallone [is] as likable as a basset hound." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a four out of four stars and described the film as "like a cliché from beginning to end. But Rocky isn't about a story, it's about a hero. And it's inhabited with supreme confidence by a star."

Awards and nominations

Rocky was nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Actor for Sylvester Stallone. The film won three including Best Picture.



The film was so popular that a statue of Rocky was erected in 1981 (a year before Rocky II was released in theaters) near the Philadelphia Museum of Art near the stairs where Stallone walked in the famous stairwalk scene. In 2006, the film was placed in the National Film Registry.

External links