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Warning: Plot details follow.

Rocky was a motion picture from 1976 starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed. It tells a rags-to-riches tale about a Philadelphia loan shark's slightly dull-witted but good-hearted "collection agent," one with a penchant for boxing who gets a shot at the world heavyweight title in the Philadelphia Spectrum. It was written by Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen.

In it, Balboa is given the opportunity to fight Apollo Creed, the world heavyweight champion, on January 1st, 1976 (although in the film, Creed refers to the fight being on the "most important date" in American history, the fight takes place on New Year's Day, since Rocky agrees to the fight around Thanksgiving). In the time leading up to the fight, Rocky trains with crusty, 1920s-era bantamweight fighter Mickey Goldmill, played by Burgess Meredith. He also falls in love with his best friend's sister, Adrian (Talia Shire). Periods of self-doubt follow, leading up to the breakup of his relationship with Goldmill. The two reconcile, and Rocky's training begins anew. Focused and determined, Rocky takes his thousand-to-one shot at the title, deciding that even though he probably can't win he will go the distance with Creed. In the first round Rocky nearly knocks Creed out, but from that point on Creed takes this match seriously and the fighters beat each other bloody. But Rocky refuses to give up and fights Creed for all fifteen rounds (a feat no one had ever accomplished) only to lose on a split decision, but not before gaining instant fame world-wide.

Given the inevitable comparison between the outspoken Apollo Creed and the real-life outspoken Muhammed Ali, one interesting detail is the cameo appearance of Joe Frazier, a former world heavyweight champion who fought Ali three times and who Apollo accuses of "dodging him" prior to the start of the match with Rocky. Other co-stars included Burt Young as Rocky's best friend Paulie and Thayer David as the fight's promoter and ringside announcer. Los Angeles television sportscaster Stu Nahan played himself.

Rocky won the 1976 Oscar for "Best Picture" and earned Stallone a nomination for "Best Actor."

The success of Rocky spawned four sequels though none were quite as successful as the original.

The film was made on an extremely low budget of $1.1 million, and was shot in only 28 days. The American Film Institute placed Rocky at number 78 of its "100 Greatest Movies of All Time list.

One legacy of the original movie is the theme music that was composed by Bill Conti and is often played at sporting events. Canadian jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson put "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" on the pop charts with an instrumental disco rendition from his 1977 album, Conquistador.

Rocky Movies
Rocky | Rocky II | Rocky III | Rocky IV | Rocky V |

External link

Unofficial Rocky fan site