Yo, Adrian, it's Rocky week: Retro-review of the 1976 classic 'Rocky'
TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: With last week's release of Creed (Wednesday Nov. 25), we thought it would be interesting to go back and revisit all six of the films of the Rocky franchise. Earlier this year, guest blogger Jim "Dr. Dim" Fitzsimons forced himself to watch the entire series (some of the films were easier to get through than others).
First up is the one that started them all and made Sylvester Stallone a household name: Rocky (1976). And listen to our Rocky podcast, honoring all the films in the franchise.
THE PLOT: An overlooked heavyweight boxer from Philadelphia, Rocky Balboa (Stallone) had never gotten the one chance he'd always wanted. A good natured fellow who just couldn't quite get himself to do the dirty work as the hired muscle for a smalltime gangster, Rocky is spotted by heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and Rocky gets his shot at the title. Along the way, the big palooka finds love in the form of Adrian (Talia Shire), a mouse of woman who works at the local pet store.
MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Rocky's dog Butkus was played by Stallone's very own dog.
SURELY YOU DIDN'T FORGET: Burt Young as Adrian's domineering, abusive, drunken, older brother Paulie. Paulie is a fixture of all six films, but his character never grows much. He spends half the time telling Rocky, "I don't want nuthin' from you!" But then he spends the other half asking, "What's in it for Paulie?"
THE TUNE: Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti, Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins became the anthem for every underdog for the next several decades.
WHAT CRITICS SAID: "By now, everyone knows who wins, but the scenes before the fight set us up for it so completely, so emotionally, that when it's over we've had it. We're drained." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
WHY WE STILL LOVE IT: Because we can't help but cheer for the underdog who gets his big chance and the girl.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM ROCKY:
5. "I just want to say hi to my girlfriend, OK? Yo, Adrian! It's me, Rocky."
4. "I want you outta here instamatically!"
3. "Cut me, Mick."
2. "He doesn't know it's a damn show! He thinks it's a damn fight!"
1. "You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!"
Link for Ebert review: