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Directed by: John G. Avildsen
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Carl Weathers
Rocky ranked # 78 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.
Rocky (1976) is an American film written by and starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen. It tells the rags-to-riches American Dream story of Italian-American Rocky Balboa, a slightly dim-witted but good-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia with a talent for boxing, who gets a shot at the world heavyweight title.
The film, made for a budget of only $1.1 million and shot in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it made over US $117.2 million, won several Oscars and garnered rave reviews which helped to launch Stallone's career.
It spawned four sequels; a sixth installment (titled Rocky Balboa, again starring and directed by Stallone) is expected to be released on December 22, 2006.
Sylvester Stallone's original concept for Rocky was inspired by his viewing of a fight between Muhammed Ali and Chuck Wepner. The idea of an underdog boxer going the distance and putting up a fierce fight against all odds appealed to Stallone and he began writing the script for Rocky.
One day while at a casting call for Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, Stallone brought up his idea for Rocky; Winkler was impressed with the concept and asked Stallone to come back with a script.
Certain elements of the story were altered during filming, however. The original script had a much darker tone -- Mickey Goldmill, Rocky's trainer, was portrayed as very racist, and the script ended with Rocky throwing the fight after realizing he did not want to be part of the professional boxing world after all.
The character of outspoken Apollo Creed was heavily influenced by real-life outspoken Muhammed Ali, thus one interesting detail is the cameo appearance of Joe Frazier, a former world heavyweight champion who fought Ali three times, as himself.
Top 100 Greatest Films - AFI 100 - DVDs
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