Article by Craig Thornburrow
Many of us have loved the Rocky Movies. The movies tell of his ups and down but ultimately how this champion bounces back. Here’s a brief history of these movies.
Many of us have loved the Rocky Movies. These inspirational movies starring Sylvestor Stallone tell the story of an underdog who ultimately makes it to the top. The movies tell of his ups and down but ultimately how this champion bounces back. Here’s a brief history of these movies.
The original Rocky movie came out in 1976 and starred Sylvestor Stallone who also wrote the screenplay. It was produced for under $1 million and became a sleeper hit with worldwide revenues of $225 million.
The movie became the highest grossing film of 1976. That year it won three Oscars including one for Best Picture. It also received critical praise from the media and launched Stallone into a major star.
The original Rocky movie tells the story of Rocky Balboa who is an uneducated but kind hearted debt collector for a Philadelphia loan shark. Through a stroke of luck, Rocky found himself as having a shot at the world heavyweight championships when the scheduled contender broke his hand.
It was produced for under $1 million and became a sleeper hit with worldwide revenues of $225 million.
The movie’s cast also includes Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian’s brother and Rocky’s friend Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky’s trainer Mickey Goldmill, and finally Carl Weathers as the current champion Apollo Creed.
It is not generally known but due to the low budget of this film, a number of Stallone’s family members played minor roles. Stallone’s father played the person who rung the bell to signal the start and end of a round; his brother Frank played a street corner singer, and his first wife Sasha served as the set photographer.
When this project was offered to the studios, they liked the idea but viewed it as a good vehicle for an established male star like Robert Redford, Ryan O’Neil, of James Caan. Stallone appealed to the studios to be given the chance to star in the movie. He was quoted later as having felt that he would have never forgiven himself if the movie became a hit without him in the starring role.
To this day the original movie remains a great reputation as a classic.
Determining who to play the role of Adrian was a bit challenging. Initially the role was placed with Carrie Snodgress but a money dispute changed this. Susan Sarandon was auditioned but she was deemed too pretty for the role. After Talia Shire read for the role, she was quickly signed and the rest is history.
The original movie went on to spur five more sequels over the next thirty years including Rocky II, III, IV, V, and Rocky Balboa. To this day the original movie remains a great reputation as a classic. In 2006, Rocky was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.