Rocky (1976) tells the rags-to-riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but good-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia. Balboa is also a club fighter who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship when the scheduled contender breaks his hand.
The World Heavyweight Championship bout is scheduled for New Year's Day, 1976, the year of the United States Bicentennial. When the opponent of undefeated heavyweight champion Apollo Creed is injured, Creed comes up with the idea of fighting a local Philadelphia underdog and, because he likes Rocky's nickname, "The Italian Stallion," he selects the unknown fighter. To prepare for the fight, Rocky trains with 1920s-era ex-bantamweight fighter Mickey Goldmill. Creed does not initially take the fight seriously, but Rocky is determined to go the distance and last 15 rounds against him.
John G. Avildsen
Sylvester Stallone … Rocky Balboa
Talia Shire … Adrian Pennino,
Burt Young … Paulie Pennino,
Carl Weathers … Apollo Creed
Burgess Meredith … Mickey Goldmill
Thayer David … Jergens
Joe Spinell … Gazzo
Jimmy Gambina … Mike
Jodi Letizia … Marie
- Sylvester Stallone wrote the script in three days after he saw a boxing match between the unknown Chuck Wepner and Muhammad Ali. Unlike Rocky, Wepner was unable to last the distance and was TKO'd in the fifteenth round.
- The film was shot in 28 days.
- The fight scene was filmed in reverse order starting with the fifteenth round, with Stallone and Carl Weathers in heavy make-up. As filming continued, the make-up was slowly removed until they were at round one. Because of this technique, the movie won an Oscar for Best Film Editing.