HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  Rocky Boxer BeatBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, Jimmy Gambina, Bill Baldwin, Al Silvani, George Memmoli, Jodi Letizia, Diana Lewis, George O'Hanlon, Larry Carroll, Stan Shaw, Tony Burton
Genre: Drama, Action, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a small time boxer in Philadelphia, who is now thirty with few prospects on the horizon of ever hitting the big time in the sport he has dedicated his life to. In fact, he's more likely to make a living as the strong arm to local loan shark Tony Gazzo (Joe Spinell), who pays him to rough up non-paying clients, but he still keeps his dream alive, as he fights tonight in a club and manages to win. Not that this offers him much respect, but there's only one person who he wants that from, and she is the introverted Adrian (Talia Shire) who works in the neighbourhood pet store. Yet miracles can happen, as Rocky is about to find out...

The story of the film Rocky is similar to the story of the character, and indeed the star has become inseperable from the role, being the part he is most identified with, even more than Rambo. Stallone was that star, penning the first draft of his script in a now-legendary three days, selling it to a Hollywood producer on the grounds that he should headline, and that producer taking a chance on him with results that have passed into movie history. Five sequels later, and the original film is still the best of the lot, though it still leaves snootier movie buffs shaking their heads that something so corny could endure in the public imagination, never mind be the massive hit that it was worldwide.

That success including snatching the best film Oscar from the likes of All The President's Men, Network and Taxi Driver. But Stallone had tapped into something more strongly than those other movies, which was the love of the underdog and the desire to see the little guy triumph against the odds, a tradition in Hollywood works since the silent days, and cannily updated to the supposedly more cynical seventies with this. But the jaded moviegoers of 1976 were not as past romanticism as they maybe thought they were, with Rocky pushing all their entertainment buttons and even leaving some viewers in tears of joy at the finale. Is it still worth that adulation? Or have we grown even more cynical in the 21st Century?

Perhaps not, as not only do we still like to see those stories of beating the odds, but Rocky plays pretty well, even if you don't think you'll fall for this kind of fairytale. If there's a problem, it's that Stallone gave his character so much schtick to convey that he looks hokey, overplaying the nice but dim personality to daft degrees so that there are times you're surprised he can tie his shoelaces never mind compete in a boxing match shown across the country. That match is against World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed (a charismatic Carl Weathers), who wishes to celebrate the United States Bicentennial by giving a shot at glory to a small time fighter, all in fun, as he is sure to win, but it makes him look charitable.

The idea that the truly successful need to be taken down a peg or two seems to have informed the way the drama plays out, and we are not intended to begrudge Rocky's attempt to do that to Creed in any way, as he's set up as such a nice guy that only a sour and bitter individual would wish to see otherwise. Or that's the idea, though in the sequels the naysayers may have had a point in their insistence that the whole theme of these movies was simply phoney baloney. But let's not allow that to trouble us with the original, as while you may be holding back with your admiration of the lead character at first, whether down to how Stallone's career went from then on or not, damn if this film doesn't win you over, or perhaps wear you down with its idealism would be more appropriate. By that match that climaxes the action you might well be cheering along as Rocky tries to go the distance - sometimes a fairytale is exactly what you need to hear. Memorably exultant music by Bill Conti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2340 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: