Movie Review: ‘Rocky’

By Desiree Cardenas Posted January 27, 2011

In 1976, Sylvester Stallone wrote one of the most arguably best sports films ever viewed.

When one is to sit down and watch a movie about a sport like boxing they are probably expecting a lot of brutal violence, blood, sweat, and numerous gym scenes.

Yes, “Rocky” does include all of these characteristics, but it also allows the viewer to indulge in the possibility that all dreams are accomplishable through hard work and dedication. Sly Stallone didn’t invent all the sports clichés in the three-day period of writing “Rocky” (they were around long before the mid ‘’70s), but he did write the story in a way that the audience would feel connected with Rocky and be able to place themselves in his state of mind.

When most people sit down to watch “Rocky”, they aren’t expecting to find that is as much of a romance as it is a sports film. Rocky Balboa, spends numerous hours at the gym with Mickey (Burgess Meredith), Mickey soon becomes intolerable of Rocky because he sees the potential that Rocky has, but doesn’t necessarily use. While Rocky isn’t at the gym, he works as a collector for the South Philly loan shark. The scenes in the movie that don’t include his job or the gym, Rocky is trying desperately to get a date with the sister of his best friend, Paulie (Burt Young). All of his attempts fall short of success and end up scaring Adrienne (Talia Shire) away more than she already is.

With eight award nominations and the win of 1977’s Best Picture Oscar Award winner, it’s still easy to compare circumstances with Rocky Balboa’s life. He’s the underdog who has fought for every aspect of his life, has the job that no one wants but takes because it pays, and loves a woman so much that he can’t speak right in front of her to utter that one painful question. “Rocky” was the 1976 feel-good film of the year, it demonstrated courage and perseverance, and it taught audiences then, and now that watch it, that it’s more than possible to achieve any dream as long as you fight for it.

As cliché as it sounds, “Rocky” is one of the greatest films ever written simply because of the simple message it conveys.Sylvester wrote the script emphasizing the fact that money is not needed to be happy and become something in life.

One scene that proves such a point is when Rocky goes to the slaughter house that Paulie works and trains by hitting the slabs of meat. While Rocky is not looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, Paulie on the other hand is. Paulie invited a news camera into the meat locker to film Rocky during the hitting practice. It’s not hard to feel the intensity in a scene when the actor puts so much soul into their role.

According to “” Sylvester had punched the meat so hard for so long that he flattened out his knuckles. To this day, when he makes a fist, his knuckles are completely level.

Leave a Reply