The greatest boxing film of all time!?
Sure, there will be countless debates on whether “Rocky” or “Raging Bull” is the best boxing film of all time but what we do know is that “Rocky” was the most successful and it literally came from nowhere to surprise everyone, win multiple awards and become a money-earning beast in the box office!
Written by Sylvester Stallone, who has had bit parts previously in films such as “Death Race 2000”, “The Lord’s of Flatbush” and “No Place to Hide” in the early ’70s, it was until he wrote “Rocky” where he would gain international attention.
The screenplay was inspired by a boxing fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, which lasted until the final 15th round in which Ali would win by TKO. But the match was a big surprise as no one expected Wepner to last that long.
And sure enough, this low budget film directed by John G. Avildsen (“Rocky” films and “Karate Kid” films), written and would star Sylvester Stallone would be well-received by the film critics and enormously successful in the box office. The low budget film which cost around $1 million would bring in $225 million and would also be nominated for ten Academy Awards, winning three for “Best Director”, “Best Film Editing” and “Best Picture”.
The character of Rocky is literally an American icon, so much that a statue was commissioned in 1982 and placed at the top of the Rocky Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The film would be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2006 as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
And has been listed in many polls as one of the greatest American films of all time.
There is no doubt that “Rocky” is a fantastic film and possibly one of the few films where you can say that Sylvester Stallone was really deserving of an Oscar. There are not too many films that feel right, Sylvester Stallone, from the words that come out of his mouth, he literally embodies the character of Rocky Balboa.
There is no one else that I can imagine playing Rocky Balboa, even if the studio chooses to remake it many years later, I doubt anyone can come close to the performance that Sylvester Stallone gave. Not only did he write the film, you can tell that he could easily slip into the character and be part of that world.
A part of a world where everything seems just fine. Making a little money or being an enforcer for a loan shark is just fine. This is a man who grew up poor but always had fighting/boxing to keep him in check and because Rocky and his environment seemed so real to the viewer, it adds to that efficacy of the film and why Rocky has become an iconic character.
While Burgess Meredith was probably the only person at the time who had a wonderful acting career, it helps to have talent who weren’t well-known, who seemed to fit within the Rocky Balboa environment. From the characters of Paulie to Adrian, to the girl that Rocky tries to talk to and make sure she doesn’t become a bad person growing up.
Everything from its supporting cast to those who barely were in the film for a minute, they all fit within the environment and it made this film work! The environment was captured realistically and you have to give credit to Sylvester Stallone and also director John G. Avildsen for making this film work for only $1 million and making it a box office success!
“Rocky” the film is highly recommended, there is no doubt that this film must be viewed because it’s a great film.