7:30 PM, 21st April, 2016
The second in our BACK TO THE FILM GROUP series of films celebrating their decennial anniversaries is 1976’s highest grossing film and Best Picture Oscar winner: Rocky. Featuring a star-making performance from Sylvester Stallone, this one’s a knock-out!
What can be said about Rocky that hasn’t already been said before? This is the seminal underdog story. Starring and written by Sylvester Stallone in the titular role, Rocky presents the story of a down-and-out thug whose passion in life is boxing, his pet turtles and his romantic pursuit of his best friend’s sister.
One day he is given the opportunity to prove himself when the boxing champion of the world, Apollo Creed (Weathers), handpicks Rocky for an exhibition match. With the help of an old trainer, Mickey (Meredith), Rocky trains for what he believes could give him the shot at the title.
On the shallowest level, this movie is just a boxing movie: a young guy who has a chance to prove to the world that he can go the distance. But at its core, this is a deep character piece about relationships and hardship. It’s a story about love: for life, for Philadelphia (by now everyone should know of the iconic steps), and of course love between people. When the movie doesn’t follow Rocky’s challenges in the ring, it presents a beautiful story between Rocky and Adrian (Shire), and the almost toxic relationship they share with Paulie (Burt Young), Adrian’s brother and Rocky’s friend.
Rocky earned Stallone a Best Original Screenplay nomination, and went on – in true underdog fashion – to win three Oscars that year, including Best Picture and Best Director. This is a perfect opportunity to see this undisputed classic back on the big screen, and serves as a great throwback for anyone who saw the latest film in the saga, Creed, which screens earlier this semester.