The Rocky series started in 1976 and has spanned 30 years over the course of 6 movies. This series has to be one of, if not THE most famous sports movie series ever. What makes the Rocky movies so great is the foundation and principles of the films. It tells the story of an underdog boxer named Rocky, an average Joe with a lot of heart and his full circle story of his path to and from wealth and fame. It shows you that if you work hard and never give up, you can be anything you set your mind to. It also shows you to follow your heart and do what you think is right. This series is one of the ones that peaks after the original. In my opinion Rocky 3 and 4 were the best in the series, which to me is odd because most movie sequels suck.
You‘re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!
Rocky was picked out of thin air to fight the loud mouthed champ Apollo Creed. Rocky worked his tail off and put up an amazing fight but lost due to split decision, but really proved himself in the process. He gets a rematch and trains harder than ever with his coach and mentor ‘Micky Goldmill’ and beats the champ, gaining the title. From that point, Rocky takes it easy and lets the fame and wealth wash over him for a while, and doesn’t take the challenge by an up and comer named ‘Clubber Lang’ very seriously and loses. He takes his loss very hard and falls into a depression after Micky dies directly after the fight. After a rematch is scheduled between Rocky and Clubber, Apollo shows up to take Micky’s place as coach and not only trains him, but also helps with his depression. After training with the former world champion, he beats Clubber and regains his title.
A very large boxer from Russia comes to fight in an exhibition bout with Rocky but instead fights Apollo. The Russian monster destroys Apollo and he dies of his injuries. Rocky has lost his best friend, and is out for revenge so he challenges the Russian personally, this time in Russia. Rocky trains and beats him but sustains injuries that basically force him to retire. So Rocky is back in his old neighborhood and takes over Micky’s old gym training boxers. Rocky meets Tommy and trains him after he notices his potential. After some success, Tommy turns on Rocky and they end up street fighting over the ordeal but Rocky comes out victorious. Sixteen years later, Rocky is still in the neighborhood and owns a restaurant. Boxing has become less popular and in an attempt to kick up some talk about the sport, they have produced a computer generated mock up fight between Rocky in his prime vs the current champ Mason Dixon to which Rocky was victorious. Mason was really put off by the outcome and feels the need to defend himself against the negative talk the fantasy fight had stirred up.
Rocky is offered a chance to fight Mason Dixon in an exhibition fight to settle the controversy. Rocky has to train differently because he is now over the hill but meets the challenge head on, despite the selfish feedback from his son. Rocky gives it all he had and goes the distance with Mason but loses to split decision from the judges. The loss doesn’t seen to affect Rocky at all because he wasn’t there for the win, he was there to prove that he had heart. In fact when the score is called, Rocky was making his way through the crowd and hugging his family and friends not even listening to the announcer’s scores. One thing that I’ve always thought was neat about the Rocky movies was the emphasis on natural workouts to win. When you see Rocky training in a dirty gym you see the other guy in a super clean gym with fancy machines sometimes taking steroids. When we saw Clubber working out in a natural environment and Rocky training on the fancy equipment, it lead to Rocky’s defeat. The movies focus on hard work (usually though a workout montage that makes you want to work out yourself) and never giving up which are good principles for anyone to live by.
Rocky (1976): An unknown underdog boxer gets the chance of a lifetime to fight the champ. Rocky goes 15 rounds but loses to split decision.
Rocky 2 (1979): Rocky gets a rematch with Apollo the champ and wins because he worked hard and didn’t give up.
Rocky 3 (1982): Rocky doesn’t work hard and loses the title, his trainer dies, and then trains with Apollo (now a friend) and wins it back.
Rocky 4 (1985): Rocky travels to Russia to fight the man that killed his friend Apollo during a fight and wins against all odds.
Rocky 5 (1990): Rocky retires and is poor again. He coaches a fighter that turns on him and Rocky kicks his ass in the street.
Rocky 6 – Rocky Balboa (2006): The hypothetical question turns into a challenge that brings Rocky out of retirement to fight the champ. Rocky loses.
- The movie’s line “Yo, Adrian.” was voted as the #80 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
- In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked the original Rocky as the #57 Greatest Movie of All Time.
- Sylvester Stallone had originally wanted Harvey Keitel for the role of Paulie.
- Rocky was the first sports film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
- In one version of the screenplay of Rocky 2, there is a flashback scene that shows Rocky first meeting Mickey and we learn Rocky’s real first name: Robert
- Rocky 3 was Mr. T’s film debut.
- Stallone revealed that his body fat was a remarkably low 2.8 percent during the shooting of Rocky 3.
- Before settling on the signature song of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, Sylvester Stallone wanted to use the already hit song “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen.
- A song titled “You’re the Best” performed by Joe Esposito was recorded for the film. But Stallone rejected it in favor of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”. “You’re the Best” was later used in The Karate Kid (1984
- Rocky 5 is the only Rocky film to be rated PG-13, all the others were PG.
- The computer simulation fight in Rocky 6 was based on ‘The Super Fight’ (1970) which pitted Muhammad Ali against Rocky Marciano. Every possible scenario was considered and filmed and the computer decided that Marciano would win in the 13th round. When told of the result, Ali retorted “that computer was made in Alabama”.
- Rocky 6 was the only movie in the Rocky series not to begin with Rocky in a boxing match.
- The bout between Rocky and Dixon was filmed with actors Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Tarver really hitting one another. According to Stallone, not a single punch in the fight was pulled, and every hit on film was a hit for real. Furthermore, Stallone has revealed that the scene where Rocky is knocked down for a 9 count, and is trying to get to his feet by taking hold of the rope, but is having difficulty focusing on it, is completely genuine; Tarver really did knock him down, and he really couldn’t get up.
- Sylvester Stallone was actually knocked unconscious while filming the final fight scene of Rocky 6.