Anyone who knows me personally will be surprised that this film isn’t higher up on my list. I’ve been obsessed with the Rocky series since I found old copies taped on VCR when I was a kid. Of course, there are better technical movies, there are movies that depict sport, and even boxing, more accurately, however there is no movie that can pick you up when you feel unmotivated, down, or lost better than Rocky can.
We all know the synopsis. We all know the iconic “Adrian” chant, and most of us also know about the story behind the film, which may be more inspirational than Rocky itself.
Sly Stallone was down on his luck, with very little to his name; he even sold and re-bought his dog in the process of trying to get Rocky made. Regardless, he wrote it, he pitched it to studios and demanded that he starred in it and somehow, Rocky was made on a modest budget of 1.1 Million USD, and the final box office figures were astounding – 225 Million USD. It sounds like a fairytale, one even more unlikely than the World Heavyweight Champion picking out a fight with “The Italian Stallion” because he had a funny name.
Everything about Rocky makes you feel good; the iconic music, the uplifting dialogue, the rags-to-riches underdog story, the montage; Rocky practically invented (or at least popularized) the training montage, something seen in countless films since – albeit often ironically, but it’s Rocky’s.
Despite the fact that there have been countless sequels and re-iterations of Rocky since, no film makes me feel ready to face the world than the original, although the soundtrack from Rocky IV is the most eighties soundtrack ever, so if I ever need a quick boost, that goes on. Additionally, Creed (2015) is an incredible successor, and is essentially “Rocky for Millennials”. But, like a true millennial, I love the sequels, but I LOVE the original.
Rocky got me into boxing, it was the film that really made me appreciate film scores, and I think that Sly’s success story with the script might have subconsciously nudged me in the direction of becoming a writer. The film even got my to wake up at 5 AM and drink raw eggs; both suck, I don’t know which more.
I think it’s important to also note that I love Rocky so much that my dressing gown is literally a replica of his boxing gown from the film, complete with the sponsor on the back saying “Shamrock Meats Inc.” There, that’s off my chest. Well, it’s technically hanging up on my bedroom door waiting for winter. Anyway, you can go now – or comment below and tell me if you’d place Rocky in your top films list, and where.