‘Rocky’ Revisited: Why Sylvester Stallone’s Creation Is Still In The Ring

On November 21, 1976, a new movie was unceremoniously released in New York City. It was a low-budget sports movie, written by and starring a 30-year-old actor who’d spent most of his career in bit parts and small roles, without much acclaim to his name. But once word of mouth began to spread, everything began to change. Rocky became the biggest box office hit to be released in ’76, it earned 10 Oscar nominations (winning three, including Best Picture), and it launched Sylvester Stallone to superstardom almost overnight. Of course, it also became the cornerstone of a franchise that is still going strong, with a ninth movie, Creed III, set for release next year. Why do the original Rocky and its characters continue to find new audiences after 45 years? Stallone says he thinks it’s because it was a movie (and character) that debuted with no hype, defied everyone’s expectations, and felt 100% genuine. (Click on the media bar below to hear Sylvester Stallone)

Of course, at 75, Stallone still enjoys a successful career as an actor, writer, and producer. But he admits he’ll sometimes look back on his earlier work — like the original Rocky movie and its sequels — and he’ll find himself awash in bittersweet nostalgia. (Click on the media bar below to hear Sylvester Stallone)

Rocky, along with the entire franchise, is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and most digital platforms.

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