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Rocky  (1976)

IMDB Rating 8.1/10  119 min - Rated 12 Drama | Action

Stars:            Sylvester Stallone,  Talia Shire,  Burt Young Director:      John G. Avildsen

When local boxer Rocky gets a once in a lifetime stab at the heavyweight championship, it's almost a given that he'll lose. Male pride and a misguided sense of possibility propel Rocky into one of the most famous workouts the big screen has ever known, with the underdog giving it his all for this one chance at the big time. It's a cliched and much-used storyline that nevertheless manages to suspend our disbelief for the likeable guy who might, just might, be able to prove them all wrong.  Rocky is one of those archetypal feel-good films where, from the opening credits, you're cheering for the protagonist, and you know that in the end, everything's going to be alright. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in the film that secured his status as a household name and he did a such a great job of creating a character that he moulded into so perfectly, that it's difficult, even now, to separate the two.  Underlying the main boxing theme is the love story between Rocky and Adrian (Shire) and this adds a secondary emotional and human aspect to the hero, creating the sense that he's doing it all for love, to better himself for his girlfriend. It certainly gives Rocky a lot more depth to his character, elevating him from aspirational sportsman to all round Mr Nice Guy. It also implies that if everything goes wrong, there is emotional back-up for Rocky, that boxing is not his sole reason for getting up in the morning. The film requires this sub-plot to fully engage the viewer in more ways than simply building up to a great fight-scene finale.