Resistance Is Futile

It’s not how I meant to spend my Saturday night.

I was just mindlessly scrolling through the cable channel guide, hoping that an idea would come to me for today’s blog.

And there it was.


The original.

One of the best movies of all-time.

And a movie that no self-respecting kid from the Philly area could pass over if it’s on TV.

The movie is ranked #78 in the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time. Rocky Balboa punches his way to #7 in the pantheon of AFI’s greatest screen heroes, and the film lands at #4 as one of the most inspiring movies ever. And the ROCKY theme song – “Gonna Fly Now” – is championed by AFI as one of the greatest songs from a movie ever.

Here are some additional fun facts about the movie, also from the AFI:

  • screenwriter Sylvester Stallone was offered $275,000 for the rights to his script, but he refused to sell unless he was cast as the lead.
  • Bette Midler was considered for the role of Adrian before Talia Shire was eventually cast.
  • ROCKY was one of the first feature length films to use a Steadicam. Garrett Brown, who is credited with special camera effects for ROCKY, was granted a patent for the Steadicam process in 1977.
  • Sylvester Stallone donated the Rocky statue to the city of Philadelphia in 1982. It still sits at the bottom of the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art!
  • elevated trains were no accident in the movie, the director would call action for a scene when they knew a train was coming.
  • the ROCKY script was inspired by the 1975 title bout between Muhammed Ali and Chuck Wepner.
  • ROCKY won three Academy Awards® – including Best Picture.
  • before his breakout success with ROCKY, Sylvester Stallone cleaned lion cages at New York Central Park Zoo.

There have been seven sequels to the movie, with the last two featuring Adonis, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s opponent in the original film. Rocky ends up as Adonis’s trainer.

If you’ve never seen the original Rocky, you don’t know what you are missing.

Here is the famous scene with Rocky running through the streets of Philadelphia, topping it off with his run up the steps of the Art Museum. The song Gonna Fly Now is playing in the background:

45 years later, there are still visitors to the great city of Philadelphia who consider running up those steps a required part of their trip.

And yes, at some point in my life, I have run those steps.

Like I said, I’m a self-respecting kid from the Philly area…

65 thoughts on “Resistance Is Futile

  1. Hard to picture Bette Midler in that role. Talia Shire played the part and nailed the meek persona they were looking for. I used to work out to Gonna Fly Now—a motivational song if there ever were one.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I agree with Pete. Although it may have not been their first choice to cast Talia Shire as Adrian, she was perfect in her role. I could not picture someone else doing it now. And, yes, you cannot make it all the way to those so recognizable steps and not run up them in honor of one of the greatest boxing heroes of film. You are rightly proud to be from such a great city. Philly strong!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Rocky series was one of the best. Great story lines and characters made those movies. As an anecdote, I was visiting LA in the ’80s and my law school roommate took me to this trendy restaurant in Malibu. Stallone walks up and stands in line right behind us. I was intimidated, but Stallone spoke first. He was incredibly friendly and chatted with us for several minutes. He was just like a normal person. He’s shorter than I thought, about 5′ 10″. Maybe you could run the stairs again and show us the video. 😃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Add Stallone to the list of famous people you’ve met! glad to hear he was friendly.

      And I’m not sure if a video of me running those steps now would be a comedy or a horror film… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think if it is an athlete competing against a clock, it is sport. So running and swimming would qualify. And I’m with you with the ball, but I don’t care what shape it is… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. for whatever reason, the drug use among cyclists didn’t really bother me. what bothered me was their denying its use. I would consider them top notch athletes, and their training sounds grueling…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is, and I respect the ones who are clean. The problem for me is that so many have tarnished its reputation that I can never tell who is clean and who isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think your video would probably be…both! 😄 There are a lot of Philly/Rocky fans in my family. Half of them are from Belfield Ave. in Germantown.

    Stallone really impressed me because in an instant he changed our attitudes from totally intimidated to totally at ease. Maybe he was just having a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. While I was born in Philly, my family moved to the suburbs when I was one year old. Thus I don’t remember anything about the city. But Germantown today seems to have all the right stuff to be a great area to live in…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. When I tried out for color guard captain in high school, part of the process was choreographing my own silk routine. I mixed music from the Rocky soundtrack. Some of the most inspirational music ever. (As well as some of the most inspirational films. The earlier ones, anyway.)

    And yes, I’m a huge Stallone fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. what a great connection to the movie. I almost put in the blog that I thought Gonna Fly Now was the second best song in the movie. I liked Take It Back.

      I hope you made the team, just based on your music choice!

      I like Stallone as well…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did make captain. Not sure how much the music had to do with it. (I’d like to think I had something to do with it, as well 😉 .)

        All the way through Rocky IV had excellent music. And Elton John had a song in Rocky V called “Measure of a Man” that would never be on a workout playlist but is moving in its own right.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Did you find any broken teeth on that run up the steps? Who knows how many have tripped? Or how many lawsuits were filed against the museum? Did you have to sign a waiver before making the run?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Back when I was a union steward, a postal manager was complaining to me about all the grievances I was winning. So I told him I was just like a Philadelphia lawyer. He looked a little startled, and then confessed to me that at one time he belonged to a gang in Philadelphia, and a Philadelphia lawyer saved him from spending many years in jail.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Or whatever the heck they do. I thought of that manager, because you mentioned how tough Philadelphians are. He was very tough, and intimidating. But he had a good side too. The trick was figuring out how to get on that good side.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s funny, several years ago someone online decided that, in response to the Stallone statue in Philadelphia, Detroit should erect a statue of Robocop because he could beat Rocky’s butt! 😂 He then started a crowd-funding page and, alas, the statue was built and is finally scheduled to be placed in the city! Totally in keeping with the snarky sense of humor around these parts. 😁


    1. I like that sense of humor! But could Robocop beat Rambo?

      Also, I saw your email that said you were having trouble liking my comments. Hopefully the problem has gone away, but maybe WordPress has some minimum quality standard for posts before it can be liked, and most of mine probably don’t meet that standard… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. When Rocky opened in theaters it was during the Thanksgiving holiday. The women were all in the kitchen cleaning up and the men were all in the living room watching football. Most of us cousins piled into a couple of cars and went to see Rocky. We all loved it. I had never been to Philadelphia but later in life when I moved to Bethlehem PA I often went to the art museum. I can’t remember running the steps but I was training for a climbing trip so I’m sure I must have. I like Philadelphia and Rocky and Springsteen’s Streets of Philadelphia always make me miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sounds like some good memories. And I think Philly is great, but I am biased. And Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom is another great song featuring the city…


  9. I totally agree! The first “Rocky” film nails all of the marks of a great movie. The story has the grit and truth . . . Stallone is Rocky, with his innocence and faults. Talia Shire proves to be a casting genius. Watching Rocky and Adrian in their many scenes comes across as real and believable.

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