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.
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…