Rocky Balboa: “I can't beat him...I been out there, walking around, thinking. I mean, who am I kidding? I ain't even in the guy's league.”
Adrian: “What are we gonna do?”
Rocky: “I don't know.”
Adrian: “You worked so hard.”
Rocky: “Yeah, it don't matter, 'cause I was nobody before.”
Adrian: “Don't say that.”
Rocky: “Oh, come on, Adrian. It's true. I was nobody. But that don't matter either, you know? 'Cause I was thinking, it really don't matter if I lose this fight. It really don't matter if this guy opens my head either. 'Cause all I want to do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, and that bell rings and I'm still standing, I'm going to know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.”

release year: 1976
genre: drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 12/12/15 and home DVD, 4/24/01

synopsis: An amateur boxer with a lot of heart gets a once-in-a-lifetime shot at the world heavyweight champion.

impressions: This is the one I never really watched (as I, like most people, am more familiar with all the sequels.) It's a very uplifting movie, though, and maybe the best overall of all of them. There's much more story here than just the boxing part - Rocky's struggle to make something of his life, his courtship of a very quiet woman, his old trainer's last chance to do something great before he dies - but it all mixes together well. You can't help but root for this underdog.

acting: Sylvester Stallone gives a far better performance than most people stereotype him for here. Talia Shire also did a good job with Adrian, a mousy quiet girl who changes into someone who can be strong when she needs to. Burgess Meredith is the old Irish trainer who helps Rocky train after they work past their problems with each other. I don't care much for Burt Young's Paulie, but the character adds something to the plot. Carl Weathers is also good as the flamboyant, cocky, but exceptionally skilled world champion Apollo Creed.

final word: Great underdog story, well worth seeing.

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