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Rocky (1976)

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen, and written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian’s brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky’s trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.

Rocky Balboa is a small-time boxer who lives in an apartment in Philadelphia. Rocky earns a living by collecting debts for a loan shark named Gazzo, but Gazzo doesn’t think Rocky has the viciousness it takes to beat up deadbeats. Rocky still boxes every once in a while to keep his boxing skills sharp, and his ex-trainer, Mickey, believes he could’ve made it to the top if he was willing to work for it.

Rocky goes to a pet store that sells pet supplies, and this is where he meets a young woman named Adrian, who is extremely shy, with no ability to talk to men. Rocky befriends her. Adrian’s brother Paulie, who works for a meat packing company, is thrilled that someone has become interested in Adrian, and Adrian spends Thanksgiving with Rocky. Later, they go to Rocky’s apartment, where Adrian explains that she has never been in a man’s apartment before. Rocky sets her mind at ease, and they become lovers.

Current world heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed comes up with the idea of giving an unknown a shot at the title. Apollo checks out the Philadelphia boxing scene, and chooses Rocky. Fight promoter Jergens gets things in gear, and Rocky starts training with Mickey. All he wants to prove that he can go the distance with Apollo.

The film, made on a budget of less than $1 million and shot in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it made over $225 million, the highest grossing film of 1976, and won three Oscars, including Best Picture. The film received many positive reviews and turned Stallone into a major star. It spawned five sequels: Rocky II, III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa.

Summary via Wikipedia.