Monday, November 21, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3354, November 21st, 2016

ROCKY @ 40

Forty years ago tonight the movie “Rocky” was released. It started out slowly, by word of mouth and took a while to get going. One of the issues I remember at the time was that the movie was set in the Bicentennial year. A few friends said the Bicentennial year was almost over and didn’t go. I went because it featured Philadelphia.
My interest was also piqued by the rumor that the movie was based on the prize fighter Chuck Wepner known as The Bayone Bleeder. Wepner went the distance with the great Muhammad Ali. Stallone told people the original plot was for the sport to be auto racing instead of boxing.
The cast was pretty much a no name bunch except for Talia Shire who played Connie Corleone in the two Godfather movies and the veteran character actor Burgess Meredith who played Mickey Rocky’s erstwhile and ambitious manager. .
The charm of the movie, at least for me was that Rocky attracted a cadre of misfit loyalists who helped him in various and sundry ways achieve. The story line and theme music were flawless.
At the ’77 Oscars, “Rocky” won a fair amount of awards for Best Movie as well as best Screenplay. It was a story of an underdog, a less than, a so called loser who had heart and guts.
What’s not to love about that?
40 years later “Rocky” is still a movie that you watch for at least a little while when it is on the TV cable channels. There is something that still pulls us to all of the characters. Maybe it’s because there’s a little bit of each of them in all of us.
There were other Rocky movies. Some say too many. Not me. The sage of “Rocky Balboa” is the story of America. Hard scrabble, hard working, hopeful and inspiring. Four decades later “Rocky” belongs to the ages.
A few years ago both Shire and Stallone talked about the heart and soul of "Rocky"and their characters.


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