Rocky, the 1976 film in which a down on his luck boxer gets an improbable shot at the World Championship, and made a superstar and eventual Hollywood legend into its star and writer Sylvester Stallone, celebrates its 40th anniversary today.
Originally released in the United States on November 21, 1976, Rocky gave a jolting uppercut to the industry that was only just handling what a true blockbuster was thanks to the overwhelming success of JAWS, released about 15 months prior. Before that, films in Hollywood that weren’t Best Picture winners were gritty and tough with uneasy and uncensored narratives, awash with characters and plots that didn’t always end sunny and resolute. With Rocky, there was a re-ushering in the industry and the theaters of the type of story that hadn’t existed since the heyday of these types of films churned out in the 1940s, where boxers were Palooka Joe-style guys who had mob ties and odds that they always overcame by the last reel. Whereas the genre became a dried-up dime a dozen by the mid-20th century, Rocky was a fresh jolt in the arm of Hollywood. Only the most curmudgeonly critics couldn’t be swayed by their built-in cynicism to give it the free pass of the fresh air that it deserved for being the kind of necessarily for the times throwback film that it was.
Creed Director: Ryan Coogler
Screenwriter: Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia RashÄd, Tony Bellew, Wood Harris, Gabriel Rosado, Andre Ward MGM | Warner Bros.
Rated PG-13 |133 Minutes
Release Date: November 25, 2015
A great fighter once said, “It’s not about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Creed stars Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Fantastic Four) as Adonis Johnson, the son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed – Carl Weathers’ fleet-footed fighter from the Rocky franchise.
The product of an extramarital affair, Adonis never knew his famous father, who died in the ring during a bout with Ivan Drago in 1985’s Rocky IV. After losing his mother, Adonis grew up in foster homes before his penchant for fighting landed him in juvenile detention. Adonis gets a second chance in Creed’s widow, Mary Anne (Phylicia RashÄd), who takes the boy in.