Is there any more celebrated Cinderella Story than Rocky? We're talking about the film itself, not its pugilist hero. The film was made on a shoestring budget, written by a relative unknown, and dodged massive studio meddling. Not only did producers want significant changes to the script, but they wanted a different star altogether, almost axing Stallone from the his breakout role.
However, The film outpaced all expectations at the box office and became a critical darling. Roger Ebert gave Rocky four out of four stars and praised Stallone calling him a young Marlon Brando. In worldwide box offices, Rocky raked in 225 million dollars! On a budget of just one million dollars, Rocky made back an astonishing 11,000 percent of its budget. The film swept at the Oscars, winning best picture, best director, and best editing.
In the forty-plus years since its release, critics and moviegoers alike have enshrined it as a classic piece of American film history. It holds a spot in the AFI's 100 Best Films of All Time currently sitting at number seventy-eight. All that being said, it's legitimately a fantastic movie full of heart, and punches, and if you haven't seen it, you should check it out.
While you're at it, watch the film's full catalog of sequels. Sure, none of them are as good as the original, but they're entertaining, and they've got some of the best damn music montages you've ever seen. Hell, Rocky IV is basically a music video punctuated by a boxing match.
20. Sylvester Stallone's Real-Life Family
In case you didn't hear, the original Rocky was filmed on the cheap. Filmmakers barely had enough money to hire extras, and they had no money for location permits. In fact, the film crew was forced to shoot exterior scenes in secret so as not to be caught by the police.
This was, however, a real passion project for writer and star, Sylvester Stallone. He had to fight the studio cast himself in the leading role. He even recruited his family for several minor characters.
Stallone's father, Frank Stallone Sr., rang the bell to signal the beginning and end of rounds in the film's climactic fight. And Stallone's brother Frank Jr. played a street musician in a background scene. Stallone even filled out the production crew with the wife, Sasha, who acted as the set stills photographer.