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Remind Me

The Critics' Corner: ROCKY


Rocky won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing. It also scored nominations for Best Actor (Sylvester Stallone), Best Supporting Actor (Burgess Meredith, Burt Young), Best Supporting Actress (Talia Shire), Best Original Screenplay (Stallone), Best Song ("Gonna Fly Now," music by Bill Conti, lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins), Best Sound.

At the time of his Oscar nominations, Sylvester Stallone was only the third person in Oscar history to be nominated in a single year as both an actor and a screenwriter. The previous two were Charles Chaplin for The Great Dictator (1940) and Orson Welles for Citizen Kane (1941). Since Stallone's nominations, his feat has been matched by Woody Allen for Annie Hall (1977), Warren Beatty for Heaven Can Wait (1979) and Reds (1981), Billy Bob Thornton for Swing Blade (1996), Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting (1997), and Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful (1998).

Rocky won the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama. Nominations for Best Director, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Actress in a Drama (Shire), Best Screenplay, Best Original Score.

The Los Angeles Film Critics awarded the Best Picture Award of 1976 to two films - Rocky and Network.

Talia Shire received Best Supporting Actress awards from the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle.

John G. Avildsen won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement.

British Academy Award nominations for Rocky included Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Editing.

Rocky won the American Cinema Editors Award for Best Edited Feature Film (The award went to Richard Halsey and Scott Conrad).

Rocky also scored a Writers Guild of America nomination for Stallone for his screenplay.

Rocky was budgeted at $1 million. It brought in close to $60 million in rentals and has grossed about $117 million with video and TV sales. It brought in $40,000 in its first week alone at New York's Cinema II theater, and extra showings had to be added to accommodate the overflow crowds.

The Critics' Corner: ROCKY

"The best way to enjoy Rocky is not to examine it too carefully; better simply to relax and roll with the Walter Mitty, Cinderella, or what-have-you notion that the least of us still stands a chance of making it big." -Variety, November 10, 1976.

"A glowing tribute to the human spirit. Stallone is a totally engaging Rocky, playing him with a mixture of boyish intensity, lusty sensuality, and cheerful innocence." - Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News, November 1976.

"A sincere, rousing little film that raises the spirits and gladdens the heart." - Judith Crist, The Saturday Review, November 1976.

"A pugnacious, charming, grimy, beautiful fairy tale. It is a small pearl of realism." - New York magazine, November 1976.

"[Shire's] a real actress, genuinely touching and funny as an incipient spinster who comes late to sexual life. She's so good, in fact, that she almost gives weight to Mr. Stallone's performance, which is the large hole in the center of the film." - Vincent Canby, New York Times, November 22, 1976.

"[Stallone's] amazing to watch: there's a bull-necked energy in him, smoldering, and in his deep caveman┬┐ voice he gives the most surprising, sharp, fresh shadings to his lines." - Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies (Henry Holt, 1982).

"It's about heroism and realizing your potential, about taking your best shot and sticking by your girl. It sounds not only cliched but corny - and yet it's not, not a bit, because it really does work on those levels. It involves us emotionally, it makes us commit ourselves. We find, maybe to our surprise after remaining detached during so many movies, that this time we care." - Roger Ebert, Cinemania website review.

Compiled by Rob Nixon