skip navigation
share:
Remind Me

Triva & Fun Facts About ROCKY

Rocky's dog Butkus was played by Stallone's bull mastiff, who had the same name.

Stallone's brother Frank appears in a bit part. Frank also wrote a song, "Take Me Back," performed by the street corner singers in the movie. He also wrote and sang songs for the soundtracks of some of the sequels. Frank Stallone has acted in a number of movies in minor roles. He appeared with his brother in Paradise Alley (1978), Rocky II (1979), and Rocky III (1982), and with John Travolta in Staying Alive (1983), all directed by Sylvester Stallone.

Hollywood veteran Burgess Meredith made his screen debut in Winterset (1936) and appeared in dozens of feature films before this. "Believe it or not, Rocky is my first smash hit," he said at the time of the picture's release. "I had many successes artistically, but nothing like Rocky." It was Meredith's second Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination; the first had been the year before for The Day of the Locust (1975) at the age of 68. He probably achieved his widest recognition for playing "The Penguin" on the Batman TV series of the 1960s. In the 1940s, Meredith was married to actress Paulette Goddard, ex-wife of Charles Chaplin. He died in 1997.

Stallone rightly thought this role would catapult him from unknown status to superstar. But he still didn't get a shot at the project he wanted to do next, the title role in Superman (1978). That part went to another (then) unknown, Christopher Reeve.

Stallone, Shire, and Young returned for all of the sequels. Carl Weathers appeared in the next three movies; his character, Apollo Creed, is killed in Rocky IV (1985). Burgess Meredith, as Mickey, did not appear in the former movie but was seen in all the others. Tony Burton, who plays Apollo's trainer, is in all five movies.

Despite his success with this film, Avildsen was not asked to direct the next three sequels (they were all done by Stallone) but did return for the fifth and (so far) final installment in 1990. He did do a variation on the Rocky theme with three Karate Kid movies in 1984, 1986, and 1989. His most acclaimed film has been Save the Tiger (1973), for which Jack Lemmon won a Best Actor Academy Award.

Composer Bill Conti wrote the scores for a handful of movies before this, notably Paul Mazursky's Blume in Love (1973) and Harry and Tonto (1974) and Vittorio DeSica's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970), but he really made his mark with his score and top-selling theme song for Rocky. He won the Academy Award for his score for The Right Stuff (1983). He also composed the music for three of the four Rocky sequels.

Most people recognized that the character of Apollo Creed was based loosely on Muhammad Ali. During the March 1977 Academy Awards show (when Rocky was nominated), Ali made a surprise appearance good-naturedly sparring for a brief round with a noticeably flustered Stallone.

Famous Quotes From ROCKY

MOVIE TAGLINE: "His whole life was a million-to-one shot."

ROCKY (Sylvester Stallone): "You wanna dance, you gotta pay the band; you wanna borrow, you gotta pay the man."

PAULIE (Burt Young): "You're gonna end up dying alone."
ROCKY: "Hey, I don't see no crowd around you either."

PAULIE: "I want you outa here instamatically."

ROCKY: "Yo, Adrian."

ROCKY: "My old man...he says to me, you weren't born with much of a brain, you know, so, uh, I become a fighter."
ADRIAN (Talia Shire): "My mother, she said the opposite thing. She said, you weren't born with much of a body so you better start developing your brain."

ADRIAN: "Why do you want to fight?"
ROCKY: "Because I can't sing or dance."

MICKEY (Burgess Meredith): "You had the talent to become a good fighter and instead you became a leg-breaker for some cheap second-rate loan shark."
ROCKY: "It's a living."
MICKEY: "It's a waste of life."

TV REPORTER (Diana Lewis): "Is this a common training method? I mean, do other fighters pound raw meat?"
ROCKY: "No, I think I invented it."

ROCKY: "I can't beat him. But that don't bother me. The only thing I want to do is to go the distance, that's all. Because if that bell rings and I'm still standing, then I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I wasn't just another bum from the neighborhood."

MICKEY: "Women weaken legs."

MICKEY: "You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!"

MICKEY: "Your nose is broken."
ROCKY: "How does it look?"
MICKEY: "Ah, it's an improvement."

APOLLO'S TRAINER (Tony Burton): "He doesn't know that this is a damn show! He thinks this is a damn fight! Finish that bum and let's go home!"

Compiled by Rob Nixon VIEW TCMDb ENTRY

Also Playing on TCM

Also playing
In Memoriam - 12/30
8 Movies

Hollywood and our TCM community mourned the passing of many beloved performers during 2014, and we present memorial tributes to...more

Events

TCM Shopping
  • Rocky DVD
  • When he loses a highly publicized virtual... more info
  • $9.98
  • Regularly $9.98
  • Add to cart
  • NCIS: Season 10 DVD
  • NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service)... more info
  • $39.98
  • Regularly $39.98
  • Add to cart
  • NCIS: Seasons 1 - 11 DVD
  • NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service)... more info
  • $374.99
  • Regularly $374.99
  • Add to cart