Rocky turns 40! A story for the ages
Rocky, the most enduring iconic movie character ever, at least in the world of sports movies, turns 40 this weekend.
The story of the Philadelphia street boxer who is given a chance at the heavyweight title and what he goes on to do in his life through seven movies (counting "Creed"), was first released on Nov. 21, 1976.
I know what you're thinking ... and the Eagles STILL have not won a Super Bowl. Or is that just me?
What I love most about Rocky is the way the moves have allowed his life to play out in front of us through Sylvester Stallone.
As unrealistic as the story is at times — like when a 62-year-old Rocky stays with a 33-year-old champion in "Rocky Balboa" — it is just as realistic as when we see how the characters' lives play out and we can continue to see more of Rocky in a believable role where he can age gracefully. This is so much better than recasting the role with a series of Rockies that would keep him young like they do with so many other movie characters.
Rocky, first and foremost is a love story. The love Rocky has for Adrienne is more important to him than anything. I love the way they kept that even after she died. I love how in Rocky 1 all he wanted to do was finish the fight. They bring that back in "Rocky Balboa" where he says to his son, "I gotta go out the way, I gotta go out," and he finishes on his own terms.
Rocky's been living on his own terms for the past 40 years relying on drawing from his inner believing to accomplish the impossible. Who among us, when faced with adversity, hasn't played the Rocky theme in our heads and risen to the occasion? (Or is that just me again?)
Happy 40th Rocky! Here's hoping for many more!