“Rocky” & “Victory” Make List of 30 Best Sports Movies of All Time

Rolling Stone posted their choices for the 30 Best Sports Movies of All Time.  Sly made the list twice…

2. Rocky (1976)
Hey, remember when Rocky Balboa wasn’t considered an example of lunkheaded Reagan-era jingoism, but rather a soulful, working-class underdog? There’s a reason the original Rocky won a Best Picture Oscar: It’s a surprisingly lived-in, sensitive drama about a broken-down boxer who gets one last, very unlikely chance to prove himself against the World Heavyweight Champion, played by a wonderful Carl Weathers (just because you’re a nemesis doesn’t mean you can’t have a soul). Those hang-dog eyes, that sensuous mouth, that shrinking demeanor, even his characteristically slurred speech – there’s something so noble about this very human bruiser, and the then-unknown Stallone, who also won an Oscar for the screenplay, must have seemed like such a revelation. And if you want sports-movie symbolism, you could not do better than the driven, determined Rocky going for round after round with the red-white-and-blue clad Creed – the American dream as Sisyphean beat-down. BE

21.  Victory (1981)
Based on the Hungarian film Two Half Times in Hell, director John Huston’s potboiler stars Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, and Brazilian superstar Pele as WWII POWs who’re going to use a match against the Germans as an opportunity to escape. Everything is ready to proceed as planned — and then the players wonder if they can actually do more good by beating the Nazis on the pitch. The football-ignorant Stallone may be a surrogate for all the early 1980s Americans who were just starting to learn more about “the beautiful game.” But watching the legendary Pele display his footwork on the field (that bicycle kick!), you almost believe the soccer god could have singlehandedly stopped Hitler’s troops in their tracks. NM

Reel Champions: The Post Doles Out its All-Time Sports Oscars

On February 21, 2015, The New York Post published  Reel champions: The Post doles out its all-time Sports Oscars by Brian Lewis.

Sly won a couple of awards…

Best picture


The ultimate underdog “Rocky” pulled off the upset against sports movie heavyweights “Hoosiers” and “Raging Bull.” Sylvester Stallone got the inspiration for the screenplay after watching the heavyweight title fight between Bayonne’s Chuck Wepner and reigning champ Muhammad Ali, and insisted he play the lead. Good call.

Stallone, who trained with Jimmy Gambina every day for about five months before shooting, became a star, and the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, ranked 57th on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years … 100 Movies — 10th Anniversary Edition.

Stallone got sued by Wepner for a share of the profits and settled in 2006. For the movie that gave us the most-used workout music in history — “Gonna Fly Now” — the line “Yo, Adrian!” and five sequels, it’s the least he could do.

Nominees: “Hoosiers,” “Raging Bull,” “Field of Dreams,” “The Natural,” “Remember the Titans,” “The Fighter,” “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Hustler.”

Best hero

Rocky Balboa

Seriously, what other movie hero actually has his own statue? Sylvester Stallone donated a life-size statue of Rocky Balboa to the city of Philadelphia, and it still sits near the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the titular character ran during his iconic training scene. The character starred in five more sequels, fought villains like Ivan Drago and Mr. T, gave us lines like “Yo, Adrian!” Oh, and Balboa was ranked seventh on AFI’s 100 Heroes and Villains list.

Nominees: Roy Hobbs in “The Natural,” Crash Davis in “Bull Durham,” Terry Malloy in “On The Waterfront,” Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in “Rudy,” Dottie Hinson in “A League of Their Own,” Daniel-san/Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid,” Paul Douglas in “Angels in the Outfield,” Norman Dale in “Hoosiers.”

8 Most Inspirational Sports Movies of All Time

On October 26, 2014, WhoSay created their list of the 8 Most Inspirational Sports Movies of All Time.  Rocky  made the list (but not #1?).   Here’s what they said…

It’s impossible to think about boxing, or hear the song “Eye of The Tiger” for that matter, without remembering of the iconic film, Rocky. The Oscar-winning film made Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky Balboa a household name, and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art a cultural landmark.

Well, since they list Rocky but talk about Eye of the Tiger (Rocky III) it’s an easy jump to their confusion in not listing Rocky  in first place.  ; )   – Craig

Rocky 1 -5 Makes the List

Rocky and Adrian by Aykut Aydoğdu.

On October 24, 2014, SciFighting posted the Top Ten Most Memorable Boxing Movies by Marcus Hogan.  Rocky [II, III, IV and V] came in at #1.  What?  Rocky Balboa didn’t make it?

Here’s what they had to say…

1.) Rocky (II, III, IV, V)

Rocky was the highest-grossing film in 1976, making $225 million worldwide on a $1 million budget. The film was shot in only 28 days, but won 3 Oscars including Best Picture. It is the rags to riches story of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) who is a loan shark by day and boxer by night. Although this film is not considered non-fiction, former heavyweight boxer Charles “Chuck” Wepner claims that this and all the proceeding Rocky films where based on his life.

The 12 Greatest Sports Movie Songs of All-Time

Sports Illustrated recently posted Dan Treadway’s choices for The 12 Greatest Sports Movie Songs of All-Time.  Sly had two songs make the cut and here is what Mr. Treadway had to say about them…


Rocky: Gonna Fly Now

The most difficult part of making a list like this was determining how many songs from the Rocky franchise to include. Montages are a fairly critical aspect of more or less every sports film, and Sly Stallone’s movies more or less wrote the book on them. So I would be remiss if I did not at least include the most montagiest of montage songs “Gonna Fly Now.” I honestly can’t listen to any part of this song without imagining Rocky jogging around war-torn ’70s Philly in sweats and a beanie. This song was nominated for an Academy Award in 1977 and — despite Rocky getting the nod for Best Picture and Best Director — it somehow didn’t win. Instead the honors went to the theme from A Star is Born, which I’m pretty sure is the song that’s been playing at my dentist’s office for the past 24 years:


Rocky III: Eye of the Tiger

Believe it or not, we were extremely close to living in an “Eye of the Tiger”-less world. The horror.

Jim Peterick, the guitarist for Survivor, told the story of the song’s origin during an interview with Guitar World:

I came home from shopping one day and heard a message on the answering machine from Sylvester Stallone. At first, I thought it was a joke, but I called the number and sure enough, Stallone answered. He told me that he loved the band and had heard “Poor Man’s Son” and “Take You On A Saturday” from our Premonition album and wanted that same kind of “street” sound for his new movie,Rocky III. He sent us a video montage of the movie and Frankie (Sullivan) and I watched it together. There were scenes of Rocky getting a little “soft” (doing the Visa card commercials) and Mr. T “rising up” with his Mohawk. It was electric. The temp music they used to accompany the montage was “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. I remember asking Stallone why he just didn’t use that song for the movie and he said it was because they couldn’t get the publishing rights for it. At that point I just said, “Thank you, Queen!”

We’ve now reached the point where I don’t even know what I think about “Eye of the Tiger.” It’s been used so many times, in so many capacities, that it’s much more than just the lead song from a movie soundtrack — it’s pretty much its own emotion. It’s the musical version of chugging Red Bull while sprinting after a gazelle that you plan on killing with your bare hands.


The 50 All-Time Greatest Sports Movie Quotes

On March 5, 2014, Bleacher Report posted their choices for The 50 All-Time Greatest Sports Movie Quotes.

Sly made the list 6 times!  Coming in at…

#1  “Yo Adrian! I did it!” – Rocky Balboa from Rocky II


#14  “I must break you.” – Ivan Drago from Rocky IV


#24  “All I wanna do is go the distance.” –  Rocky Balboa from Rocky


#28  “Let’s start building some hurtin’ bombs.”  – Duke from Rocky Balboa


#34  “I don’t hate Balboa. I pity the fool.” – Clubber Lang from Rocky III


#44  “You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder.” – Mickey from Rocky


Sly Embarrassed…

While doing press for Grudge Match,  Sly was asked about being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.  Sly said that it was an honor and he was a bit embarrassed by being selected since he wasn’t a real boxer.  However he was selected because his films helped promote a positive image of the sport.  You can imagine what part of Sly’s comments made headlines. – Craig

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