“Rocky” One of the ‘Best of the Best’

The February 23, 2001 issue of Entertainment Weekly has an article titled “The Best of the Best” in which EW ranks the 72 Best Picture Oscar winners. Here’s what they had to say about Rocky:

43 ROCKY 1976

Directed by JOHN G. ALVIDSEN Starring SYLVESTER STALLONE, TALIA SHIRE Nominations 9 Wins 3 Stiffest Competition Taxi Driver, Network

A likable triumph-of-the-underdog tale, but why this boxing fable and not SCORSESE‘s Raging Bull four years later?

Let me begin by pointing out a small error… did you catch it? The listing says that “Rocky” was nominated for 9 Oscars but the right number is 10! I’ve already e-mailed them about the error – so let’s talk about the article…

Articles like these are written to encourage discussion about the subjective rankings of personal favorites. So let me say that, personally, I feel that “Rocky” should be in the Top 10 and without a doubt the Top 20 — I am happy to see that the editors of the piece ranked “Rocky” higher than many past winners [even if they didn’t “get it exactly right.”].

Craig Zablo

Stallone #1 Big Deal

The Spring 2000 issue (#540) of Entertainment Weekly contains two caracatures and tidbits about SLY. The following is the second item.

(Artwork removed at the request of representatives of Roberto Parada)

DANIEL FIERMAN in an article titled “BIG DEALS” (with an illustration by ROBERTO PARADA), gives a “rundown of some significant deals that earned creative types a bigger slice of the pie.”

The #1 “big deal” is:
* The Date: August 1995
* The Deal: One week after RON MEYER leaves the Creative Artists Agency to become president of MCA – then the parent company of Universal Pictures – he signs former client SYLVESTER STALLONE to a first-look, three picture deal worth $60 million. The pact would make the international star the second confirmed member of the $20 million club (after JIM CARREY), marking his highest potential per-picture paycheck to date, despite the recent box office disappointment of the $34.7 million grossing Judge Dredd.
* The Aftermath: Not pretty. After flirting with a long list of projects, the actor completed no pictures and received no payment from the deal, which expired in February 2000.

What the article doesn’t emphasize is that SLY was the first actor to be signed to a three picture deal for $20 million per picture. JIM CARREY‘S deal was for one movie!

– Craig Zablo
[May 20, 2000]

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