Rocky is a 1976 film written by and starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen. It tells the rags-to-riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, a seemingly unintelligent but good-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia. Balboa is also a professional boxer who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship when the scheduled contender breaks his hand. Also starring in Rocky are Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian’s brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Mickey Goldmill, Rocky’s trainer and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.
The film, made for only US$1.2 million, and shot relatively fast in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it made over US$117.2 million, won three Oscars, including Best Picture, and garnered mostly positive reviews which helped to launch Stallone’s career. The film spawned five sequels: II, III, IV, V and Balboa.