In this iconic scene from the 1976 film “Rocky,” the title character triumphantly raises his arms after climbing the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The small-budget film, made for just a little more than $1 million, premiered on November 21, 1976, and went on to become the year’s biggest box-office hit. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and it made lead actor Sylvester Stallone an overnight star. Forty years later it remains one of the greatest sports movies of all time, spawning six sequels — the most recent being “Creed” in 2015.
Stallone played Rocky Balboa, a down-on-his-luck boxer who’s given an unlikely title shot against the world heavyweight champion. Stallone wrote the screenplay to “Rocky” himself and sold it with one condition: that he be allowed to play the lead role.
Stallone was nominated for two Oscars: one for best actor, and one for best original screenplay.
In another iconic scene, Rocky does an interview with a TV reporter after punching beef in a meat locker.
Rocky and Apollo face off before their big fight. The country was celebrating its bicentennial that year, hence the champ’s Uncle Sam outfit and the fact that the fight was held in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Burgess Meredith played Mickey, Rocky’s cantankerous trainer. “I truly feel without his participation in the film, it would never have had its emotion core,” Stallone said after Meredith’s death in 1997.
Rocky stops to talk to his two pet turtles, Cuff and Link.
Rocky and Adrian are threatened by Paulie, Adrian’s brother and Rocky’s best friend who had become jealous of their relationship.