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The Rocky Saga - A Stallone Biography?

Updated on April 13, 2013
The Original Rocky Poster
The Original Rocky Poster

Rocky

1976 - 119 Minutes - Rated PG

Director: John G. Avildsen

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 91%

Rocky struggles for success in the ring just as Sylvester Stallone struggles for success in Hollywood.

Stallone had done a handful of films before pitching Rocky but many of the roles were uncredited. One was even reportedly X-Rated. It's called The Party at Kitty and Stud's. The trailer is pretty hilarious.

Rocky II Promotional Poster
Rocky II Promotional Poster

Rocky II

1979 - 119 minutes - Rated PG

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith

IMDB Rating: 6.8

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 71%

In the first sequel, Rocky struggles with instant fame just as Stallone does in real life after the astronomical success of the first movie.

As well as writer and star, Rocky II was Stallone's directorial debut.

The sequel matched the original in popularity and was the second highest grossing film of 1979.

Rocky III Promotional Poster
Rocky III Promotional Poster

Rocky III

1982 - 99 minutes - Rated PG

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith, Mr. T, Hulk Hogan

IMDB Rating: 6.3

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 60%

Through success, Rocky's ego becomes inflated to the point that those close to him begin to lose faith in him as a person and competitor.

Stallone reportedly got down to 2.8% body fat and 155 lbs for the role. This might explain why he wanted to be bare chested and oiled up for the poster shot.

Rocky IV

1985 - 91 minutes - Rated PG

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Brigitte Nielson, Dolph Lundgren

IMDB Rating: 6.1

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 44%

Rocky IV was a high budget spectacular at the height of Stallone's popularity.

It's obvious that United Artist had complete faith in Stallone by now, and with good reason. Rocky IV was the most financially successful film of the franchise.

It is even said to have single handedly brought about the end of the cold war and caused the downfall of the USSR.

Rocky IV Promotional Poster - Go America!
Rocky IV Promotional Poster - Go America!
Rocky V Promotional Poster - V is not for Victory
Rocky V Promotional Poster - V is not for Victory

Rocky V

1990 - 91 minutes - Rated PG

Director: John G. Avildsen

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Sage Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Tommy Morrison

IMDB Rating: 4.6

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 27%

Starring Stallone's real life son, Sage, as Rocky's son may be one of the few redeeming qualities of Rocky V. It didn't do well at the box office or with fans and even Stallone has spoken publicly against it.

It was to be the closing chapter to the franchise but its anti-climactic and unsuccessful nature was the inspiration for Stallone to eventually write a proper ending.

Rocky Balboa - The Final Chapter
Rocky Balboa - The Final Chapter

Rocky Balboa

2006 - 102 minutes - Rated PG

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Geraldine Hughes, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Milo Ventimiglia

IMDB Rating: 7.3

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 76%

After the failure of Rocky V, Stallone had a long string of commercial disasters.

As it turns out Rocky wasn't doing so well either. He aged substantially, Adrienne died, his grown son had little respect for him and his fans were dwindling.

Rocky Balboa went on to become a critically acclaimed, financial success. As true in it's portrayal of modern day Philadelphia as the original was, it also shows how much society and the boxing industry has changed since then.


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    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      This is fun to speculate about as far as the movies being autobiographical. It's also interesting how Stallone and Rocky are iconic in the culture. I am grateful he helped end the Cold War. That is funny. Stallone was kind of the sequel man: Rocky and Rambo seemed to have non-stop sequels. Fun subject, and I'll admit I enjoyed Sly's movies, cheesy or not.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      The Expendables is a good one time watch. Your point is correct about the tasteful endings he has given. I mean, there was seriously a broken phase in his career when he did shitty movies like "Stop! Or my momma will shoot"

    • peepingtomb profile image
      Author

      peepingtomb 5 years ago

      Good point. I think he has redeemed himself somewhat in the new century by closing out Rocky and Rambo tastefully. I haven't seen The Expendables yet but probably will eventually.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      nice review..... the saga is very similar to stallones life. I feel his utter downfall in the 90s was due to the inflated ego he developed during his success years