It was almost 44 years ago when the film “Rocky” was released; the story of the down on his luck Philly slugger, portrayed by a little-known actor who was down on his luck, proving a smash hit all over the world. Now, in exciting news for “Rocky” fans everywhere, a new documentary: “40 Years Of Rocky – The Birth Of A Classic” will be digitally premiered on June 9th.
The documentary, narrated by Sylvester Stallone himself, will go into the making of the Oscar-winner in detail, with plenty of never before seen footage featured. Some of this footage comes from director John G. Avildsen’s home movies. While yet more of the previously unseen magic comes courtesy of “lost” behind-the-scenes material that remained in “Rocky” production manager Lloyd Kaufman’s basement for decades. The trailer available now really does reignite interest in what is arguably the most beautiful boxing film ever made.
Not that fan interest ever went away at any time. For over 40 years, fight fans, movie fans, and just-plain “Rocky” fans have regularly returned to the film/films. Inspirational and uplifting, the ultimate tale of the underdog who makes good is as extraordinary to watch here in 2020 as it was back in 1976. Stallone described his greatest creation as follows: “You’re a very lucky person when you can find out that the best friend you ever had is some character that just popped out of your mind, someone who was always there when things got rough and never quit on you.”
“Rocky” fans know how broke Stallone was in the months leading up to his surprise hit; how he even had to sell his beloved dog because he had no spare money for dog food (the pooch later bought back and famously appearing in the film). How different film history would be had Sly not tuned in to watch the Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight that March evening in 1975.
Judging by the trailer, “40 Years Of Rocky” will have plenty of stuff for fans of not only Stallone but also of Burgess Meredith, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Joe Spinell and the other actors who helped add to the brilliance of the film. The talented cast “Rocky” boasts (and a remarkable cast it is for such a low-budget film) is, of course, one of the biggest reasons the film is so great.
All these years later, and “Rocky” is still swinging punches. What on-screen combinations will the forthcoming documentary surprise us all with?