As COVID-19 keeps us all indoors, we invited readers to watch the same movie this weekend, Rocky, and talk about why they loved it — or in some cases didn’t, as it turns out.
Most folks reported happy memories of Sylvester Stallone’s Academy Award-winning 1976 film, including online commenter “montani semper liberi,” whose fond recollection got the most up-votes of any post:
Summer ’77. Late afternoon, riding my 10-speed from Wildwood to the Villas after another grueling busboy shift at the Diner, my last summer job before college.
The Rio Mall is showing that movie sensation, Rocky. I’d been humming the theme for months, figuring to cool down and finally see a matinee with my tip money. 3 bucks for the ticket. Empty theater.
For the first 30 minutes or so, bored and a little disappointed, the only novelty being all the familiar city references. Then “Philadelphia morning”.... the lonely jog through the city. Pure magic.
I went back four or five afternoons in a row just to relive that moment. There’s no question now what made this film......the soundtrack is among the greatest of all time.
Lois Rubin Gross saw the movie as an ex-pat while living out of town, and “screamed every time they showed a place I loved,” she told us on The Inquirer Facebook page.
Folks who didn’t live in Philly liked what they saw, and came to check it out. Reader Jor Dan said he visited the city because of the Rocky saga, including more than 40 filming locations.
He knows the spirit of the movie as well as a native, he said: “This film is the symbol of determination.”
Philadelphians marveled at the impact the film has had on so many people. “On my commute to work, turning that corner from Kelly to the Museum and seeing all of these people taking photos of and with the Rocky statue. All Smiles, arms up, laughing. Good times.” wrote Toni Ann Flanigan.
Irv Levy noted the parallels between Rocky’s long-shot bid in the ring and Stallone’s own struggles as a B-list actor and screenwriter, determined to “hold out, turning down offers, until it was agreed that he would play the title role.”
“Go Stallone,” added online commenter djgreenberg. "He was unhappy with the way his career was going, the roles he was offered, so he took control, went out, created a part that would be good for him and made his own movie.
We asked: What’s your favorite movie in the Rocky franchise? All of them, said Sean Farrell on Twitter.
Favorite opponent? Mr. T got some love from Christopher Turner, who ranks the movies 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, and hasn’t seen 6.
David Moore liked the Michael B. Jordan/Tessa Thompson Creed spinoffs. He ranks the franchise in this order: “Creed 2, Rocky 2, Rocky 3, Rocky 5, Creed 1, Rocky 4, Rocky 1.”
Not everyone is a fan, of course. A dissenter opined that the movie is written for “a 12-year-old mentality.” And readers had plenty of suggestions for other locally shot movies to watch. Stealing Home, Mannequin, and even Mannequin 2.
If you’ve got ideas for a movie we can watch together next weekend, drop me a line.