Certain Movies every man should see, some he should know by heart. These are the movies we’ll be featuring in the Proud Boy Movie Club. Some films will be new to some of us, some we’ve seen a dozen times. Either way you’re encouraged to watch or take the opportunity to re-watch these films every man should know. All Proud Boys can follow the films week to week here and discus and post thoughts, questions and comments in the Proud Boys Facebook Group.
This week’s Movie Club: Rocky
Genre: Drama, Sport
Directed By: John G. Avildsen
Written By: Sylvester Stallone
In Theatres: 3 December 1976
Running Time: 120 Minutes
If ever cinema needed an example of its artistic potential in one movie then “Rocky” would be it. The world fell in love with Rocky. The story of Rocky is one of the most admired tales of the American dream. That love affair spawned sequels that still haven’t lost any steam. We had Rocky and all the sequels copied on VHS when we were growing up so I guess I too was equally swept up in the Rocky madness. The movie is every bit a fairy tale come true as a story just as it was for Sylvester Stallone’s career as a writer/actor. Sylvester Stallones’ triumph as a well respected writer, director and actor started with Rocky (1976) and continues until today with its most recent sequel Creed (2015). Rocky is the pinnacle of sports dramas and includes some of the coolest montages, epic original scores and many motivational quotes. From the trailer you might think it’s just a simple sports movie where a boxer sucks ass but ends up becoming a bad-ass champion and you’d be 100% correct, but the truth is Rocky is much more interesting than it seems. The characters and their problems add so much flavor to an otherwise assumed bland recipe.
Rocky is living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 70’s, much like New York City but not so much. He’s a sloppy boxer and truly sounds like a genuine moron at times but he spends most of his time collecting debts for a local Italian mobster (who by the way seems to be one of the most supportive characters throughout all the films). It’s his only source of income as he is alone and seems to be lacking any other skill besides giving or taking beatings. His pal Paulie is an equally retarded alcoholic played by the awesome Burt Young. Paulie’s sister Adrian is played by Talia Shire, the love interest. Rocky becomes infatuated with Adrian as he grows hopeless about what the future holds. He not only lands a girl who loves him as much as he loves her but he also receives the best news of his life – the fight! Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) the reigning heavyweight boxing champion of the world has a fight coming up but bad luck fell on him and the challenger wasn’t available to fight due to a broken hand. Apollo didn’t want to lose out on another payday nor lose face with his fans. Apollo truly was a showman so he couldn’t just abandon the fight altogether. He came up with the bright idea of giving a nobody a shot at the title, he was to make a spectacle out of the American dream on live TV. Little did he know that the “Italian Stallion” wasn’t going down that easy. With the help of salty trainer Mickey Goldmill played by the legendary Burgess Meredith, Rocky trains like a madman and ends up going shot for shot until the end. What seemed like a show to Apollo quickly became very real when he realized this was a REAL fight and not some shitty sparring partner to beat up on. Apollo won by decision but it didn’t phase Rocky one bit, he knocked down the champ a few times and equally beat the shit out of him. In the end they both looked like a tornado fell on their faces but Rocky only cared about finding Adrian as he was being rushed to the hospital to attend to the brain damaging beating he just took.
You say Rocky is too easy to claim for the Proud Boys? I get it. I get it but I can argue also. The essence of perseverance, testosterone, the American dream and the plain old one on one fist fight makes the setup almost perfect. We all claim we want to inspire one another, we all claim we stand for something but that’s the power of “we”, “we” means nothing in the ring. There is no help and you must go toe to toe with the champion of the world ALONE. While we can pat each other on the back and say all the best anecdotes to show support, we cannot block a crippling knockout punch to the face with the same ease. Being in this solitary situation with the whole world watching, the Proud Boy emerges, the “No-Wanks” champion is eating the punches like beef jerky, shredding each bite of meat off the same way he shrugs off a punch. Coincidentally his trainer Mickey advises Rocky to follow “No-Wanks”, he might not’ve explained it that way, Mickey told Rocky not to fool around. Implying the testosterone driven idea behind refraining from masterbation. It’s almost like tricking your brain to be a prowler, to be on edge, to be ready to kick ass and seize the day or in this case, really kicking ass. That coincidence cannot be ignored. There are many variables that led Rocky to last 15 rounds against the champ but Rocky’s decision to refrain from masturbation really made a big deal in his victory. The Proud Boy in his heart led him to victory. It’s also responsible for his immediate search for Adrian at the end. He wanted to bone.
I imagine nobody reading this hasn’t already seen the film. Anybody passed the age of 15 should’ve seen this film by now, I mean at this point it’s a staple in American culture. It has become historical. If you’ve seen it, I want you to watch it like you haven’t seen it. Get a quality copy of the film and make an event out of it. Watching Rocky should be like watching the Super-Bowl, minus the buffalo wings and gambling. For those of you who truly haven’t seen Rocky I envy you. As I do with all epic films, I’m jealous of the first time experience you have with it. It can’t happen more than once. It’s like losing your virginity. The only thing I can do is not watch it for as long as I can so my brain can naturally forget a lot of the exciting details of the movie. The great thing about Rocky is the fact that it became a mother to many equally entertaining sequels. Watching this film will open up one of the most loved sports sagas of our lifetime. You will truly have entertainment for many nights as there are at least 5 sequels.