Sylvester Stallone's bedtime story (1976) about a pug from the Philadelphia slums who gets an unexpected crack at the world heavyweight title isn't quite the exhilarating experience it was designed to be, thanks mainly to director John Avildsen's habit of peering down at the characters as if they were germs on a microscrope slide. As Rocky, Stallone gives a half-jokey, half-sentimental performance that sometimes works very well, but Talia Shire, as his regenerated girlfriend, Stanislavskys herself into invisibility. I wanted to like it more than I did, but it'll do.
Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Producer: Gene Kirkwood, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Thayer David, Joe Spinell, James Gambina, Al Silvani and George Memmoli