The Rocky franchise is normally considered something of a guilty pleasure for film fans. Its boxing scenes are often less than convincing and some of its stories are more than a little far-fetched, but it’s still one of the longest-lasting cinematic franchises out there, and it continues to draw ticket sales with each new release.
The reasons behind this actually date back to the first entry in the franchise, 1976’s Rocky. Written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, Rocky launched the A-lister’s career, and also saw Stallone nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay). It also just happened to win Best Picture and Best Director, proving that the boxing drama is far more than it’s remembered to be.
Over the years since, the franchise’s numerous sequels of varying quality were enough to severely damage Rocky‘s reputation, and the franchise has never fully recovered. After 2006’s Rocky Balboa proved that fans will still shell out their cash to see the continuation of the sports drama, the Creed spin-offs breathed new life into the Rocky franchise, but still haven’t quite been able to save its reputation.
Rocky deserves more recognition for its contribution to modern cinema – it cemented the popularity and legitimacy of sports-drama as a genre, and helped many discover their love for the sport of boxing. There might be one or two duds in the franchise, but Rocky still deserves far more love than it receives.