Rocky Anthology (2004)
Front Cover Actor Back Cover
Sylvester Stallone
Tony Burton
Dolph Lundgren
Burgess Meredith
Tommy Morrison
Brigitte Nielsen
Michael Pataki
Talia Shire
Sage Stallone
Carl Weathers
Movie Details
Director John G. Avildsen; Sylvester Stallone
Producer Robert Chartoff; Irwin Winkler
Writer Sylvester Stallone
Studio MGM / UA
Language English
Audience Rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Running Time 9 hr 1 mins
Color Color
Americans love the underdog. Anytime someone is beating the odds, fighting his or her way to the top, like the Little Engine That Could, it resonates well with U.S. audiences; it's in their nature. Sylvester Stallone knew that in 1976, when Rocky was a monstrous hit and established itself in the American cultural lexicon. His low-budget tale of a young boxer who came from the slums of Philadelphia and worked his way to the championship recalls Capra characters such as Mr. Smith or John Doe as he worked his way to fame and self-respect. Like Capra's films from 30 years before, Rocky pushed emotional buttons with audiences, but in a somewhat less maudlin, obvious way; it's possible to enjoy Rocky without feeling embarrassed about it, even in the cynical, postironic '90s. It ranks respectably among the best boxing pictures, such as The Set-Up or Somebody Up There Likes Me. The story paralleled Stallone's own, from a relative unknown to a star with one breakthrough picture. Rocky II (1979) carries on the story line, playing on the rivalry between Rocky Balboa and nemesis Apollo Creed, while Balboa's wife fights for her life. Mainly, though, the sequel seems like a link between the first film and Rocky III, in which an aging Rocky takes on big, bad Clubber Lang (the near-forgotten Mr. T). While playing on the same emotional capital as the first movie, Rocky III is the high-water mark of the sequels; by the next movie, Stallone had turned into a near-self-parody of the original character. Rocky IV finds the underdog taking on an oversized, blond Russian boxer (Dolph Lundgren) in a cold war scenario (Rocky literally wraps himself in the American flag). The series mercifully played out by 1990, as embarrassingly punch-drunk as the Rocky character himself by that point. Given the way the American pop-culture continuum seems to work, it's probably due time for the later sequels to be plucked from the compost heap of '80s flotsam and revived as high camp; the Reagan-era hyperpatriotism of Rocky IV is as dated as in junk like Red Dawn or the dreadful Invasion U.S.A. Still, the first three films pack a satisfying emotional wallop without giving the viewer the urge to crawl under the couch. The last two... well, use your judgment. They will soon be good for an '80s nostalgia party. --Jerry Renshaw
Personal Details
My Rating
Seen It Yes
Index 91
Collection Status In Collection
Links Amazon US
DVD Empire
Product Details
Format DVD
Region Region 1
Screen Ratio Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Layers Single side, single layer
UPC 027616915191
Release Date 12/14/04
Subtitles English; Spanish; French
Packaging Custom Case
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono [CC]
ENGLISH: DTS Surround [CC]
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Mono
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono