328 - Rocky is Back!
Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)
This year marks the 90th anniversary of MGM, or Metro-Goldwyn- Meyer. To celebrate the event the company is releasing the Blu-Ray version of one of its greatest movies: Rocky. The film first came out in 1976 and starred a then unknown actor called Sylvester Stallone. Stallone also wrote the screenplay, even if the film was directed by John Avildsen. 38 years later, Stallone looks back:
Sylvester Stallone (Standard American accent)
I guess I was just born to play this character. I love it and I miss it very, very much. It was just one of those moments where I couldn’t wait to get to work and face the challenge, and it was no special effects, it was just get in there and winging it and trying to conjure up the emotions, and John Avildsen did an amazing job on the first one, he (was) just really honing that with no money, (it was) done in 25 days, $875,000, with an unknown. That’s a long shot!
So far there have been five Rocky movies, but few people would have predicted that back in 1976:
Doing Rocky with an unknown at that time, when you had 25 celebrities lined up to do it, and to take a leap of faith with, as I said, an unknown, and have the film end up winning the Oscar that year, that’s a kind of spirit that you don’t find any more. This is a real gamble, this is what you call “flying by the seat of your pants,” or the old “gut instinct,” which MGM had in spades.
Stallone recently appeared in another boxing movie, The Grudge Match, which also starred Robert De Niro, but the last Rocky was made in 1990. Does Stallone think that a Rocky movie could work today?
I believe that, with the right actor, if you made Rocky today, it very well could work because it’s a universal story that’s timeless, and people don’t change: their clothes do, but we don’t!
MGM AT 90
Rocky has been restored in 4k (4,000 pixels) resolution. The restored version was released on February 27th, and is the first of a series of re-releases of films from the MGM catalogue, as part of the company’s 90th anniversary celebrations. Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer was officially founded on April 17th, 1924, and the anniversary is also being honoured with a special trailer that features the greatest moments from its movies (to see it, go to: http://youtu.be/AybnnAQH-Wc). The Blu-ray version of Rocky (which is available from retailers at €12.99) features more than three hours of special contents, including 8mm Home Movies of Rocky, with a commentary by director John Avildsen and Production Manager Lloyd Kaufman. It was made by Avildsen while Rocky was being shot in Philadelphia.