AFI Movie Club: ROCKY – American Film Institute
Rocky Film Still - Sylvester Stallone


AFI Movie Club: ROCKY

ROCKY is ranked on both AFI’s original and 10th anniversary lists of the greatest American films of all time! Rocky Balboa punches his way to #7 in the pantheon of AFI’s greatest screen heroes, and the film lands at #4 as one of the most inspiring movies ever. And the ROCKY theme song – “Gonna Fly Now” – is championed by AFI as one of the greatest songs from a movie ever. 

Watch Benicio del Toro announce the film:



Movie Trivia about ROCKY

​-DID YOU KNOW that screenwriter Sylvester Stallone was offered $275,000 for the rights to his script, but he refused to sell unless he was cast as the lead?

-DID YOU KNOW Bette Midler was considered for the role of Adrian before Talia Shire was eventually cast?

-DID YOU KNOW ROCKY was one of the first feature length films to use a Steadicam? Garrett Brown, who is credited with special camera effects for ROCKY, was granted a patent for the Steadicam process in 1977.

-DID YOU KNOW Sylvester Stallone donated the Rocky statue to the city of Philadelphia in 1982? It still sits at the top of the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

-DID YOU KNOW elevated trains were no accident in the movie, the director would call action for a scene when they knew a train was coming?

-DID YOU KNOW the ROCKY script was inspired by the 1975 title bout between Muhammed Ali and Chuck Wepner?

-DID YOU KNOW ROCKY won three Academy Awards® – including Best Picture?

-DID YOU KNOW before his breakout success with ROCKY, Sylvester Stallone cleaned lion cages at New York Central Park Zoo?

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-Why does the film still resonate with fans today?

-What is your favorite sports movie?

-Even though Rocky doesn’t win against Apollo, why do you think the film is so triumphant?

-What qualities does Rocky have that make him heroic? What qualities are atypical of screen heroes?

-Why do you think sports movies are so well suited to screen treatment?

-What is the most memorable sporting event that you have attended? What made it so memorable?

-Which is your favorite ROCKY film?


Watch this exclusive video from the AFI Archive of Sylvester Stallone and Talia Shire talking about working on ROCKY:



New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

In this time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home,” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.


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