John G. Avildsen's classic Rocky (1976) has inspired countless sequels and prequels and is responsible for one of the most famous sequences in cinematic history (the montage of Rocky training in Philadelphia). The film follows the eponymous Rocky Balboa (a very small-time fighter) as he trains for the fight of his life with the heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers). The road to beating Apollo Creed will be an arduous one; Rocky must train hard and incredibly well to beat Creed and gain some more self-respect.
Critics and audiences alike loved the film. Reads the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus, which sums up critics thoughts on the film: "This story of a down-on-his-luck boxer is thoroughly predictable, but Sylvester Stallone's script and stunning performance in the title role brush aside complaints." Similarly, Rocky was incredibly popular at the Academy Awards, where it was was nominated for the following awards: Best Picture (winner), Best Director (Winner), Best Film Editing (Winner), Best Leading Actor for Stallone, Best Leading Actress for Talia Shire, Best Supporting Actress for Burgess Meredith, Best Supporting Actor for Burt Young, Best Original Screenplay for Stallone, Best Sound, and Best Original Song for "Gonna Fly Now." The film was also tremendously financially successful. Against a budget of only $1 million, it made back a staggering $225 million at the box office.