Study Guide

Rocky Genre

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Drama; Boxing Movie

Rocky inspired dozens of boxing movies throughout the years, and we don't just mean the numerous sequels to the Rocky franchise. For every Rocky sequel there's a Raging Bull (1980), a Million Dollar Baby (2004), or a Girlfight (2000). And almost all of them follow the classic underdog-goes-for-a-knockout plot.

Rocky has a very traditional dramatic arc. We get the exposition, introducing Rocky as the Italian Stallion wondering if he should be put out to pasture. Rising action occurs after the turning point—Rocky is chosen to fight Apollo Creed. He trains, and the stakes are huge. Rocky doesn't care about the title, but his very self-worth is in jeopardy. If he doesn't go the distance with Creed, he might not go anywhere.

However, Rocky doesn't mess around much with the denouement or the resolution. The climax of the film is the bout with Apollo. It lasts about twelve minutes. As soon as the final bell rings, it only takes a couple minutes to announce the verdict of the fight and, most importantly, for Rocky and Adrian to declare their love for one another. Rocky has gone the distance, and that's all that matters.

And if you want to know more, you're in luck: there's a sequel… or six.

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