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Topic: CNN...RIP To Marlon Brando. Return to archive Page: 1 2
2nd July 2004 11:37 AM
Main Offender Bless him, he was a contender! Rest in peace.
2nd July 2004 11:41 AM
Gazza ah fuck no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awful news.

Along with De Niro, my favourite actor of all time

RIP Marlon, and thanks

[Edited by Gazza]
2nd July 2004 11:42 AM
caro Oh man, this is so sad. He was such a great actor, he was great even in the crappiest films... Somehow I was certain he would make another real good movie in the next years, 'cause being old seemed to suit him well. Gosh, I hate this!
2nd July 2004 11:43 AM
Bloozehound He was a maverick and a true legend, one of my all time Brando
2nd July 2004 11:59 AM
sirmoonie Yes, RIP Marlon Brando. That was a talented man. Had a sad and troubled family life in later years and hung in there like a champ.
2nd July 2004 12:00 PM
Fabio Hot Stuff REALLY???
Can't believe it!
Is very sad
How it happened?
Fuck off that's very sad
2nd July 2004 12:04 PM
Zeeta Gutted man! He was a genuine genius!
2nd July 2004 01:17 PM
Factory Girl This really sucks! He was a true fucking genuis. Madness and brilliance collided! RIP Mr. Brando.
2nd July 2004 01:19 PM
Gimme Shelter The Godfather is gone. RIP Marlon
2nd July 2004 01:24 PM
Gimme Shelter LOS ANGELES -- Marlon Brando, who revolutionized American acting with his Method performances in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "On the Waterfront" and went on to create the iconic character of Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather," has died. He was 80.

Brando died at an undisclosed Los Angeles hospital Thursday, attorney David J. Seeley said Friday. The cause of death was being withheld, Seeley said, noting the actor "was a very private man."

Brando, whose unpredictable behavior made him equally fascinating off the screen, was acclaimed the greatest actor of his generation, a two-time winner of the Academy Award who influenced some of the best actors of the generation that followed, among them Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson.

He was the unforgettable embodiment of the brutish Stanley Kowalski of "A Streetcar Named Desire," the mixed up Terry Malloy of "On the Waterfront" (which won him his first Oscar) and the wily Corleone of "The Godfather."

But his private life may best be defined by a line from "The Wild One," in which Brando, playing a motorcycle gang leader, is asked what he's rebelling against.

"Whattaya got?" was his famous reply.

His image was a studio's nightmare.

Millions of words were written about his weight, his many romances and three marriages, his tireless — and, for some, tiresome — support of the American Indian and other causes, his battles with film producers and directors, his refuge on a Tahitian isle.

His most famous act of rebellion was his refusal in 1973 to accept the best actor Oscar for "The Godfather." Instead, he sent a woman who called herself Sasheen Littlefeather to read a diatribe about Hollywood's treatment of Native Americans.

It was roundly booed.

Brando's private life turned tragic years later with his son's conviction for killing the boyfriend of his half sister, Cheyenne Brando, in 1990. Five years later, Cheyenne committed suicide, still depressed over the killing.

Still, the undying spotlight never made him conform.

"I am myself," he once declared, "and if I have to hit my head against a brick wall to remain true to myself, I will do it."

Nothing could diminish his reputation as an actor of startling power and invention.

Starting with Kowalski in the stage version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and a startling series of screen portrayals, Brando changed the nature of American acting.

Schooled at the Actors Studio in New York, he created a naturalism that was sometimes derided for its mumbling, grungy attitudes. But audiences were electrified, and a new generation of actors adopted his style.

Marlon Brando Jr. came from the American heartland, born in Omaha, Neb., on April 3, 1924. He was a distant, conservative man of French, English and Irish stock; the original family name was Brandeau.

His mother, the former Dorothy Pennebaker, was small, willowy, compassionate and filled with creative energy. Her ambitions often were unrealized, and she underwent periods of problem drinking. She had given birth to two daughters, Frances and Jocelyn, before Marlon was born.

He grew up a pudgy, mischievous boy who was called Bud to distinguish him from his father. Jocelyn was charged with getting Bud to kindergarten, a difficult task. She solved it by leading him on a leash.

Young Marlon first became exposed to the theater through his mother, who became a leader and occasional actress in the Omaha Community Playhouse. When a leading man dropped out of a play, she pleaded with a young neighbor just home from college to take the role. Henry Fonda reluctantly agreed. Mrs. Brando also encouraged another young Omaha native, Dorothy McGuire.

The lives of Dorothy Brando and her children were upset when the father was transferred to Evanston, Ill., when Bud was 6. The family later moved to Santa Ana, Calif., and finally to Libertyville, Ill.

Bud was constantly being reprimanded for misbehavior at school, infuriating his father. The boy also displayed a talent for playacting, both in elaborate pranks and in plays and recitations. He proved a skilled pantomimist, especially in his depiction of the death of John Dillinger.

His exasperated father sent the boy to military school in an effort to instill discipline. He was expelled. Unable to join the war because of 4-F status, Brando at 19 moved to New York and stayed with his sister Frances, an art student.

Jocelyn Brando studied acting with Stella Adler, and Marlon decided to join her. It changed his life. After a week with the young man, Adler declared: "Within a year, Marlon Brando will be the best young actor in the American theater."

It took longer. He appeared in such plays as "I Remember Mama," "A Flag is Born" (a Jewish pageant with Paul Muni) and "Truckline Cafe." The latter was directed by Elia Kazan, who would remember him for "A Streetcar Named Desire" in 1947.

The Tennessee Williams made Brando famous, and his first signs of discomfort emerged. The press made much of his motorcycle, leather jackets and T-shirts, his bongo drum playing. He hated the clamor of fans and suffered through interviews.

The image of Stanley seemed to have fallen on Brando, and he once protested to an interviewer: "Kowalski was always right, and never afraid. He never wondered, he never doubted. His ego was very secure. And he had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate. I'm afraid of it. I detest the character."

Brando suffered through the tedium of his two-year contract with "Streetcar," and he never appeared in another play. For his first film he declined several big studio offers and joined independent Stanley Kramer for "The Men" in 1950. To research the story of paraplegic war veterans, he spent a month in a Veterans Administration hospital.

His impact on screen acting was demonstrated by Academy nominations as best actor in four successive years: as Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951); as the Mexican revolutionary in "Viva Zapata!" (1952); as Marc Anthony in "Julius Caesar" (1953); and as Terry Malloy in "On the Waterfront" (1954). The latter brought his first Oscar.

Although he remained in Hollywood, he refused to be part of it.

"Hollywood is ruled by fear and love of money," he told a reporter. "But it can't rule me because I'm not afraid of anything and I don't love money."

His films after "Waterfront" failed to challenge his unique talent. Most were commercial enterprises: "Desiree," "Guys and Dolls," "The Teahouse of the August Moon," "Sayonara," "The Young Lions." He tried directing himself in a Western, "One-eyed Jacks," going wildly over budget.

A remake of "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1962, with Brando as Fletcher Christian, seemed to bolster his reputation as a difficult star. He was blamed for a change in directors and a runaway budget though he disclaimed responsibility for either.

The "Bounty" experience affected Brando's life in a profound way: he fell in love with Tahiti and its people. Tahitian beauty Tarita who appeared in the film became his third wife and mother of two of his children. He bought an island, Tetiaroa, which he intended to make part environmental laboratory and part resort.

Although he remained a leading star, Brando's career waned in the '60s with a series of failures. He was impressive, however, in several movies, among them the comedy "Bedtime Story" and the John Huston drama "Reflections in a Golden Eye."

His box office power seemed finished until Francis Coppola chose him to play Mafia leader Don Corleone in "The Godfather" in 1972. The film was an overwhelming critical and commercial success and Brando's jowly, raspy-voiced Don became one of the screen's most unforgettable characters.

"I don't think the film is about the Mafia at all," Brando told Newsweek. "I think it is about the corporate mind. In a way, the Mafia is the best example of capitalists we have."

The actor followed with "Last Tango in Paris." One of his greatest performances was overshadowed by an uproar over the erotic nature of the Bernardo Bertolucci film.

In his memoir, "Songs My Mother Taught Me," Brando wrote of being emotionally drained by "Last Tango," an improvised film which included several autobiographical speeches.

Most of his later films were undistinguished. One hundred pounds heavier, he hired himself out at huge salaries for such commercial enterprises as "Superman" and "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery."

He was more effective as the insane army officer in Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" and parodying his "Godfather" role in the hit comedy "The Freshman."

His crusades for civil rights, the American Indian and other causes kept him in the public eye throughout his career. So did his romances and marriages. He married actress Anna Kashfi in 1957, believing her to be East Indian. She was revealed to be Irish, and they separated a year later.

In 1960 he married a Mexican actress, Movita, who had appeared in the first "Mutiny on the Bounty." They were divorced after he met Tarita. All three wives were pregnant when he married them. He had nine children.

In May 1990, Brando's first son, Christian, shot and killed Dag Drollet, 26, the Tahitian lover of Christian's half sister Cheyenne, at the family's hilltop home above Beverly Hills. Christian, 31, claimed the shooting was accidental.

After a heavily publicized trial, Christian was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and use of a gun. He was sentenced to 10 years.

Before the sentencing, Marlon Brando delivered an hour of rambling testimony in which he said he and his ex-wife had failed Christian. He commented softly to members of the Drollet family: "I'm sorry. ... If I could trade places with Dag, I would. I'm prepared for the consequences."

Afterward, Drollet's father said he thought Marlon Brando was acting and his son was "getting away with murder."

The tragedy was compounded in 1995, when Cheyenne, said to still be depressed over Drollet's death, committed suicide. She was 25.

Details about funeral plans weren't disclosed and Seeley said arrangements would be private.

2nd July 2004 01:49 PM
MrPleasant I'm speechless.

RIP M.B. and God bless you.

2nd July 2004 01:54 PM
MrPleasant Los Angeles-AP -- Francis Ford Coppola knew Marlon Brando well -- directing him in "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now." He says Brando would "hate the idea of people chiming in to give their comments about his death."

So, Coppola says, all he'll say is that he's "sad" that Brando has died.

James Caan starred with Brando in "The Godfather" and they remained friends. He says Brando "influenced more young actors" of Caan's generation than any other actor. And, Caan says, "anyone who denies this never understood what it was all about."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
2nd July 2004 01:58 PM
shakedhandswithkeith RIP my hero!!
2nd July 2004 02:05 PM
Blind Dog McGhee Just heard yesterday he was in bad shape financially. What a shame. RIP
2nd July 2004 02:29 PM


"Hollywood is ruled by fear and love of money. But it can't rule me because I'm not afraid of anything and I don't love money."

Matt Cale is sad...

A true legend is gone. Marlon Brando, the man single-handedly responsible for changing the face of American acting, is dead at the age of 80. Of course, this is hardly a shock, as few could believe that a body that massive could ever hope to be supported by an old man’s fragile heart. And as we all know, he has been largely irrelevant as an actor in recent years, more famous for his pathological brood than anything he committed to celluloid. Since Apocalypse Now, really, he has been a colossal, ever-expanding joke -- phoning in less-than-stellar performances in such duds as Christopher Columbus: The Discovery and Don Juan DeMarco. He seemed to lose all interest in the craft, no doubt cackling with delight as he was able to extract exorbitant sums for cameo roles, more for his status as an icon than any quality he brought to the film. Like Coppola, his legend would have been far better served by a sudden death in the jungle. But like Francis is currently doing, Brando insisted on spending his remaining years embarrassing the hell out of himself and insisting that there was anyone left alive who still cared.

Despite the fall from grace in later years, Brando’s status must endure for his Don Corleone in The Godfather, as well as a string of hits in the 1950s that altered our perception of Hollywood. A Streetcar Named Desire started it all, and to this day I’d rank his Stanley with George C. Scott’s Patton as the best performance I’ve ever seen. He followed that masterpiece with Viva Zapata!, Julius Caesar, The Wild One, and On the Waterfront (his first Oscar). He made other, lesser films -- Desiree, Guys and Dolls, Sayonara, The Young Lions, One-Eyed Jacks (the only film he directed) -- but he was never anything less than the most interesting person on screen. He had a unique way of rising above the material, even when we were asked to accept him as a Mexican or even Napoleon. No one was more natural; and few could match his ability to project a coiled, unpredictable sexuality, as if it made perfect sense why he could get anything he wanted.

His run of Oscar nominations and box office hits ended abruptly in the 1960s, as he made a series of bad choices in films that few will remember in the decades to come. He did make Burn!, which near the end of his life (and in his autobiography) he said was his personal favorite, I imagine because it tackled racism, social justice, and economic exploitation, issues he continued to discuss as a social activist. And we all remember his childish behavior at the 1973 Oscars, where he sent up an actress he claimed was a Native American, all in the hope that we’d own up to our genocide. We laughed like hyenas instead. But such a stunt was pure Brando.

And then in 1973, he gave us a towering achievement once again with Last Tango in Paris, a role that matches his Vito and Stanley for intensity and lasting impact. His performance was so raw and so watchable that even the unfamiliar are somehow aware of the scene with the butter. As I’ve read in several reviews of that film, only Brando could have played the role, as no one else would have been so willing to suffer such indignities and vulnerability. Such a performance was all too rare for Brando, but few actors can point to the few successes he did have.

Sure, he was a bit nutty, most certainly a pig, and one of Hollywood’s greediest assholes. He sold his talents by the yard and was so contemptuous of the process that he rarely read scripts or showed up prepared. He knew that his very presence was intimidating, so he played along to make up for a decided lack of interest in what he was doing. His laziness could be confused for “craft” and his maniacal ramblings could be excused as “method.” But his impact remains undeniable and when he was on, no one did it better. And because he didn’t give a fuck, or believe in God, or kiss the ass of the Hollywood elite, he has my enduring respect. Even if he did appear in The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Fun Internet Brando Stuff

"When you deal with someone like Marlon, you expect quirkiness," Frank Oz said. "He is an extraordinary human being and an extraordinary actor. Were there problems? Sure, but not just Marlon. With Marlon, you just expect the fact that he's quirky. That's what happens with genius. They're not normal people. But he was gracious and very caring. Was it perfect? No. It was just out of differences of opinion on the creative aspect. Marlon's not the only person I've ever differed with. Marlon gets better press because he's more well known. He's a good hook for the press. It's unfair to him really."

Director Sets The Score Straight About Brando
11 July 2001 (WENN)
Movie director Frank Oz has slammed reports of Marlon Brando's crazy behavior on the set of The Score as greatly exaggerated. Brando has been accused of referring to Oz as Miss Piggy - after the Muppet Show character that Oz voiced - during filming, of refusing to wear pants to force the cameramen to film him from the waist up only, and of refusing to be directed by Oz and taking his directions from co-star Robert De Niro instead. Oz retorts, "You always have tricky moments with any movie, with any actors. Going in you know damn well you're going to have them, but that's what you look forward to because out of those moments come good stuff." But while the director says the 77-year-old didn't test his patience too badly, he concedes that movies can become all the better for off-screen conflict. And the film's producer Gary Foster agrees, saying, "Everybody was trying to make the movie as great as it could be. "When you have that kind of creative power, there's bound to be arguments. It's normal."

Brando Clashes With Muppet Man
10 July 2001 (WENN)
Screen legend Marlon Brando has clashed with his latest director on the set of The Score. According to reports in Time, the movie giant would refuse to come to the set if director Frank Oz was present, leaving co-star Robert De Niro to direct one of Brando's scenes. Oz - who started with Jim Henson and has voiced such famous Muppets as Grover and Miss Piggy, as well as Jedi master Yoda - watched from an offsite monitor and sent instructions to De Niro via an assistant director. When they were in the same room, Brando called Oz 'Miss Piggy.' The film stars Brando as an elderly gay crook orchestrating the biggest heist of his career, DeNiro as a thief ready for retirement and Edward Norton as an aspiring young thug. The 77-year-old Brando earned about $3 million for three weeks of work. The film cost nearly $70 million.

When Yoda And The Godfather Clashed
9 July 2001 (StudioBriefing)
If any of the high drama that played out behind the scenes of the upcoming The Score was captured by set photographers, the ensuing "making of" feature ought to make the DVD a best seller. As reported in the current issue of Time, feuding between costar Marlon Brando and director Frank Oz began shortly after Brando, who plays a homosexual crook, arrived on set made up, in Time's words, "like Barbara Bush doing her best Truman Capote impression." Oz told Time that he repeatedly asked Brando to tone down his performance. Although Brando obliged, Time reported, he often responded with a curt "F*** you" and sometimes referred to Oz on set as "Miss Piggy," one of the many characters the director performed in his younger days as Jim Henson's closest Muppet collaborator. In a separate interview with today's (Monday) Los Angeles Times, Oz remarked, "We had a difference in creative interpretation of the role ... and the producers backed me, which I'm grateful for. But that caused a rift between us. ... I think it was as much my fault as his fault."


Marlon Brando apparently brought in a note from his doctor saying that he was "allergic" to director Frank Oz on the set of the movie The Score because he didn't want the guy in the same room.
2nd July 2004 02:35 PM
Moonisup great movies! I watched Apocolypse now last week! Great movie. And the Godfather is along with once upon a time in America my fav. movie
2nd July 2004 02:38 PM

R.I.P. Marlon ( another native of Omaha , NE )


2nd July 2004 02:46 PM
Moonisup wrote:
great movies! I watched Apocolypse now last week! Great movie. And the Godfather is along with once upon a time in America my fav. movie

Did you know that Ennio Morricone's score for "Once upon a time" didn't win the (godawful) oscar because somebody FORGOT to register it?

Just like "Mrs. Robinson".

2nd July 2004 02:51 PM
MrPleasant wrote:

Did you know that Ennio Morricone's score for "Once upon a time" didn't win the (godawful) oscar because somebody FORGOT to register it?

Just like "Mrs. Robinson".

" I did NOT know that !!! "

Very skewed indeed .................................

Joey Carson !
2nd July 2004 02:56 PM
Joey wrote:

" I did NOT know that !!! "

Very skewed indeed .................................

Joey Carson !

It's a fact. Rare, since Mike Nichols (from The Graduate) deservingly won the award.
2nd July 2004 02:57 PM
MrPleasant wrote:

It's a fact. Rare, since Mike Nichols (from The Graduate) deservingly won the award.

Tell that to Martin Scorsese ( sic )
2nd July 2004 03:04 PM
Joey wrote:

Tell that to Martin Scorsese ( sic )

And Sidney Lumet, Stanley Kubrick, Peter O'Toole et al. But still, wise words indeed.
2nd July 2004 03:09 PM
MrPleasant wrote:

And Sidney Lumet, Stanley Kubrick, Peter O'Toole et al. But still, wise words indeed.

Sidney Lumet should have won in 1976 for " Network " , but as I look back on that year in cinema , Avildson DID do a great job in isolating the main character " Rocky " .

Jacky !
2nd July 2004 03:18 PM
Joey wrote:

Sidney Lumet should have won in 1976 for " Network " , but as I look back on that year in cinema , Avildson DID do a great job in isolating the main character " Rocky " .

Jacky !

Zero arguing. "Network" hasn't dated as good as Avildon's first installment.
2nd July 2004 03:41 PM
MrPleasant wrote:

Zero arguing. "Network" hasn't dated as good as Avildon's first installment.

" There are essentially three kinds of boxing movies: those that offer a grim, tell-it-as-it-is perspective of life in the ring, those that focus (often in an exaggerated fashion) on the business aspects of things, and those that seek to uplift through a rags-to-riches story. Rocky, the 1977 Best Picture Oscar winner, belongs unabashedly in the third category. Although the movie contains realistic elements and is set in a believable arena, it is essentially a fairy tale about a down-and-out pugilist who gets a chance at the fight of a lifetime, and, at the same time, wins the girl. Rocky certainly didn't invent all the sports movie clichés - they were around long before the mid-'70s - but it applied them in a way that captivated audiences and didn't seem over-the-top. Since 1976, nearly every film featuring a big sports comeback and triumph has been inspired by and/or compared to Rocky, regardless of whether it involves boxing or not.

According to writer Sylvester Stallone, the script for Rocky was developed over a short, three-day period. Stallone then shopped the project around, attaching himself as the star. Initially, United Artists wanted James Caan to play the title role, but, when Stallone wouldn't relent, production went ahead with a paltry budget of around $1 million. Stallone had the last laugh, however - with great reviews, exceptional word-of-mouth, and nine Oscar nominations, Rocky went on to earn back its cost by more than one hundred-fold. It also spun off four inferior sequels, the first three of which also made more than $100 million each at the box office. The series didn't die until 1990 when Rocky V took a nosedive off the Ben Franklin Bridge.

From a critical perspective, it's hard to justify Rocky's triumph as Best Picture at the 1977 Academy Awards ceremony. Two of its competitors, Taxi Driver and Network, were arguably better films, and certainly more "important." Nevertheless, Rocky was the underdog - the low-budget movie that could. In many ways, its grabbing the title belt of Best Picture was as unlikely as its main character going the distance with Apollo Creed. In the space of just a few months, the film went from being a minor release on United Artists' schedule to becoming a full-fledged cinematic phenomenon.

The aspect of Rocky that many people forget (especially those who have not watched the movie in years) is that it's as much a tender love story as it is about ring action. Rocky Balboa (Stallone) is a boxing bottomfeeder - someone who will fight anyone for a $50 purse. His lone ambition is to stay afloat. He lives in a one-room apartment with two turtles and a fish, and spends his days working as a collector for a South Philly loan shark. Mickey (Burgess Meredith), the crusty manager at the boxing club where he works out, is disgusted with Rocky, because he had the natural ability to become a great fighter, but threw it all away. When Rocky's attention isn't on fighting or his job, it's on wooing Adrian (Talia Shire), the painfully shy sister of his best friend, Paulie (Burt Young). Rocky is in love with her, but his inarticulate attempts to ask Adrian out frighten her off.

Rocky's fortunes change when Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), the World Heavyweight Champion, hand picks him as an opponent. A fight scheduled for January 1, 1976 (and dubbed the "Bicentennial Match") was to feature Creed against his #1 challenger, but injuries to the opponent cause him to back out five weeks before the event. In an attempt to salvage something, Creed decides to give a local Philadelphia fighter a chance, and Rocky's nickname of the "Itallion Stallion" catches his attention. As a result, a boxer with no apparent future suddenly has a chance at the World Championship title. From Rocky's perspective, however, winning is secondary. He wants one thing out of the fight with Apollo: the self-respect he can earn by going the distance. Even more than that, however, he wants to win Adrian's heart. That's why the film's final scene is less concerned with the result of the match than with the result of the romance.

Sylvester Stallone was not a complete unknown when he starred in Rocky, but he was not a household name. Rocky put him on the map. (Stallone's feature debut, the low-budget, pseudo porn film A Party at Kitty and Stud's, was re-released in 1976 as The Itallion Stallion, to capitalize on Stallone's newfound popularity.) Suddenly, he was a much sought-after talent. He used Rocky to launch a motion picture career that catapulted him to the highest orbit of action stars where, during the 1980s, his international fame was rivaled only by Schwarzenegger, and he ranked as one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. In Rocky, Stallone showed some legitimate acting talent - it would be 20 years before he tried another straightforward dramatic role in James Mangold's Copland.

The supporting cast featured a number of low-profile, character actors. The most recognizable and colorful of these was Burgess Meredith, whose portrayal of Mickey, the old timer who trained Rocky, presaged the tough, all-knowing trainers who would litter sports movies throughout the next 25 years. Talia Shire, known at the time as Micheal Corleone's sister in The Godfather movies, fashions Adrian as a very atypical love interest. Shy and withdrawn, Adrian never truly blossoms, not even in the full light of Rocky's love. Carl Weathers, who has since moved from the big screen to TV, plays the business savvy Creed, and Burt Young is the often drunk and occasionally abusive Paulie.

As important to Rocky as the stars is the setting. Nearly every frame of the film oozes Philadelphia, from the environs around Rocky's apartment to the Art Museum steps, atop which Rocky raises his arms in triumph as "Gonna Fly Now" reaches its climax. Philadelphia hasn't changed much in the past 25 years; there's still a strange, almost eerie sense of recognition of landmarks and familiar sights more than two decades later. Only the skyline, as seen from the Art Museum, is significantly different. Since Rocky, Philadelphia has received its share of screen exposure (most recently in The Sixth Sense), but the city will always be best known to movie buffs as Rocky's home. Even today, the Art Museum is one of Philadelphia's top tourist attractions, and many of the visitors aren't interested in going inside or seeing the exhibits. They're there to stand where Rocky stood and to gaze eastward.

What makes Rocky special is that it concentrates on characters, not sports. It would be disingenuous to say that the climactic boxing match is unimportant - it is, after all the movie's centerpiece - but that's not all Stallone's movie is about. There are only two fights - one at the beginning and one at the end. In between, every screen moment is used to develop Rocky as a person. He is not traditional hero material - he's crude, stupid, boorish, and has limited aspirations. Nevertheless, there's something likable about the guy, and it has its root in the gentle, caring way he treats Adrian. And it's this relationship that's the key to making Rocky's ending triumphant. He may lose the fight, but he gains so much more.

Throughout film history, boxing movies have often been about characters who regain self-respect and the respect of others through their activities in the ring. Unlike On the Waterfront and Raging Bull, Rocky is only about regrets and lost opportunities in that it gives the protagonist an opportunity to overcome these. Yet Rocky is not the ultimate "feel good" movie. If it was, Rocky would have won the fight and gotten the girl. With the ending, Stallone wanted to emphasize one of life's simplest lessons - that some things are more important than winning. It's a message that became diluted upon the release of Rocky II, when Stallone gave into public pressure and allowed the character to take the belt from Apollo - an unfortunate (yet perhaps inevitable) development.

Rocky is widely considered to be Stallone's movie - in addition to writing and starring in it, he also choreographed the boxing sequences. But he did not direct the movie. That job went to John Avildson, a filmmaker of no particular distinction at the time who was propelled by his success here to a modestly rewarding career. Avildson's work here should not be underestimated. Rocky has a lot of heart, and, while Stallone deserves some credit for this, Avildson's contributions were equally important. And the direction of the climactic fight is masterful - Avildson's handling of this 15-minute segment makes us believe we're watching a real boxing match. In addition to the adrenaline rush, there's the sense of not knowing who's going to emerge victorious. Following Rocky, Avildson found a niche directing sports movies. His other projects included three Karate Kid films, Rocky V, and 8 Seconds.

Considering what the Rocky series became - popcorn action films with little heart, less intelligence, and a lot of testosterone - it's a somewhat refreshing experience to go back and re-connect with the original, which offers a lot more substance than the sequels. Rocky is not a flawless motion picture, but it is a feel-good classic, and well worth another look. The basic storyline has been done to death over the years; this is still one of the most effective and successful applications of the formula. "

2nd July 2004 03:54 PM
MrPleasant Great article. Thanks Joey.
2nd July 2004 05:08 PM
Bloozehound "I'm feeling tragic like I'm Marlon Brando..."

The first Rocky is a great film all on it's own. I guess it's intregrity been bogged down since all those sequels. A while back I rented it along with parts 2, 3 & 4 on DVD - rewatched all of them one evening. It was a great action film fest, sloshing beer around, yelling at the screen rooting for Rocky.

I think I even jumped around shadow-boxing after each film like all the kids did when they'd come out of the theatre after seeing a Rocky film back then.

4th July 2004 07:52 AM
MarthaMyDear Goodbye to Adam, Adonis, and Hercules, ETC., all rolled into one!!! RIP to the best contender there was (and is)!!!

NATHAN DETROIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Oldest Established
(by: Nathan Lane)

The Biltmore garage wants a grand
But we ain't got a grand on hand.
And they now got a lock on the door
To the gym at P.S. 84.

There's the stock room behind the McCloskey's bar.
But Mrs. McCloskey ain't a good scout.
And things being how they are
The back of the police station is out!
So the Biltmore garage is the spot.
But the one thousand bucks we ain't got.

Why it's good old reliable Nathan!
Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, Detroit!
If you're looking for action, his firm is the spot.
Even when the heat is on, it's never too hot.
Not for good old reliable Nathan!
Where it's always just a short walk
To the oldest established, permanent floating,
Crap game in New York

There are well-heeled shooters everywhere, everywhere
There are well-heeled shooters everywhere.
And an awful lot of lettuce
For the fella who can get us there.
If we only had a lousy little grand
We could be a millionaire!

That's good old reliable Nathan!
Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, Detroit!
If the size of your bundle you want to increase
He'll arrange that you go broke in quiet and peace
In a hideout provided by Nathan
Where there are no neighbors to squawk.
It's the oldest established permanent floating
Crap game in New York.

Where's the action? Where's the game?
Gotta have the game
Of we'll die from shame.
It's the oldest established, permanent floating
Crap game in New York!

This pic's for Gary!!! :

*** Martha ***

[Edited by MarthaMyDear]
4th July 2004 10:24 AM
MarthaMyDear I've been watching a bunch of biographies on TV about Brando since he passed away and one of the most HILARIOUS things I may have ever heard ANYONE EVER say was when he said something like this in an interview: When I draw my last breath, I'll probably say, "What was THAT all about?!".

ROTFLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK THAT KILLS ME!!!!!!!! LAUGHING!!!!!!!!!!!! ROTFLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was one of the few famous people I have never met or seen close in person, etc., who I wanted to meet... Well, I can't now and that's FUCKED!!!!!!! RIP, MARLON BRANDO!!! It's really sad!!!

*** Martha ***
4th July 2004 03:28 PM
MarthaMyDear Luck Be A Lady
(by: Peter Gallagher)

They call you Lady Luck.
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very unladylike way of running out
You're this a date with me
The pickings have been lush
And yet before this evening is over you might give me the brush
You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay and so the best that I can to is pray.
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck be a lady tonight
Luck if you've ever been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight.
Luck let a gentleman see
How nice a dame you can be
I've seen the way you've treated other guys you've been with
Luck be a lady with me.
A lady doesn't leave her escort
It isn't fair, it isn't nice
A lady doesn't wander all over the room
And blow on some other guy's dice.
So let's keep the party polite
Never get out of my sight
Stick with me baby, I'm the fellow you came in with
Luck be a lady
Luck be a lady
Luck be a lady tonight.
Luck be a lady tonight.
Luck be a lady tonight.
Luck, if you've ever been a lady to begin with
Luck be a lady tonight.
Luck let a gentleman see
Luck let a gentleman see
How nice a dame you can be
How nice a dame you can be
I know the way you've treated other guys you've been with
Luck me a lady, a lady, be a lady with me.
Luck be a lady with me
A Lady wouldn't flirt with strangers
She'd have a heart, she'd have a soul
A lady wouldn't make little snake eyes at me
When I've got my life on this roll.
Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em, snake eyes
Roll 'em, roll 'em, roll 'em!
So let's keep the party polite
Let's keep the party polite
Never get out of my sight
Never get out of my sight.
Stick here, baby, stick here, baby.
Stick with me, baby, I'm the fellow you came in with
Luck be a lady
Luck be a lady
Luck be a lady tonight.
Coming out, coming out, coming out

*** Martha ***
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