In 1976, “Rocky” became the rare movie to win both the box-office crown and the Best Picture Oscar, a feat that looks even more impressive with each passing year. Can you imagine that happening today? It remains the most influential film of the franchise, inspiring nine installments with Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and Adonis Creed.
This Wednesday night, the groundbreaking movie screens at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, featuring live accompaniment by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra playing Bill Conti’s iconic score.
The wailing horns and chilling strings of “Philadelphia Morning” contain the underdog secret to life: wake up early to outwork the competition. Don’t chug raw eggs, but make sure you stretch before heading to Merriweather.
“Gonna Fly Now” paved the way for every movie training montage, sending Sylvester Stallone soaring up the steps with one of the very first Steadicam shots tracking beside him, then circling behind him for that iconic pose. You might just be inspired to run the stairs of Merriweather Post Pavilion and strike the pose atop the lawn!
Before it was sampled by Puff Daddy and the Notorious B.I.G., “Going the Distance” got us jacked for the thrilling in-ring action as Rocky Balboa pounded Apollo Creed for a shocking underdog performance that almost upset the champ. Don’t be surprised if you see folks standing and cheering in their seats at Merriweather during the climax.
It all culminates with “The Final Bell” as Rocky and Adrian embrace, reminding us that this isn’t just a sports movie but a gritty romance, freeing each other from their metaphorical pet-shop cages early in the film. As the credits roll, the sound of the ring announcer fades to the background as we can barely hear him declare Creed the winner. Instead, we hear Rocky and Adrian shout, “I love you!” — the perfect time to kiss your date at Merriwether.
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