Rocky II [1979]

The only remaining evidence that Sylvester Stallone might have had a respectable career, this 1976 Oscar winner (for Best Picture, Director, and Editing) is still the quintessential ode to an underdog and one of the best boxing movies ever made. After writing the script about a two-bit boxer who gets a "million-to-one shot" against the world heavyweight champion, Stallone insisted that he star in the title role, and his equally unknown status helped to catapult him (and this rousing film) to overnight success. The story is familiar, but it has been handled with such vitality and emotional honesty that you can't help but leap and cheer for Rocky Balboa, the chump turned champ (despite his valiant defeat in the ring) who stuns the boxing world with the support of his timid girlfriend, Adrian (Talia Shire), and grizzled trainer, Gus (Burgess Meredith). Oscar nominations went to all the lead actors (including Burt Young as Adrian's hot-tempered brother), but four sequels could never top the universal appeal of this low-budget crowd pleaser. --Jeff Shannon

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Mickey:
Hey Rock. It's three in the morning. I went up to your house there and they told me you was here. It's a 3:00am kid. You know that Adrian, she's a good girl. Me, you know I'm sorry for both of ya. There's nothing I can do about it. Except uh I wanna tell you this once and then uh I ain't gonna say it again. But Rock you got another shot. This is the second shot. At uh I don't know the biggest title in the world, and you're gonna be swappin' punches with, with the most dangerous fighter in the world. And just in case you know your brain ain't workin' so good. All this happens pretty soon and you ain't ready. You know you're no where near in shape. So I say for God's sake. Why don't you stand up and fight this guy HARD? Like you done before that was beautiful! But don't lay down like this! Like uh I don't know like some kind of mongrel or something. Cause he's gonna kick your face in pieces! That's right! This guy doesn't just wanna win you know, he wants to bury ya, he wants to humiliate ya, he wants to prove to the whole world that you was nothin but some kind of freak the first time out. He said you were a one time lucky bum! Well now I don't wanna get mad in a biblical place like this. But I think you're a hell of a lot more than that kid! A hell of a lot! But now wait a minute if you wanna blow this thing if you wanna blow it then damn it I'm gonna blow it with ya. If you wanna stay here I'll stay with ya. I stay with ya. I'll stay and pray. What do I got to lose?

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