DStv brings you the greatest sports movies on SuperSports

Put your gloves up, as SuperSport 1's festival of the greatest sports movies of all time brings you the first five Rocky films, spanning from Monday 20 April to Friday 24 April.

Don't miss the first screenings from Monday to Friday, 20-24 April at 07:30 PM on SuperSport 1. But don't worry if you do because you can relive all the drama on Catch Up.

The original Rocky from 1976, directed by John G. Avildsen and written by lead actor Sylvester Stallone, tells the rags-to-riches tale of Rocky Balboa, a working-class Italian-American who rises from being a debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia to challenge world heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) – and along the way he even finds love with Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire), a part-time worker at Rocky's local pet store.

Rocky was a surprise hit and returned an incredible box office total of $225million (an astounding total, considering it was made for a meagre budget of $1million), making it the highest-grossing film of 1976. It received 10 Academy Award nominations and won three, including the coveted Best Picture gong.

"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" state review website Rotten Tomatoes.

Rocky's success spanned a series of films (a further five, culminating in 2006's Rocky Balboa) as well as the spin-offs Creed and Creed IIRocky II (1979) sees our eponymous hero marry Adrian and fulfil his destiny by defeating Apollo Creed to become the undisputed heavyweight world champion.

Rocky III (1982) features the rise of James 'Clubber' Lang (played by Mr T), who forces Rocky to dig deep and call on his old rival Apollo to coach him, while Rocky IV (1985) is a metaphor for the thawing of the Cold War, as Rocky heads to the Soviet Union to put his title on the line against the machine-like Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren).

SuperSport 1's Rocky binge wraps up with Rocky V (1990) on Friday, in which the retired Balboa trains an up-and-coming fighter Tommy Gun (played by Tommy Morrison) but watches his protégé become corrupted by a sleazy promoter.

Rocky in numbers

1 – Rocky was the ninth highest-grossing film of 1976.

3 – Rocky won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing.

14 – The number of years spanned from the release of Rocky in 1976 to the release of Rocky V in 1990.

94%  – The approval rating of the original Rocky film on review website Rotten Tomatoes.

1 million – The stated budget of the original Rocky film in US Dollars.

225 million – The stated worldwide box office return of the original Rocky film in US Dollars.

Rocky trivia

– In 2006, Rocky was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

– The Survivor song Eye of the Tiger is synonymous with the Rocky series of movies but only featured from the third film. It became a smash hit single, topping the U.S. Billboard charts and receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

– Rocky is considered to be one of the greatest sports films ever made and was ranked as the second-best in the genre, after Raging Bull, by the American Film Institute in 2008.

 

Broadcast details

Monday 20 April

07:30: Rocky – SuperSport 1

Tuesday 21 April

07:30: Rocky II – SuperSport 1

Wednesday 22 April

07:30: Rocky III – SuperSport 1

Thursday 23 April

07:30: Rocky IV – SuperSport 1

Friday 24 April

07:30: Rocky V – SuperSport 1

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