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Sunday, August 25, 2002
Updated: August 26, 12:06 PM ET
Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time


OUR COUNTDOWN: 20 | 19 | 18 | 17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

No. 2: Rocky (204 points)

Year released: 1976.

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith, Burt Young.

What we like: The understated homemade feel of it ... it looks like an underdog picture; it also boasts the best soundtrack of any sports movie; Stallone is the lovable lughead of an underdog who will register with the everyman inside all of us; of course, Weathers steals the show as Apollo, the over-the-top villain whom we love while we're rooting against him at the same time; Meredith is one of the best "coaches" in movie history.

What we're willing to overlook: It eventually gave birth to "Rocky IV" and "Rocky V" -- imagine how great we'd consider the original if they hadn't made all those sequels (although "Rocky II" and "Rocky III" are both worthy efforts).


Not only was it the most influential sports movie of all-time, it might have been the most influential movie of the past 25 years when you consider all the "Rocky" ripoffs produced since 1976. -- Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons

Such a great contrast between Rocky's small-time life and Apollo's big-time personality. The brilliance of the movie is that they're both appealing -- some days I wanted to be Rocky, some days I wanted to be Apollo. -- Page 2 columnist Eric Neel

Tapped into a reservoir, a walled-in dam of backlash emotion in a world shaken to foundations by Ali, two decades after Marciano. In a way, it's a soothing picture, everything comfortably back in its rightful psychic order. The ultimate feel-good story. -- Page 2 columnist Ralph Wiley

I think the way it was done -- dark and understated -- added to the humor and Stallone's charm. Somehow he managed to be the typical "tough guy with a sensitive side" without being a cliché. "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind marrying me very much" is among the best lines in movie history. Plus, he doesn't win, and that's not only groundbreaking, it's crucial. -- Page 2 columnist Bob Halloran

A few years ago, I was in Philadelphia, and, of course, I had to go run up the steps at the art museum. If that sounds corny ... well, consider the fact that dozens of other people were doing the exact same thing on a sunny Sunday afternoon. That tells you the power that this movie still holds on us 25 years later. -- Page 2 editor Kevin Jackson

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