Director John G. Avildsen's ROCKY is the stand-up-and-cheer saga of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), an underdog boxer who gets his million-to-one shot at love, self-respect, and the world heavyweight title. Rocky is a down-on-his-luck Philadelphia southpaw who works at a meat-packing factory while fighting at a local club. He's given the chance of a lifetime when the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), chooses him as an unlikely opponent in his championship bicentennial fight. What was originally planned as a publicity stunt becomes a chance for Rocky to prove himself as a prizefighter while training with his cantankerous manager, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), to rise to the challenge. Thrilling scenes of Rocky's arduous training, including his unforgettable run up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, are interspersed with a sweet and touching love story between the fighter and his best friend's shy sister, Adrian (Talia Shire). With the love of Adrian on his side, Rocky struggles to overcome the odds, fighting with all his heart in the glorious and brutal finale. Shot with gritty realism on the mean streets of Philadelphia, ROCKY introduced a new American cinematic hero, spurred on by rollicking action sequences and a rousing soundtrack. A triumph for star and screenwriter Stallone, who himself came from nowhere to reach the top, ROCKY is crowd-pleasing entertainment at its finest.