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Di­rec­tor John Avild­sen’s 1976 film is best known as the ve­hi­cle that jump-started writer and star Sylvester Stal­lone’s ac­tion-movie ca­reer, but what peo­ple may not re­mem­ber (aside from the fact that it’s a bit slow-moving) is that it’s pri­mar­ily a sweet, un­con­ven­tional love story. Rocky (Stal­lone) and his beau Adrian (Talia Shire) are lonely souls with thick ac­cents who meet and fall slowly in love. The third star, much like in the re­cent fran­chise in­stall­ment Creed, is the city of Philadel­phia, which is vividly re­al­ized with equal help­ings of heart and grit. There’s also a lot of boxing and a story of an un­der­dog pugilist who gets a shot at the big time, and that stuff isn’t half-bad, ei­ther. Rated PG. 120 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Ker)

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