I remember seeing this commercial for The Lord of Flatbush, and even remember a 15-second version of the ad; I could sing that iteration of the theme song, and even the fact that the movie was rated PG.
Flatbush was a 1974 movie starring Henry Winkler (3rd from the left), released on 1 May, which, oddly, I never saw. He was looking very much like Arthur Fonzarelli, a minor character turned into a breakout star on a TV show called Happy Days later that year.
Another actor in that film was Sylvester Stallone (2nd from the left). I must have seen him in Bananas as Subway Thug #1 or in Klute as a Discotheque Patron. He was uncredited in both of those 1971 films.
The first movie I saw Sly Stallone where I knew his name was Rocky in 1977. Not only did he play the boxer Rocky Balboa, who gets a chance to fight the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, but he also wrote the story. I watched the film at a movie theater in Charlotte, NC with my mother. She liked it too.
Stallone was nominated for two Academy Awards, for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Rocky was eventually “inducted into the National Film Registry as well as having its film props placed in the Smithsonian Museum.”
The only other films of Stallone’s I’ve ever seen involve him playing Balboa. Rocky II (1979) I liked, Rocky III (1982), with Mr. T was OK, but IV (1985), with Dolph Lundgren and Brigitte Nielsen, soon to be the second of Stallone’s three wives, I thought was schlock.
“Stallone’s use of the front entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Rocky series led the area to be nicknamed the Rocky Steps. Philadelphia has a statue of his Rocky character placed permanently near the museum.” When The Wife and The Daughter went to Philadelphia in late April 2016, they made the pilgrimage to the site, though The Daughter probably didn’t get the significance.
“It was announced on December 7, 2010, that Stallone was voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the non-participant category.”
Except for his voicework in Antz (1998), I never saw another Stallone film until Creed (2015), which was surprisingly good. Nope, no Rambo or Expenditures franchises in my viewing queue, most of which he also wrote.
My admiration for Stallone comes in part from this: “Complications his mother suffered during labor forced her obstetricians to use two pairs of forceps during his birth; misuse of these accidentally severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of Stallone’s face. As a result, the lower left side of his face is paralyzed – including parts of his lip, tongue, and chin – an accident which has given Stallone his snarling look and slightly slurred speech.” He’s a lot smarter than most people gave him credit for.
Happy birthday to Sylvester Stallone.