Top 10 Movie Characters – #10 Rocky Balboa

Here is my personal list, one at a time, of the top ten movie characters ever. However, feel free to agree or offer better choices and argument. SPOILER CAUTION! The content below may give away some of the plot of the film(s) concerned.

No.9 – Fletch >>>



The ‘Italian Stallion’, Rocky Balboa, is a screen character everybody loves and cares for. He is the epitome of the underdog winning against seemingly unsurpassable obstacles, which in his case are other boxers who are bigger, faster and more skilled in boxing. However, what Rocky has is more heart, grit and determination than anyone and will take all the punches that come his way and still be the last man standing. He is an inspirational character that will want to make even the laziest people get up off their ass and do something positive!


The original Rocky made in 1976, written by and starring Sylvester Stallone, won the Oscar for Best Picture and the story was inspired by the true life boxing fight between Chuck Wepner and Muhammad Ali that occurred the year before. Chuck was 36 and at the end of his rather average boxing career and no one thought he would last more than three rounds against Ali, but he made it to the 15th round and even knocked down the Champ all whilst with a broken nose and large gashes above both eyes.


Philadelphian Rocky Balboa is even more of an underdog as a hugely struggling boxer who earns a living working in a meat factory and doing a bit of debt collecting for a loan shark too. Even his coach Mickey (played by Burgess Meredith) at his local gym doesn’t believe in him anymore, when current heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers), is looking for a gimmick fight and decides to give a nobody a chance to fight against the very best in the world. Apollo is an intelligent, articulate and highly skilled fighter whereas Rocky is none of these things, but with Mickey’s renewed belief in him, he trains like he has never done before and gives Apollo the fight of his life, going the distance and winning over the respect of everyone, and especially himself.


Rocky over the 6 films (Rocky, II, III, IV, V and finally Rocky Balboa) has battled against Apollo Creed twice, Clubber Lang (played my Mr. T who famously says “I pity the fool”), the towering Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), poverty, brain damage and Tommy Gunn (real life boxer Tommy Morrison) and then finally old age and Mason Dixon (played by Light Heavyweight Champion Antonio Tarver.


As well as being a great fighter, Rocky is also a sweet person, a catholic and a good friend to his pals Paulie (Burt Young), his trainer Mickey and his former adversary Apollo as well as being half of the sweetest and nicest marriage in film history. He and Adrian Balboa (played by Talia Shire) are simply adorable and Rocky’s love and respect for his wife clearly shines through as he goes through his various struggles.


Rocky is a true inspiration and I feel good after watching every one of the films, even Rocky V which is a bit rubbish.

Jake McMillan

No.9 – Fletch >>>

One response to “Top 10 Movie Characters – #10 Rocky Balboa

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