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From the Movie Archives: Vincent Canby Slams ‘Rocky’

Mr. Stallone’s Rocky is less a performance than an impersonation. It’s all superficial mannerisms and movements, reminding me of Rodney Dangerfield doing a nightclub monologue… Throughout the movie we are asked to believe that his Rocky is compassionate, interesting, even heroic, though the character we see is simply an unconvincing actor imitating a lug.

Ouch! From the NY TImes archives, Vincent Canby reviews Rocky in 1976.

(Roger Ebert, on the other hand, compared Stallone to a young Marlon Brando.  Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated beefed about Rocky’s punch selection.)

Sylvester Stallone got the last laugh, in any case: Rocky won the Oscar for best picture, and Stallone was nominated as best actor.

See photos of Rocky Balboa >>

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