The Number Ones: Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)”

Nov 08, 2019 254

BY: Tom Breihan

There’s a moment in the 1976 movie Rocky where the film we’re watching stops being a product of the American new wave and where it transforms before our eyes into the future of cinema. That moment is the training montage. Up until the training montage, Rocky belongs within the ranks of the ’70s dramas that clearly inspired it.

It’s a grey, ugly, slow-moving character study about a punchy, dimwitted lug. Rocky is a go-nowhere boxer and a small-time criminal. He can’t talk to girls. He yammers nervously, perpetually, in a slurry mutter of a voice. He’s a mess, and his life is not together at all. That’s why we like him. He’s a spiritual descendent of someone like Ernest Borgnine in Marty. But in the training montage, he becomes something else.

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