Picks and Pans Review: Rocky Introduced a Heavyweight

updated 03/07/1994 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/07/1994 01:00AM

"I knew Rocky was a great movie," says Burt Young, who played Sylvester Stallone's grubby best friend in the Oscar-winning sleeper. "It was eloquent in its simplicity." So simple, it boiled down to this: Rocky Balboa, a no-account fighter from Philly, makes it to the big ring and comes out a champ, clasping his girl (Talia Shire) in his big, bruised arms. The ultimate winner, though, was Stallone, then a 30-year-old unknown who'd spent years trying to get his script produced. He went on to display more muscle—physically, and as producer-writer-director—in four Rocky sequels and three Rambo movies, and is now a worldwide box office idol. None of this surprises Young, 53. "Stallone didn't know what it was like not to be a director, even when he wasn't directing, "he says. "The verve!"

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