Monday, March 09, 2009

'Rocky' to be Broadcast on Saturday

Alec Baldwin is the celebrity guest on Turner Classic Movies' "The Essentials" series this month, and he has a special presentation planned this Saturday. If there are any underdog basketball teams still playing in their conference tournaments this weekend, they should watch Baldwin's movie selection this Saturday for inspiration.

It's "Rocky."

Thirty-three years after it was made, it's hard to explain to anyone who wasn't there how remarkable that movie was and how astonishing it was that it won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It had to beat some real heavyweights — "All the President's Men," "Taxi Driver," "Network" and "Bound for Glory."

So did director John Avildsen, who took home the Oscar after beating Ingmar Bergman, Sidney Lumet, Alan J. Pakula and Lina Wertmüller.

It wasn't Sylvester Stallone's movie debut, but it was the film that really brought him to the attention of movie audiences of the 1970s. And it's the best movie he ever made. He didn't win Best Actor for his performance — he lost to the deceased star of "Network," Peter Finch. And everyone knows it's tough to beat a dead guy (think Heath Ledger) — especially when the dead guy is being recognized for a legendary performance, as Finch was.

"Rocky" can still get your blood racing, just as it did in 1976. Don't miss it.