Rocky

Rocky

1976 was a great year for movies because there really was something for everyone, from sports films, to political thrillers, horror movies to great biopics. Hard to believe that all of these films are now forty years old.

Yes, a whole host of movies are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and we take a look at some of the best from 1976. Do you have a favourite from that year?

- Rocky

Rocky is one of the most iconic boxing movies of all time and is the role for which Sylvester Stallone will forever be synonymous.

Rocky was released in 1976 in the U.S. but UK audiences had to wait until February 1977 until they got the chance to see Stallone in action.

Stallone took on the central role of Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer who get the chance to fight Apollo Creed for the heavyweight title. It was a fight that was to change his career.

Rocky saw John G. Avildsen back in the director's chair while Stallone penned the screenplay as well as taking on the title role. He was joined on the cast list by Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, and Burgess Meredith.

I love an underdog story and there is no film that does that better than Rocky. There is a raw and gritty feel to this movie as the central character struggles to make a living boxing.

There is something incredibly human about this story and Stallone created one of cinema's most iconic characters in Balboa. He is a man with heart and charm and all of that pours off the screen during his performance.

For me, Rocky remains the best film in the series and is perhaps Stallone's greatest big screen performance. Rocky has gone on to become one of the greatest boxing movies of all time and is a true icon of this genre of film.

It was a big box office success and went on to be nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for Stallone. It would win three; Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing.

The movie grossed over $117 million at the box office and was the highest-grossing movie of the year.

Rocky

- Taxi Driver

'You talkin' to me?' Is one of the most famous and most quoted line in movie history and is said by Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver.

Taxi Driver was only the fourth feature film of Martin Scorsese's career and it was his second collaboration with De Niro; their first being Mean Streets in 1973.

De Niro has delivered some truly wonderful performances during his career, but his turn as Travis Bickle is up there amongst his best work.

Bickle is one of the most complex and intriguing characters of all time, a Vietnam veteran who is angry with the world and slowly loses his human side.

It is a truly haunting performance from de Niro and one that you will remember long after the credits have rolled. This movie takes you into the psyche of Bickle and you go on a real psychological journey with this troubled character.

Taxi Driver is widely recognised as one of the greatest movies of all time and is De Niro's most famous big screen performance.

The movie went on to be nominated for four Oscars; Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Score - remarkably, it would fail to take home a single gong.

Taxi Driver

- All The President's Men

When it comes to political thrillers, there are few that rival All The President's Men and it is hard to believe that this movie is already forty years old.

Directed by Alan J. Pakula, All The President's Men told the true story of Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who uncover details of the Watergate scandal, which would bring down Richard Nixon.

The movie was based on true events and the book by Bernstein and Woodward - all of which was adapted into a screenplay by William Goldman.

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman teamed up to take on the central roles of Woodward and Bernstein, while Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, and Jason Robards were just some of the other names that were on the cast list.

All The President's Men is a tense, suspenseful, and riveting film that is not only one of the best political thrillers of all time, but it is also one of the best journalism movies of all time.

For me, All The President's Men is a movie that has never been equalled and is as terrific a watch today as it was when it was first released back in 1976.

Redford and Hoffman are terrific as the two crusading journalists who are determined to get to the truth - no matter what the outcome or the consequences. There is a great chemistry between the pair and it is this central relationship that really pushes the film forward.

The movie was met with critical acclaim upon release and went on to be nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture. While it would miss out on Best Picture, it won Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Art-Direction.

All The President's Men

- Carrie

The seventies was a great decade for horror movies and Carrie is one of the most iconic to have been released during that time - terrifying a generation of cinema-goers.

Carrie was an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King and saw Brian De Palma in the director's chair; it was the ninth movie of his filmmaking career.

While Sissy Spacek was no stranger to acting and the big screen when she took on the role of Carrie, it was to be one of the biggest roles of her earlier career. She was joined on the cast list by Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, William Katt, and John Travolta.

Carrie White, a shy, friendless 17-year-old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

Carrie is a fantastic revenge movie that really will have you jumping out of your seat.

At the same time, it is an emotionally engaging story as the plot explores teenage angst, high school bullying and trying to figure out your place in the world.

From start to finish De Palma has crafted a movie that is packed with suspense as well as being creepy and incredibly unsettling.

Carrie is widely regarded as one of the best horror movies of all time and Spacek and Laurie picked up Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations for their performances.

Carrie

- Bound for Glory

One of the best biopic movies to be released in 1976 came in the form of Bound for Glory, which was based on the early life of Woody Guthrie.

Bound for Glory was the fifth feature film of Hal Ashby's career and saw David Carradine take on the central role of Woody.

The movie is based on the autobiography This Land is Your Land by Guthrie, which was adapted into a screenplay by Robert Getchell.

Set during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Guthrie leaves his family behind in Texas to travel to California looking for work. Writing and singing about the struggles and the injustices along the way, Guthrie's protest music started to find an audience.

Bound for Glory is a movie that really does capture Depression-era America and the struggle that so many faced beautifully. The director paints a picture of the time as much as he paints a picture of the man.

David Carradine delivers one of the performances of his career as Guthrie, a man who used music to tell his story. It is a captivating performance that really draws audiences in.

Bound For Glory went on to be nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture; winning Best Cinematography and Best Music.

Bound for Glory

- The Omen

The Omen was another horror film to be released in 1976 that was to be met with acclaim and is another classic in the genre.

The Omen marked the return of Richard Donner to the director's chair in what was his first cinema feature film since Twinky in 1970. David Seltzer was also on board, having penned the screenplay.

Harvey Stephens took on the now iconic role of Damien and was joined on the cast list by Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, and Patrick Troughton.

The young son of an American diplomat and his wife, living in London, turns out to be marked with the sign of Satan, the infamous "666". It soon becomes apparent that he could be the Anti-Christ incarnate and possesses the evil powers to stop anyone who stands in his way.

The Omen is an unnerving and chilling movie that boasts some of the most memorable movie deaths of all time.

For me, it is Stephens who is the star of this film as he will send a shiver down your spine as Damien; a truly creepy performance from start to finish.

While we have seen The Omen remade in recent years, it never quite captures the tension and the chills of the first.

Upon release in 1976, The Omen was met with critical acclaim and went on to gross over $60 million at the box office. It ended 1976 as the fifth highest-grossing film of the year.

The Omen

Other 1976 movies include To Fly!, A Star is Born, King Kong, and Network.


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