Rocky is a movie made in 1976 starring Sylvester Stallone about a boxer Rocky Balboa. The movie exhibits the classic underdog story and the American Dream. Rocky is a good guy that works hard but hasn’t caught a lot of breaks. However, he gets a chance to fight against the world heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed. Rocky uses this chance to make something of himself and he goes the distance with the best fighter in the world.
Rocky may be best known for its theme song, “Gonna Fly Now.” The song was nominated for an academy award, and was ranked 58th on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Songs list. The song plays while Rocky trains for his fight against Apollo Creed. “The pitch, volume, and tempo can strongly affect our responses to any given noise.” (Giannetti, 208) In “Gonna Fly Now,” the music starts slow and soft as Rocky just begins his training but builds as he grows stronger. This is a pathos argument that increases the excitement of the viewer. As the music builds so does the excitement of the viewer as they see Rocky grow stronger. The music climaxes when Rocky reaches the top of the stairs and puts his hands up in the iconic victory pose as if he has conquered his training and is ready to fight. The music is dominated by trumpets and electric guitars. The trumpets present an ethos argument of credibility because they relate the viewer to triumphant fanfare. Viewers are used to hearing trumpets when people are victorious, and in this scene from Rocky, the trumpets lend credibility to Rocky conquering his training. The music also stands as a logos argument. Viewers logically assume that as the music grows in strength so does Rocky.
Rocky matches Apollo Creed’s skill by his ability to take seemingly unlimited punishment, and Rocky goes the distance with Apollo Creed. After the final bell sounds, fans rush the ring and the song “The Final Bell” plays. It is an upbeat song that signifies Rocky’s success against Apollo Creed, and even more so the success of a poor Italian immigrant working hard and rising to fame. The quick beat of the song represents a pathos argument that keeps the excitement from the fight going for the viewer. The higher pitch of the song creates a happy atmosphere that accompanies the celebration of the fans. The playful tune creates a logos argument that states that if the song is happy then the viewer should be happy too. Rocky calls out to his girlfriend Adrian, and the music provides a positive feeling towards their relationship. The happy nature of the song also provides an ethos argument that gives credibility to Rocky as a good person that the audience should be happy for. “The Final Bell” is a good way to end the movie because it is a quick upbeat song that leaves the viewer feeling happy. The audience leaves the movie feeling good about the success of Rocky.
I give the Rocky soundtrack 3 out of 5 slurpees. While the soundtrack produced a classic in “Gonna Fly Now,” the soundtrack doesn’t have many other memorable songs other than “The Final Bell.” The soundtrack also does not have a lot of depth. It features a love song, but other than that there are very few dramatic songs. As an older movie, a lot of the scenes do not even have background music. The fight features very little if any music, and is fought using the noise of the crowd as almost the whole background. I think “Gonna Fly Now” and “The Final Bell” do a good job of presenting rhetorical arguments, but the rest of the soundtrack struggles.