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A Guide To The Career Of Sylvester Stallone

Aug 30, 2008
Sly Stallone hit the big 62 this year, coinciding with the release of Rambo which comes 26 years after the release of First Blood. The Stallone career has spanned four decades and he started out in the gritty melting pot that was post-war Hells Kitchen in New York. He was adamant about becoming an actor and after some small bit appearances he managed to find his big break alongside Henry Winkler in a film called Lords of Flatbush.

It was not only acting that he was interested in and he started banding around ideas for scripts and in 1975 Stallone saw the Ali vs Wepner fight which set his creative juices flowing. He wrote and starred in Rocky the story of an underdog boxer which set up one of the most lucrative film franchises of all time. Stallone became the third person ever to be nominated for writing and acting in the same year, alongside Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles.

The post-Rocky career saw him take much more creative control of his projects. He followed the success with FIST and Paradise Alley in 1978 and then Rocky II in 1979, all of which he wrote, directed and starred in. He then did Nighthawks and Victory in the next two years until 1982 when he release Rocky III and First Blood, establishing the Rambo phenomenon.

Again he wrote and directed both of these films, First Blood grossed over 47 million dollars in box office sale then 23 million in rentals and Rocky III grossed 125 million at the box office and 66 million in rentals. This combined hall of over 261 million dollars truly established Stallone as an movie franchise and this continued into the 1990s.

He opened the 90s with the fifth instalment of the Rocky series then has a series of box office smashes including Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, The Specialist, Judge Dredd, Assassins, Daylight, Cop Land and Get Carter. It is easy to forget how many successful films Stallone has made however not all industry commentators see it the same way, he was awarded the Razzie for worst actor of the century with 30 Nominations and 10 awards.

Sylvester Stallone is not for everyone however you cannot deny his path from Hells Kitchen NY to a seat of extreme power in Hollywood. He was also a founding member the of the Planet Hollywood franchise with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. With the release of Rocky Balboa in 2006 and Rambo in 2008, Stallone should probably not expect any more Oscar nominations but he can expect a hefty pay day as Rambo V is currently in pre-production.
About the Author
Dominic Donaldson is a retailer of home cinema equipment and provides advice on all aspects of the film industry.
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