All screenings on Sunday, October 2, and every Monday are VacCinema and require proof of vaccination.
Rocky (1976)
Rocky (1976)
Rocky (1976)
Rocky (1976)
Rocky (1976)
Rocky (1976)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:

Monday, November 28, 2022, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm  
Instructor: Jennifer Fleeger, Ph.D., Media and Communication Studies, Ursinus College

This seminar is being offered on a VacCinema day at BMFI, when only fully vaccinated students may attend on site. Each individual will be asked to show proof of vaccination by presenting their vaccination card or a clear photo of it, as well as photo ID, prior to entering BMFI. Please arrive early to allow adequate time for this process. You may visit the VacCinema page for further information.


Sylvester Stallone’s character Rocky established the archetype for the quintessential Philadelphia hero: the passionate underdog with a will to survive and no need for glory. How did Rocky (1976) become the classic Philadelphia story? We will talk about how the film’s scrappy origins—Stallone’s screenplay and casting demands—mirror the story of the film itself, which went on to win three Academy Awards.

Despite its low cost, the value of Bill Conti’s score is not to be overlooked in the film’s success, and we will analyze the way the music contributes to an interpretation of Rocky’s motivation. We will touch on the real fight that inspired the film and the history of boxing films, which played a major role in early cinema. We will also discuss the representation of race, class, and gender in the film, all of which are complicated through the lens of the 21st century, but all of which helped construct a particular image of America at its bicentennial.

Although the locations selected for shooting are often gritty, Rocky is a stunningly beautiful film, made even more striking by the use of the then-new Steadicam in Rocky’s training scenes. We will discuss how Rocky characterizes the city of Philadelphia, how particular sites were transformed into iconic landmarks, and how the city has responded to the legacy of this film about which Roger Ebert wrote, “It’s a legend, it’s about little people, but it’s bigger than life.”

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Additional showtimes can be found here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

If you are unable to attend this seminar on site, you can rent and stream it in our Remote Classroom beginning a week after the event date.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Monday, November 28 · 6:30 pm

September – December 2022



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